The Moscow branch of the Church of Scientology just had its "activities" banned by a Russian court, following the city’s support of a justice ministry’s request to halt the church due to the fact that Scientology had been registered as a U.S. trademark and is thus not a religious organization. "The suit filed by the ministry of justice for the liquidation must be enacted," Judge Mikhail Kazakov said when announcing the decision, according to the Guardian.
"When decisions like this are handed down, actually everyone loses," a spokesperson for the church’s Moscow branch said in a statement. "This decision affects not only the Church of Scientology of Moscow. This decision is a sign of the disease in the justice system." The church is reportedly planning to appeal the court's decision, adding that they believe the ban is the result of "a biased policy pursued by the Ministry of Justice toward the Church of Scientology of Moscow." This "biased policy" would presumably also include efforts to dismantle the equally beloved religion known as Neurotology, though no confirmation on that empty statement currently exists:
The ruling, which follows a lower-level district court’s rejection of the church’s appeal against a justice ministry’s decision not to register it as a religious organization, is another sign that the relationship between Russia and Scientology is on a quick and brutal decline. Earlier this year, investigators in Moscow "opened a criminal probe" after reportedly finding hidden recording devices on church grounds.