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‘Filling the Moral Vacuum’
 
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Freedom


Tolerance Brings Co-action



BY GRAEME WILSON
Public Affairs Director Church of Scientology
A few-mile walk from almost any home or establishment today will bring one face to face with some aspect of our increasing social failings — crime, drugs, illiteracy, immorality, racism and intolerance chief among them.

While the economy, threats of terrorism and rising conflicts within Asia and the Middle East dominate the news, a more insidious danger comes from a society weakened and debilitated by its own social ills — because that society, unable to respond adequately to instability and threats, is more disposed to collapse under the weight of violence and strife.

It’s not coincidence that news stories over the past two decades have repeatedly cited decreasing church attendance. Time and again throughout history, where the spiritual and human values associated with religions are undermined, ignored or forgotten, social decline is evident.

That decline will never be reversed by individual government offices, churches, community groups or well-meaning citizens acting alone. It will take the combined efforts of all of them.

The obvious requisite for such co-action is tolerance, which opens the door to understanding and to the needed cooperation that allows groups and individuals of all faiths to work side by side to solve the real problems of society.


For that reason we elected a cover story that highlights an international religious conference held recently in the U.K., one that the Church of Scientology co-sponsored with other religious organizations, with the theme of “Filling the Moral Vacuum.” We hope you will find the news of this historic conference as elevating as we found it was to be a part of it.

On the other hand, we also necessarily explore a much darker side of the religion in society equation, focusing on influences exploiting religion and undermining its peaceful goals — international terrorism. We present a Freedom investigative report on forces that are shaping and directing “Islamic” terrorists today who in turn carry out deadly acts that are diametrically opposed to the religion they and their masters claim to uphold. We are also proud to present an in-depth report by internationally acclaimed author and former BBC producer Gordon Thomas on Middle East conflict: a revelatory story of the shaping of the first female Palestinian to become a suicide bomber against Israel.

Through these and continuing investigations of terrorism, we intend to provide more perspectives of this looming international menace — with the aim of diminishing the possibility of more violence and loss of life through better understanding of the not so obvious influences behind the terror. And all the while, doing our part to increase society’s ability to respond to and overcome such threats — so hastening the passage of these turbulent times into history’s archives for the sake of our children, and future generations.

Finally, as always, we welcome your comments and views.

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