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Controversy for Tom Cruise's Nobel role

OSLO, Norway, Oct. 28 (UPI) -- Critics say actor Tom Cruise, chosen as co-host of Norway's Nobel Peace Prize concert, will use the forum to promote the religious sect Scientology.

Cruise and Oprah Winfrey are scheduled to host the Dec. 11 concert in Oslo, Norway, but some religious leaders have asked the Nobel Institute to reconsider having Cruise, a practicing Scientologist, for the event, MSNBC reported Thursday.

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"They're a manipulative sect that takes over people's lives and finances," said Karl-Erik Nylund, a priest from the Magdalena Kyrka church in Stockholm, Sweden.

"It's very wrong to let Cruise lead the gala. I've met tons of people who have had their lives devastated by Scientology and this is such an important event, said Andreas Heldal-Lund, a Scientology foe.

The Nobel Institute defended its decision.

"We're obviously aware that Tom Cruise is a Scientologist but that's not why we chose him. We chose him because he's a known person who is interested in the Nobel Peace Prize and we're proud that we have him," said Geir Lundestad.

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