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New Scientology site due in Chicago

CHICAGO, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- Members of the Church of Scientology said their church is working on creating a headquarters in Chicago as part of the church's global expansion.

The Rev. Jesse Wells, an ordained Scientology minister, said the church is restoring a $4 million building in Chicago's historic Printer's Row neighborhood to use the seven-story site for church activities, courses and worship, the Chicago Tribune said Sunday.

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"That's one of the reasons we need such a large space," Wells said of the 50,212-square-foot location, "to accommodate all the activities."

As part of the Church of Scientology's expansion plans, the church has acquired more than 70 buildings worldwide. In addition, the church is planning on opening 24 more churches in the United States by the end of 2010.

Scientology official Rebecca Cusano said since being officially recognized as a religious group in 1993, the Church of Scientology has gathered an estimated 10 million members during its expansion.

The Tribune said the church's new Chicago location is slated to officially open sometime in 2010.

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