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English court says Scientology chapel qualifies as place of worship

LONDON, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- An English woman who wants to marry in a Church of Scientology chapel in London has won a Supreme Court challenge, with the court ruling it a place for worship.

Louisa Hodkin's victory overruled a 1970 ruling that said Scientology services were not considered "acts of worship." The unanimous decision by the Supreme Court said the previous ruling, which made reference to "reverence or veneration of God or of a supreme being," was out of date.

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"Religion should not be confined to religions which recognize a supreme deity," Lord Roger Toulson wrote in the judgment.

Although Scientology has a concept of a supreme being, it does not require adherents to offer worship.

Hodkin, 25, launched the legal action after officials refused to register the Scientology chapel on central London's Queen Victoria Street as a place for marriage, the British Broadcasting Corp. reported Wednesday.

She said she and fiance Alessandro Calcioli intended to marry in the next few months, but have not set a date.

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