Three Spanish women receive 2021 Religious Freedom Awards at Church of Scientology


Religious Freedom Prize Sword “Tizona” 2021

The MEJORA Foundation, in consultative status with the UN ECOSOC since 2019, and founded by the Church of Scientology presented the 8th edition.

congratulations also to the Church of Scientology of Spain for a new edition of these awards and for the good choice of the people who have been recognized this evening.

– Mercedes Murillo, director of religious freedom, Spanish government

MADRID, MADRID, SPAIN, November 3, 2021 / – The event, hosted by the Church of Scientology Fundacion MEJORA, took place in person and streamed. There were experts and professors in religious freedom, and the staff of the General Sub-Directorate for Religious Freedom of the Ministry of the Presidency, including its director Ms. Mercedes Murillo, who congratulated the Foundation, and the laureates Ms. Zoila Combalía , Mrs. Mercedes Vidal and Mrs. Isabel Cano. Representatives of the Pluralism and Coexistence Foundation and the Baha’i Community of Spain also attended.

During the ceremony presented by Ivan Arjona (President of the Foundation) and Isabel Ayuso, (General Secretary of the Foundation), Professor Mercedes Murillo said: “Thank you Ivan, as always, so devoted to everything, to your work and good , congratulations also to the Church of Scientology of Spain for a new edition of these awards and for the good choice of the people who have been recognized this evening “.

Murillo said of the laureates: “They are three great professionals in the field of ecclesiastical state law… and I have also had the opportunity and the chance to work with all three. I know their worth, their merits and of course they absolutely deserve this recognition. Three women, moreover, who have been working in this field for some time and I think it is also very important to underline this fidelity… important work in the field of respect and protection of human rights. So congratulations to all three of them. Zoila, Mercedes and Isabel ”.

Ivan Arjona, who is also president of the European Office of Public Affairs and Human Rights of the Church of Scientology, which represents Scientologists and the methods of social improvement developed by L. Ron Hubbard before European institutions and United Nations, said that:

“It is necessary to make society aware that this freedom is vital for all the other fundamental rights that we have, because all the other rights with which we are born are always affected by the right to freedom of conscience, of belief , somehow. or another, whether it is a religious belief or a non-religious belief.

For her part, Isabel Ayuso, lawyer specializing in criminal law and general secretary of the Fundación Mejora, declared that:
“It is an honor for the Foundation that you join us for this event…. We live in a society that seems politically correct to me, where we cannot say what we think, but must think what we say…. that’s why i think your work, your research is so important […] I don’t want to tell you all the work that remains to be done, but I want to recognize once again the value of the work that you do, and that it’s the one thing that serves as a sort of retaining wall against all of these. outbreaks against freedom in general and against freedom of belief, because it is the most nuclear part of the human being ”.

The three winners, this year three women, thanked the Fundación Mejora and its administrators for pursuing these awards, which they deem so necessary in the society in which we live.

The first to receive the Tizona of these Religious Freedom Awards 2021 was Zoila Combalía, Full Professor of Religious Freedom Law, Universidad de Zaragoza, (and presented by Professor Rafael Valencia from Universidad de Sevilla). In her acceptance speech, she made it clear that she had:

“I strongly believe in religious freedom as a cornerstone of coexistence in today’s society, but even from a less idealistic, purely pragmatic perspective, religious freedom is fundamental to the coexistence in today’s society. […] how to coexist peacefully with people of different beliefs or not at all? … The key lies in the law, in respecting the right to freedom of religion and belief. Thus, religious freedom today is no longer just … a requirement of the dignity of the person … but demands the ability to seek the truth in complete freedom, not to be compelled to act against one’s conscience and not to be discriminated against because of their beliefs. […] working for religious freedom will lead us to a society in which the values ​​which, in the opinion of Alfonso X the Wise, symbolized by the sword, prevail: reason, courage, moderation and justice ”.

For his part, and after a fair and endearing presentation by Prof. Alejandro Torres (University of Navarre), Mercedes Vidal, Professor of State Ecclesiastical Law, University of Valladolid, who received the second prize of the evening, underlined that:

“These awards… are of particular importance,… have already become a point of reference for a society like ours, a society that is plural and diverse from the point of view of religious freedom. … The governments of Western Europe… are aware of this reality and have developed in recent years a series of strategies to meet the demands… And all these strategies revolve around a central axis, which is respect, guarantee and protection of religious diversity.

The last prize of the evening was presented by Professor Catalina Pons-Estel (University of the Balearic Islands) and was awarded to Isabel Cano, Professor of State Ecclesiastical Law, University of Alcala de Henares, who told the audience that:

“Religious freedom is freedom of freedoms, since it refers to the sign and the most radical act of man as a rational being, neither more nor less than the act of faith. […] […] One of the characteristics of state church law students is that while most other criminal, civil, and constitutional law subjects are almost completely unknown upon arrival at university, in our subject, students usually arrive with a preconceived idea or with a series of prejudices that will have to be refined in order to be able to interpret the questions raised in truly technical legal terms “

Ivan Arjona
European Office of the Church of Scientology
+32 2 533 28 00
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