According to a recent poll by 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair, a majority of Americans do not believe that Scientology is a real religion. Jeanie Groh of the Religion News Service reports that 70% of those polled believed that Scientology was not a real religion, 18% did not know or did not care, and only 13% believed it was a religion. Groh explains:
Out of the more than 1,000 people polled, Christian Americans were even more likely to question Scientology’s status as a religion — 79 percent of evangelicals, 74 percent of Protestants and 72 percent of Catholics surveyed responded that they did not think Scientology is a religion.
L. Ron Hubbard, a science fiction author, established Scientology in 1952, and the Church of Scientology has been acknowledged as a religion in the United States since 1993. Scientology is known for its celebrity followers, such as actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta.
It’s hard to say exactly how many people practice Scientology in the U.S. Many critics suggest that there are between 25,000 and 55,000 active Scientologists, but the church’s website claims growth of more than 4.4 million adherents each year.
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