Scientologists anticipate tremendous growth for their religion throughout Pennsylvania, and look forward to greatly expanding their service to the community, with plans now underway to fully renovate the skyscraper they purchased on Chestnut Street in downtown Philadelphia.

"Scientology founder, L. Ron Hubbard, once wrote, 'Ideas and not battles mark the forward progress of mankind. Individuals, and not masses, form the culture of the race,' and the city of Philadelphia represents some of the most important ideas that shape our culture today," said Bruce Thompson, Public Affairs Director of the Church of Scientology of Philadelphia.

The "City of Brotherly Love" not only gave birth to the Declaration of Independence and the American Constitution and Bill of Rights, it also played a pivotal role in the abolitionist movement, and served as a hub of the Underground Railroad. And the Church, which, according to its creed, is founded on the belief that "all men of whatever race, color, or creed were created with equal rights," feels particularly committed to this Philadelphia tradition, and sponsors a human rights education program in the belief that education is the first step in making human rights a reality for every individual on Earth.

As there is no real personal liberty for those who are dependent on drugs, the Church is also committed to helping youth avoid addiction through its drug education and prevention programs. And the Scientology Volunteer Ministers program, which provides one-on-one help to anyone in need, is a way Scientologists help people cope with and overcome the kinds of problems they face in today's world.

Large sections of the 15-story Cunningham Building and an adjacent storefront will be converted for use by the Church for its community programs. Plans include offices, a chapel, an academy and display areas.

Author's Bio: 

Ms. Wieland is an editor of the Scientology Press Office at