The Belgian authorities have indicted the Belgian chapter of the Church of Scientology, the European headquarters of the Church, as well as 12 of its leading members. According to the office of Public Prosecutor Jean-Claude Van Espen Scientology is a criminal organization which has committed several crimes including extortion, fraud, violations of the trade law, violations of the privacy law and the illegal practice of medicine.
On 30 September 1999, 120 Belgian police officers raided 25 Scientology offices and seized tons of documents, which took the public prosecutor eight years to examine.
The European headquarters of Scientology is based in the Wetstraat in Brussels, next to the headquarters of the Belgian Christian-Democrat party. The Church is active in 156 countries. It is recognized as a church in the United States, but not in Belgium which only recognizes Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, Anglicanism, the Orthodox Church, Judaism and Islam.
Scientology, along with other churches such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints [Mormons], Anthroposophy, Opus Dei and various Catholic and Protestant evangelical and Pentecostal groups, figures on an official Belgian list of “harmful sectarian organizations”