MOSCOW, June 15 (RAPSI) – Detention of executives of the Church of Scientology in St. Petersburg, who stand charged with extremism and illegal business, has been appealed, the Unified press service of St. Petersburg courts told RAPSI on Thursday.

Earlier, head of the Church of Scientology of St. Petersburg Ivan Matsitsky, executive director of the organization Galina Shurinova, chief of the official matters department Anastasia Terentyeva and chief accountant of the religious group Sakhib Aliyev were put in jail.

Additionally, they were charged with inciting hatred and enmity, and violation of human dignity.

From 2013 to 2016, the organization received over 276 million rubles ($4.9 million) for rendering its services. However, the Church of Scientology of St. Petersburg has not been incorporated under the law, an FSB representative noted in court earlier.

On June 6, the Federal Security Service’s (FSB) officers raided the Church of Scientology of St. Petersburg as part of investigation into illegal business operations, incitement of hatred and enmity, and organization of an extremist community. Five members of the religious group were arrested. Only one of the defendants, Terentyeva’s assistant Constance Yesaulkova was placed under house arrest.

Dianetics and Scientology are a set of religious and philosophical ideas and practices that were put forth by L. Ron Hubbard in the US in the early 1950s.

The scientific community never recognized it as science.

A resolution passed in 1996 by the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, classified the Church of Scientology as a destructive religious organization.

The Moscow Regional Court ruled in 2012 that some of Hubbard’s books be included on the Federal List of Extremist Literature and prohibited from distribution in Russia.