Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ divorce will not be recognized by their religion Scientology, according to the church’s doctrines.
Scientology offers little advice to those for whom divorce has become the only option, preferring to focus on providing couple’s therapy to fix relationships.
The 33-year-old actress filed for divorce from the Hollywood hunk on Thursday after it was reported that she had been unhappy in the marriage for years.
There is a belief in the church of Scientology that marital problems come from ‘withholds’ or ‘overts’ - undiscussed issues or problems.
According to the official website, marriage is considered essential to family life along with the belief that the religion will strengthen bonds between partners.
Scientologists also claim that people who follow the religion are more likely to stay married.
If a couple runs into a problem, they can take courses on how to improve their marriage or speak to counsellors.
“There’s no real annulment in the church. Many members have been divorced, even founder L. Ron Hubbard was married three times,” the Daily Mail quoted Stephen Kent, a religion professor at the University of Alberta, as telling ABC News.
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were married in November 2006 in a fairy-tale, A-list wedding at a 15th century Italian castle before a church of Scientology minister.
When the romance began, Holmes had met the 49-year-old actor to discuss the possibility of appearing in ‘Mission Impossible III’, she was immediately sent on an intensive and lengthy study course about Scientology.
The religion was founded by sci-fi author L Ron Hubbard in 1954, which holds that humans are descended from an exiled race of aliens called Thetans.
Although Holmes was raised a Catholic, she embraced the religion of her new husband at the start of their relationship. However she is alleged to have come to dislike and distrust the movement.
The church of Scientology bans members from having contact with doubters of the faith or unbelievers called PTS - potential trouble source.
A difference of religious viewpoints can lead some Scientology members to divorce.
The estranged couple have been raising Suri in accordance with the doctrine of the Church of Scientology - treating her as an adult, free to make her own decisions.
Cruise, who is the main breadwinner of the couple’s 275-million-dollar fortune, has been married twice before.
He was married to actress turned professional poker player Mimi Rogers - who is believed to have introduced him to Scientology - followed by Nicole Kidman.