Scientology is a religion. However, the religion part is ancillary to what is essentially a pyramid scheme, crossed with a terrorist group. This is a religion with enough power to put death warrants on people (Auditing Process R2-45), use terror tactics to punish lapsed people (Fair Game), with little more than a slap on the wrist when it is acknowledged, severely mess with families (Disconnection), and maintain a paramilitary organization (SeaOrg). And all that information is readily available from public documents. And, from what I've heard, they don't take good care of kids when their parents are at the meetings and have to bring them along (http://www.Cracked.Com/article_20869_5-ways-growing-up-inside-scientology-was-nightmare.Html). It's the first one on the list, by the way.
Scientology is a company. A cruel, evil, merciless, unkind, indecent, vindictive, heartless, venomous, soulless, horrible, devastating, blasphemous, devious, murderous, miserly, malignant, cancerous, scandalous, wretched, impassionate, ungodly, inhuman, unjust, insincere, penny-pinching, pile of dog doo with a cherry on top company.
So, yeah, it's a religion. The only slight difference between Scientology and other religions is that it requires you to pay upfront.
Scientology is recognized as a religion because it has the same tax status as other churches and was deemed worthy of this by the Internal Revenue Service in the United States. Many countries have held that Scientology is a religion, while a few still refuse to acknowledge it as one. Five supreme court judges in the United Kingdom ruled that Scientology is a religion in 2013.