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Russia’s supreme court to rule on Jehovah’s Witnesses ban

Russia’s supreme court to rule on Jehovah’s Witnesses ban
April 06
10:09 2017
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The Russian government has requested its supreme court to ban Jehovah’s Witnesses and declare the Christian group an extremist organisation.

The hearing of the case which began Wednesday will continue on Thursday.

On March 16, the Russian government filed a suit to outlaw the organisation, which is already considered an extremist group in St. Petersburg where it is headquartered.

According to NAN, the group has 175,000 members in Russia and 395 branches across the country. Worldwide, there are more than 7 million members.

Lawyers for the group filed a counter suit before Wednesday’s hearing, saying they are victims of political repression.

The court, however, said it’s “ineligible to review this lawsuit” because other courts are responsible for determining whether a person or group have been politically repressed.

The ministry said the Jehovah’s Witnesses “violate Russia’s law on combating extremism” and their pamphlets incite hatred against other groups. The government wants to eliminate all local chapters and confiscate their assets.

Russia’s supreme court won’t let the 395 local chapters of Jehovah’s Witnesses participate in the hearings.

“Right now the rights of local chapters are being violated,” a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses told Russia’s state-run news agency Tass.

“Regional law enforcement authorities interrupt believers’ peaceful prayers. In its lawsuit, the Justice Ministry demands these organisations be shut down and their property confiscated, but none of them are represented here in this court.”

A justice ministry spokeswoman said the lawsuit concerned an organisation called the administrative center of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

“We object to letting local religious chapters participate in the hearings, because they are structural units of Jehovah’s Witnesses,” the spokeswoman said.

In 2009, prosecutors in southern Russia wrote a report that found that Jehovah’s Witnesses “undermined respect” in other religions.

The group, which was founded in the US in the late 19th century, was banned during Joseph Stalin’s reign in the Soviet Union.

Subsequently, thousands of members were deported to Siberia.

The ban was however lifted in 1991, following the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Russian officials raided the group’s national headquarters in February and confiscated a reported 70,000 documents.

“Jehovah’s Witnesses are no threat to either the Russian Orthodox Church or to the Russian government,” David Semonian, international spokesperson for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, told Time magazine.

“The constitution guarantees freedom of worship, and that is all we are asking, to have the same rights as other religious groups have so we can go about our ministry in a peaceful way.”

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14 Comments

  1. Richy
    Richy April 06, 14:24

    The Russian Governors would better spend time chasing real terrorists.
    By this type of activity the Russians are fertilising the soil of Russia by leaving Weeds in the soil and uprooting the good fruits of the land.
    The Jehovah’s Witnesses pay taxes and live peaceably.
    All their literature promotes peaceful existence with their fellow man by obeying the God of the Bible Jehovah.
    The Bible teaches its followers to live a peacable life and promote Christian values wherever they live.
    If all the citizens of the world lived by the teachings of Jesus Christ then we would all be living in a peaceful earth.
    Banishing peacemakers from any land leaves?
    Jehovahs Witnesses Love Peace.

    Reply to this comment
  2. ezxxy
    ezxxy April 06, 21:11

    Jehovah’s witnesses are peaceful people.they mean no harm to people. pls allow them to stay and have their right

    Reply to this comment
  3. Cale
    Cale April 07, 06:00

    Jesus instructed his followers to pay tax to the government, Jehovah’s witnesses worldwide live by that standard even in Russia. They are law abiding but do not only take part in politics. Millions have changed their lives as results of their preaching work, this have benefited the world. Nevertheless, they are hated and persecuted by its beneficiary.
    It’s pointless to ban the witnesses.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Pyaar
    Pyaar April 07, 08:05

    Jehovah’s witnesses are peaceful people who spend their time spreading nothing but good tidings…. They are of great help even to the Russian government and the govt. doesn’t even see or appreciate that.

    Reply to this comment
  5. mesha
    mesha April 07, 13:33

    they don’t take part in the politics of the land . its like that world wide.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Shobaba
    Shobaba April 07, 16:22

    Let the Russian government bring evidence of any individual member of Jehovah’s witnesses that have been charged and convicted for criminal offence and compare this with same in other religious group. It will reveal to you how lawful and peaceful these innocent peoples are.It is very unfortunate thsat the Russian government is presently labeling this people extremist for some sinister motive

    Reply to this comment
  7. Paula
    Paula April 07, 19:03

    Leave these people alone.They are peaceful people.They talk about good things to come on the earth.No war crime or violence and people living in peace.What’s wrong with doing what Jesus did?We are his discipLes and live a clean life.

    Reply to this comment
  8. youngpioneer
    youngpioneer April 07, 21:58

    Your comment..when Hitler try to stammed out the witnesses away did he succeed?were is hitler nw?

    Reply to this comment
  9. keal
    keal April 09, 22:25

    These people are peacdful and law-abiding,, they mean no harm to anyone.. theh love their neighbor

    Reply to this comment
  10. Obodom
    Obodom April 13, 04:39

    Your comment..Please the Jehovas Witnesses are very very peaceful people. Remember Gandi who was a Hindu religion spoke that if all Christian truly stick to teaching of Jesus, there will be nothing like war. So the Jehovas Witnesses to speak strictly adhere to Jesus command which The Russian government would have cherish because the don’t fight, they are not terrorist nor troublesome.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Nsidear
    Nsidear April 14, 20:17

    Your comment.. Jehovah’s witnesses are law abiding citizens, they follow bible principle strictly, they are peace maker not extrimist allow them to do their work

    Reply to this comment
  12. Brazil
    Brazil April 14, 22:42

    Your comment..Pls Russia Gov.while not you people ban the religious extremist you know very well,terrorizing the peace of the armless citizens all over the Terra why the peaceful people of Christ or is’t blc they are not carrying “arms”like ISIS,Boko Haram and so on.

    Reply to this comment
  13. downwithreligion
    downwithreligion August 28, 20:37

    Yeah good tome for all men to realize eeligion is a construct of man to explain that that cannot be and for evil men to use to control the popilation. More desperate acts of evil have been committed by or on the name of god.

    Reply to this comment

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