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Russian court bans Jehovah’s Witnesses as extremist

Reuters

Russia’s Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Jehovah’s Witnesses were an “extremist” organization and must disband and hand over all property to the state, local media said.

The religious grouping confirmed the ruling about its “liquidation” in Russia.

“We are greatly disappointed by this development and deeply concerned about how this will affect our religious activity,” Yaroslav Sivulskiy, a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, said in emailed comments.  

“We will appeal this decision, and we hope that our legal rights and protections as a peaceful religious group will be fully restored as soon as possible.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia have 30 days to submit their appeal for consideration by a three-person panel.

Religious life in Russia is dominated by the Orthodox Church, which exerts considerable political influence and enjoys the support of President Vladimir Putin. Some Orthodox scholars view Jehovah’s Witnesses as a ‘totalitarian sect’.

Interfax news agency quoted Sergei Cherepanov, a Jehovah’s Witnesses representative, as saying that the group will appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

“We will do everything possible,” he said.

Russian authorities have put several of the group’s publications on a list of banned extremist literature and prosecutors have long cast it as an organization that destroys families, fosters hatred and threatens lives.

The group, a United States-based Christian denomination known for its door-to-door preaching and rejection of military service and blood transfusions, says this description is false.

The religious organization has expanded around the world and has about eight million active followers. It has faced court proceedings in several countries, mostly over its pacifism and rejection of blood transfusions, but Russia has been most outspoken in portraying it as an extremist cult.

The ruling was issued after the justice ministry applied for an order to shut down the group’s national headquarters near St Petersburg.

Its Russian branch, based near St Petersburg, has said a ban would directly affect around 400 of its groups and have an impact on all of its 2,277 religious groups in Russia, where it says it has 175,000 followers.

(Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Andrew Osborn and Ralph Boulton)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-religion-jehovah-s-idUSKBN17M1ZT

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4 Responses to Russian court bans Jehovah’s Witnesses as extremist

  1. ALTHOUGH ANILLEGAL GOVERNMENT ACT HERE,RUSSIA CAN DO WHAT IT WANTS………….

  2. flee says:

    No way…
    J witnesses as extremist.
    I suggest a solution.
    While they’re walking around the fkng neighborhood.
    Banging on doors and so called…
    “Waking People up” in the morning.

    Why don’t you at least pick up the trash in the neighborhoods.

    Or save us some time and just throw the watchtower in it.

    Thank you.

    Silver State Sanitation. …Las Vegas.

  3. Volthair says:

    It seems that the world’s threshold for tolerance has been worn out.

  4. manufactured2012 says:

    What comes around goes around, no minority religion is safe in Russia
    Freedom of expression is also under assault in America, via U.N. inspired anti-discrimination laws and measures to curb religious intolerance.

    Can anybody say in public that there religion is true and Islam or another is is a false religion? Without getting a visit from the DHS:

    Look up: “Report of the United States on the First
    Meeting of Experts to Promote
    Implementation of United Nations Human
    Rights Council Resolution 16/18”
    December 2011

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