British Government ‘alarmed’ at Russian ban on ‘extremist’ Jehovah’s Witnesses

British Government ‘alarmed’ at Russian ban on ‘extremist’ Jehovah’s Witnesses

Independent:-The British Government says it is “alarmed” by Russia’s ban on Jehovah’s Witnesses and has launched an appeal for Vladimir Putin to uphold religious freedom.

Baroness Anelay said a ruling by the Russian Supreme Court “effectively criminalises the peaceful worship of 175,000 Russian citizens” and contravenes rights enshrined in the country’s own constitution.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses plan to appeal Thursday’s ruling, which came after six days of hearings attended by hundreds of supporters.

“We are greatly disappointed by this development and deeply concerned about how this will affect our religious activity,” said spokesman Yaroslav Sivulskiy. “We hope that our legal rights and protections as a peaceful religious group will be fully restored as soon as possible.”

“I am alarmed by the decision of Russia’s Supreme Court to recognise the Jehovah’s Witnesses as ‘extremists’,” the Foreign Office minister added. “The UK calls on the Russian government to uphold its international commitment to freedom of religion.”

The case could be taken to the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled a previous attempted ban on Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia unlawful in 2010.

The Supreme Court was deciding on a claim lodged by the Russian ministry of justice to liquidate the group’s administrative centre near St Petersburg and 395 local organisations. Its decision will come into effect within 30 days unless an appeal is lodged, when it will be delayed until the resolution of the case.

“The Supreme Court has ruled to sustain the claim of Russia’s ministry of justice and deem the ‘Administrative Centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia’ organisation extremist, eliminate it and ban its activity in Russia,” said judge Yuri Ivanenko. “The property of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation is to be confiscated to the state revenue.”

A lawyer for the justice ministry, Svetlana Borisova, told the court adherents “pose a threat to the rights of the citizens, public order and public security”.

Jehovah’s Witnesses, who are known for door-to-door preaching and handing out literature, reject some of mainstream Christianity’s core beliefs and have more than 8.3 million members around the world.

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12 Comments

  1. Fidel Duna Banzon
    April 23, 2017 at 8:03 pm Reply

    We, Jehovah’s Witnesses are not “extremist”, in fact we help the government of any nation to turn criminals into peace-loving citizens. Those criminals in prison we teach the Holy Bible and some of them turn to be better citizen. We hope and pray the appeal to be taken will reverse the decision of the Russian Federation Supreme Court.

    We do not hate the members of the Supreme Court for their ruling, instead, we pray to Jehovah our God that they be enlightened of the truth that Jehovah’s Witnesses are not “extremist”.

  2. Anonymous
    April 24, 2017 at 1:01 am Reply

    “Yes Jehovah’s Witnesses are no to violence, in word and in deeds, they love God, others and their enemies, they do not return evil with evil but they conquer evil with good”…Romans 12:17-21

  3. Precious
    April 24, 2017 at 1:20 pm Reply

    The Russian Supreme Court will do President Putin’s bidding, he in turn dances to the music of the Russian Orthodox Church who is unknowingly being kept in Putin’s debt for future paybacks.

    Ultimately, Putin controls the lives and breadths of all of Russia.

    That’s too much power in the hands of anybody.

  4. Anonymous
    April 25, 2017 at 5:07 am Reply

    If there is an organisation that preaches salvation on this earth are the Jehovah’s witnesses.

  5. Anonymous
    April 25, 2017 at 3:26 pm Reply

    Ginger Jordan

    Its sad to think going door to door with the message from the Scriptures is considered extreme. If Jesus Christ was alive, according to this verdict, he would be an extremist. Odd that the Orthodox Church who I am guessing call themselves Christians, don’t follow Jesus example, he regularly took the message from the Scriptures from door to door. And he encouraged all lovers of truth to do the same. Wonder why they aren’t following his example too?

  6. Taiwo Naija
    April 25, 2017 at 6:57 pm Reply

    This is a drama before heaven and earth, it shall soon end. When two people drag a matter one must be right while the other must be wrong. I believe that no matter how the truth is deprived of a person, another person will come and disclose it to him.

  7. Ivanovich
    April 25, 2017 at 10:17 pm Reply

    The ruling by the supreme court is unexpected.But,why these peaceful people are being perscuted? Why Russia nagates its own constitution and international commitments?

  8. Grieved one
    April 26, 2017 at 12:29 am Reply

    Russia has closed its eyes now. May Jehovah guide in these times of atrocities heaped upon God fearing,law abiding citizens whose only wish is freedom of worship. Why this partiality when jehovah’s witnesses’ organization is made up of all races. Where is justice for ALL then?

  9. samuel, Ghana
    April 26, 2017 at 7:33 am Reply

    I was once a bad person but through the teachings of the Jehovah’s witnesses am now a good and a responsible human being who fears God. Why such group should be called extremist. Putin must come back to remove the ban on Jehovah’s witnesses.

  10. Belinda arnott
    April 29, 2017 at 1:31 am Reply

    Putin dosnt realise who he fighting Giants, he should read exodus and see what happened to pharoah, who at the time was considered a god, he was so powerful, but Jehovah, brought him down, as if a ant, so we will watch in anticipation, but one day soon, J ehovah says “They will have to know I am Jehovah” this will be a worldwide message,,,,so while there is still time ask a Jehovah’s Witness,,,to share a wonderful hope for the future instead,,,,,

  11. Paul Lacny
    August 9, 2017 at 11:24 pm Reply

    Proverbs 15:3 ” the eyes of Jehovah are in every place,keeping watch upon the bad ones and the good ones” and look also at 2 Chronicles 16:9″ For as regards Jehovah,his eyes are roving about through all the earth, to show his strength in behalf of those whose heart is complete toward him. NOTHING ESCAPES JEHOVAH’S JUDGEMENT. PAUL LACNY, former St Lucian of 1970/71 Westbank B C Canada

  12. Paul Lacny
    August 9, 2017 at 11:28 pm Reply

    Nothing escapes Jehovah’s eyes, which are roving about the earth, 2 Chronicles 16: 9. Paul Lacny, former St Lucian resident 1970/71 Westbank B C Canada 2017

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