Russia: Jehovah’s Witnesses lose appeal

Russia: Jehovah’s Witnesses lose appeal

RadioFreeEurope:-Russia’s Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by the Jehovah’s Witnesses of an earlier ruling that classified the denomination as extremist, effectively banning it entirely from the country.

The Russian court on July 17 turned away arguments by the group, which sought to overturn an initial decision made by the court in April.

“While we were prepared for a negative ruling, it is still very disappointing,” David Semonian, a spokesman for the group, said in a statement. “It is very concerning that, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, powerful elements within Russia continue to frame our organization as extremist.”

The decision means the group will be forced to close its doors at its St. Petersburg headquarters and some 395 local chapters across the country. Its properties, known as Kingdom Halls, will be handed over to the Russian government.

The group, which says it has around 170,000 adherents in the country, has long been viewed with suspicion in Russia for their positions on military service, voting, and government authority in general.

Freedom of religion is formally guaranteed in Russia but legislation sets out Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism as the country’s four traditional religions, and smaller denominations frequently face discrimination.

In recent years, there have been a growing number of reports of worshippers being targeted for harassment.

A home and several cars belonging to a Jehovah’s Witness outside of Moscow were vandalized in an arson attack on April 30, and masked security agents raided a worship service on May 25 in the central city of Oryol.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses are likely to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, but the court has no power to enforce its decisions and Russia may ignore any verdict against it.

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8 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    July 17, 2017 at 8:03 pm Reply

    A sad decision

  2. jay
    July 18, 2017 at 12:23 am Reply

    sad indeed, but the time will soon come… Psalm 83:18

    1. Anonymous
      July 18, 2017 at 2:26 pm Reply

      That time is coming ever since Africans first encountered years years years ago and still that time has not arrived. Many (including witnesses themselves) have predicted a date and have been wrong. It is still yet to come. Might it not be the case no time is coming? I think time to leave to the Caucasian both his coming god snd his religion.

  3. Jane
    July 18, 2017 at 7:08 am Reply

    It was time they did

  4. laila
    July 18, 2017 at 10:07 am Reply

    Ha….Interesting!

  5. Adrian
    July 18, 2017 at 12:26 pm Reply

    You guys need to read your history books. The biggest human atrocities were committed in the name of religion. Christopher Columbus, Hitler, Terrorism, Genocide all of these are examples of people and things that have committed and been committed propelled with the thinking that those guilty are acting on the word of God.
    The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticide, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
    Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.

    1. John
      July 18, 2017 at 4:35 pm Reply

      Adrian people write what you write to justify their actions.

      1. Adrian
        July 18, 2017 at 5:56 pm Reply

        Thank you!

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