Verhovye Ministry of justice asked the court to ban in Russia “Jehovah’s Witnesses”

Verhovye Ministry of justice asked the court to ban in Russia “Jehovah’s Witnesses”

Moscow. March 17. INTERFAX.RU — the Ministry of justice filed to the Supreme court the claim about a ban in the country of the organization “Jehovah’s Witnesses” after identified during the inspection violations of anti-extremist legislation was reported in the press service of the Ministry.

“The Ministry of justice of Russia in the period from 8 to 27 February 2017 unscheduled documentary check of conformity of activities of Religious organizations “Administrative center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia,” stated in its Charter purposes and tasks”, — stated in the message of press-service, received on Friday at the request of “Interfax”.

According to the Ministry, “the organization’s activities carried out with violations of the statutory goals and objectives, as well as the current legislation of the Russian Federation, including Federal law “On countering extremist activities”.

“In this regard, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of March 15, 2017 by the Ministry of justice filed administrative claim,” — said in a press release.

The struggle of the justice Ministry with Jehovah’s witnesses

Yesterday in a press-service of the Supreme court of the Russian Federation “Interfax” reported that the Ministry of justice asks to recognize a religious organization “Administrative center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia” and the extremist in the country to ban its activities. Date of consideration of the claim of the Ministry is not appointed yet. In turn, the organization said that has not yet been received from the court any documents, but I think that “if the claim is satisfied, this will entail catastrophic consequences for religious freedom in Russia.”

In a statement on the website of the “Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia” noted that the Supreme court’s decision “will directly affect approximately 400 registered local religious organizations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, and will apply to all 2277 religious groups all over the country, bringing together 175 of the thousands of followers of this religion.”

“Extremism is alien to biblical beliefs and morality Jehovah’s Witnesses. The pursuit of peaceful believers in the anti-extremist legislation is based on outright fraud, the incompetence of individual “experts” and, as a result of judicial errors,” — say in the organization. There’s fear that “the prohibition of the activities of the centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses can result in criminal persecution of believers simply for confessing their religion — reading the Bible, singing and prayer.”

The organization “Jehovah’s Witnesses” regularly becomes the object of attention of Supervisory authorities in all regions of Russia, moreover, in a number of regions banned. Previously, the Supreme court recognized by the laws of the decision on liquidation of the territorial offices of “Jehovah’s Witnesses” in Orel, Stary Oskol and Belgorod, Abinsk of Krasnodar Krai, Samara, Birobidzhan and other cities. The local branch of the organization was repeatedly brought to administrative responsibility for distribution of extremist materials: in Tyumen, Cherepovets, Samara, Saransk, Voronezh, Nizhny Novgorod, Gelendzhik, etc.

According to the “Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses 2016”, in 2015 the highest number of active publishers in the world has reached 8.2 million people, which amounted to 118 thousand meetings of Jehovah’s witnesses; the number of converts to Jehovah’s witnesses in the year 2015, totaled 260 thousand people; the number of countries and territories where the Jehovah’s witnesses carried out its activities and where they were delivered corresponding reports were 240. In Russia there are 175 million active believers of the organization, United in 2547 communities (collections).