Orthodox and Jehovah's Witnesses clash on streets of Chita



This weekend in the city of Chita there was a demonstration during which opponents of religious freedom urged citizens to express their displeasure with the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses.


The press service of the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia told that on 8 April 2016, at 13.00, near a building in Chita on Onisekevich Stret, an aggressive man attacked two women Jehovah's Witnesses who were sharing their religious convictions. As a result, 76-year-old Zinaida Chigrova was hospitalized with a fractured hip.


The man, who lives at the above address, rushed at the women, beating them with his hands and feet. Irina Egorova, 24, managed to break away and call the police. Thanks to the prompt and professional actions of police officers, the man was arrested at the site of the crime. He explained his actions as rejection of the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses.


"We are alarmed and very worried about the health of our dear sister in the faith," Ivan Belenko of the press service of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia said. "This shocking event is evidence of how dangerous can be the incitement of hostility and violation of inter-religious peace and harmony. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Jehovah's Witnesses have been victims of disinformation. Several years ago our Chita fellow believers Andrei and Luitsia Raitin were subjected to baseless criminal prosecution which ended in a verdict of acquittal with the right of rehabilitation, for which they were very thankful to the impartial judges. Over the course of a century of history in our country, Jehovah's Witnesses, following the gospel commandment to love God and neighbor, have demonstrated their unconditional love of peace, sometime sacrificing personal freedom and even life so that no one will take up arms against anyone in the name of any ideas whatever."


We recall that on 20 March 2016, in response to a "Stop the sect" demonstration, which was conducted on the streets of Chita by the Evangelism Department of the Chita diocese along with volunteers of the movement "Good Deeds," the Jehovah's Witnesses on 22-23 March conducted their own "You will be with me in paradise." In groups of two or three persons, young men and women canvassed apartments of residents of Chita and invited them to visit their regular meeting in the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses on Partisan Lane. At the same time they distributed leaflets in the A-16 format "Special event." (tr. by PDS, posted 10 April 2016)




Members of the Evangelism Department of the Chita diocese, along with volunteers of the movement Good Deeds, in the afternoon of 2 April lined up near the office of Jehovah's Witnesses in Chita and asked passing motorists to blow their horns if they are against this organization, an employee of the Information-Publishing Department of the diocese, Denis Plotnikov, told a correspondent of the news agency


Previously the Evangelism Department of the Chita diocese, along with volunteers of the movement Good Deeds, on 20 March conducted in the streets of Chita a demonstration "Stop the sect," informing residents of Chita about the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses. Later they announced the start of a collection of signatures with the demand for prohibiting in the Transbaikal territory the activity of the religious organization, which supposedly was recruiting residents of the city.


"Activists came out with placards 'Chita—territory without sects,' 'Jehovah's Witnesses are a threat to the norms of civil society,' 'Attention! Jehovah's Witnesses are a sect,' 'Honk if you oppose Jehovah's Witnesses,' and others. At the event a collection of signatures with the demand to ban the sect on the territory of Transbaikal was begun, as well as the distribution of anti-sectarian leaflets," Plotnikov said.


He noted that volunteers described to passers-by examples of the destructive activity of the sect and about its prohibition in several countries of the world and cities of Russia, as well as about its distortion of the Christian faith. In the opinion of organizers of the picket, in their propaganda Jehovists use materials that have been deemed extremist. (tr. by PDS, posted 10 April 2016)

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