Expert analysis of Jehovah's Witnesses' book lists signs of extremism


SOVA Center for News and Analysis, 6 May 2016


In December 2015, a St. Petersburg court found an illustrated book about Jesus, "The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived," to be extremist.


On 5 May 2016, the Federal List of Extremist Materials once again was extended. From the update it became known that on 22 December 2015 the Smolny district court of St. Petersburg ruled the electronic version of the book "The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived," which was posted on the Jehovah's Witnesses' website that was banned in 2014, to be extremist. This is an illustrated book about the life of Jesus Christ.


A petition for finding the book extremist was submitted to the court of the North-West Transport prosecutor's office on the basis of results of monitoring the Internet after Jehovah's Witnesses tried to import 1,440 copies of the book through the south customs post of St. Petersburg customs. An investigation, conducted at the request of the prosecutor's office by the Center of Expert Analysis of the St. Petersburg State University, showed that the text of the book contains expressions intended to incite strife; propaganda of exclusivity, superiority, and inferiority; negative assessments of a group of persons; and psycho-linguistic indicators of the debasing of human dignity and inciting hostility on the basis of nationality, language, descent, attitude toward religion, and affiliation with specific social groups, including the group of "representatives of all earthly human governments, in particular the United Nations."


We have familiarized ourselves with the book "The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived" and we did not find signs of extremism in it. We consider the prohibition of this book to be illegal and we regard it as another example of religious discrimination against Jehovah's Witnesses. (tr. by PDS, posted 6 May 2016)

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