Pro-Orthodox news agency clarifies church's opposition to Jehovah's Witnesses


Interfax-Religiia, 2 May 2017


The Russian Church called Jehovah's Witnesses a dangerous sect and supported its ban in the Russian federation.


"This is a sect that is both totalitarian and harmful. I know about this well because I have had the opportunity of frequently talking with former devotees of this sect," the head of the synod's Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan of Volokolamsk Ilarion, declared on the program "Church and World" on the Rossiia-24 television channel.


He sees the danger of the Jehovists in that they approach people on the streets with their literature, present themselves as a Christian organization, while their activity is built "on the manipulation of the mind and they destroy the psyche of people and the family."


In addition, the hierarch noted, adherents of Jehovah's Witnesses "distort the teaching of Christ and interpret the New Testament incorrectly."


"Their doctrine contains a multitude of false teachings. They do not believe in Jesus Christ as God and Savior, they do not acknowledge the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and therefore they cannot in any way be called Christian," he declared.


As was reported, on 20 April the Russian Supreme Court found the Russian Jehovah's Witnesses to be an extremist organization. Thereby an administrative lawsuit of the Ministry of Justice was granted.


The metropolitan welcomed this decision of the court, expressing the opinion that now the "pernicious and harmful" influence of Jehovists will diminish. He also added that the church did not take any part in this case and it was not approached for consultations.


The Jehovah's Witnesses organization has regularly been the object of attention of oversight agencies in all regions of Russia and in a number of regions its activity has been banned.


Earlier the Russian Supreme Court acknowledged as legal the decision for the liquidation of territorial divisions of Jehovists in Orel, Stary Oskol and Belgorod, Abinsk of Krasnodar territory, Samara, Birobidzhan, and other cities. Local divisions of the organization have often been held administratively accountable for distributing extremist materials—in Tiuimen, Abinsk, Samara, Saransk, Voronezh, Nizhny Novgorod, Gelendzhik, and other cities. (tr. by PDS, posted 2 May 2017)

Compare previous report:
Metropolitan makes a confused response to ban of Jehovah's Witnesses
May 1, 2017

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