Scholars declare Jehovah's Witnesses' biblical citation extremism


Credo.Press, 14 August 2019


Linguists of the Viatka State University found "extremism" in a phrase from the Old Testament while examining materials seized in a case concerning a Jehovah's Witness organization that is forbidden in Russia, Snob reported on 13 August citing the blog of attorney Yan Chebotarev.


During a search in the home of subjects of the case, "ancient texts that people kept in their home" were seized. According to information of the publication 7X7, the materials were transferred to experts so that they could answer questions of the investigator whether in these Christian texts there are calls for violence or discrimination against any ethnic, religious, or social group.


Linguists Anna Fediaeva and Yulia Igoshina found indicators of extremism in the phrase "The righteous will inherit the earth and will live in it forever" (Psalm 36.29 [37.29 in western Bibles—tr.]), which, incidentally, is a part of the Orthodox liturgy also. The experts concluded that these words of the holy prophet David are "propaganda of inferiority" on the basis of religious identity.


"This is the notification of the object of a threat—"unrighteous persons"—about dismissiveness (contempt, aggression) toward a group of persons on the basis of religious affiliation," the "conclusion of expert analysis" says.


The expert analysis was ordered within the context of a criminal case in which the subjects are five men ranging in age from 25 to 60 years. They were arrested in Kirov in the autumn of 2018. According to the investigation, their criminal activity consists of their meeting together, singing biblical songs, and studying religious literature.


In April 2017, the Russian Supreme Court ruled all religious organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses in the RF to be extremist and banned their activity. Soon criminal cases began to be initiated against Witnesses. In July 2018, adherents of this religion wrote to the Council on Human Rights under the president of Russia that they "live in fear and tremble with every knock, expecting arrest for their faith." (tr. by PDS, posted 14 August 2019)

Background articles:

Pretrial restrictions of Jehovah's Witnesses comparatively long in Kirov
April 2, 2019
Criminal case against Jehovah's Witness for singing

May 28, 2019

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