Apparent fallout from Moscow case of Jehovah's Witnesses


Kommersant, 9 December 2020


The directorate of the S.K.R. [Investigative Committee of Russia] for Orel oblast opened a criminal case against three adherents of the religious organization of Jehovah's Witnesses (considered extremist in the R.F.).


At the bureau it was explained that the case was opened on the basis of part 2 of article 282.2 of the CC RF (arranging the activity of an extremist organization). The three suspects are members of the council of elders of the "Jehovah's Witnesses Orel" congregation. According to the account of the investigation, the men, by virtue of their position, acting out of extremist motives, arranged meetings and participated in them. The S.K.R. has not specified what period of time they are talking about.


The crime was revealed with the operational support of personnel of the F.S.B. [Federal Security Service] and M.V.D. [Ministry of Internal Affairs] directorates. The Orel S.K.R. directorate clarified for Kommersant that the suspects still have not been detained and they have not been interrogated as suspects. Investigative actions are now being conducted with them. The suspects are not natives of Orel region.


We recall that in late November, the S.K.R. arrested leaders of the Jehovah's Witnesses center in Moscow. According to the account of the investigation, the adherents of the organization had been studying religious literature since June 2019 and "conducted other actions typical for the given association," and they persuaded and recruited new members. Three detainees were placed under house arrest. (tr. by PDS, posted 9 December 2020)



First Oblast News Portal, 9 December 2020


As usual, the sectarians did not put up resistance to the special forces and investigators. The Jehovah's Witnesses—an organization forbidden in Russia—are legally savvy and they know: they do not need another criminal article. It's better to stay "positive."


The previous leader of the Orel Jehovists, Dennis Christensen, was put behind bars for six years by a court in February of last year. As law enforcers found out, after his arrest the organization continued its illegal activity, at the same time increasing its conspiracy. This time, three followers of Dennis Christensen wound up in the hands of security forces.


Now the Jehovists stand to share the fate of their leader. Incidentally, during the stage of the trial of Dennis Christensen, the sectarian's defense lawyer insisted on the innocence and harmlessness of his client.


"By their fruits you will know them," scripture says. And the fruits of the Jehovists' ideology are bitter. The son of one of the sectarians, who wishes to remain anonymous, knows about this firsthand.


Destroyed fates, crippled lives, perverted spiritual values—these are not the only ways that the Jehovah's Witnesses organization, unlike many other sects, is fearsome.


According to the information of our source in law enforcement agencies, the Jehovists received funds for their activity directly from overseas. And if the sponsors needed it, then the Witnesses temporarily turned into "spies," obtaining information of interest to foreign intelligence services.


That's one of the reasons why personnel of the regional F.S.B. directorate actively participated in exposing the cell. A criminal case was opened with the wording: "arranging the activity of an extremist organization." (tr. by PDS, posted 9 December 2020)

Background articles:
Major law enforcement move against Jehovah's Witnesses based on Moscow
November 24, 2020

Jehovah's Witnesses face pretrial detention in Moscow
November 26, 2020

Moscow court sends Jehovah's Witnesses prisoner home
November 30, 2020

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