Provocations against Jehovah's Witnesses continue



Three persons in civilian clothing entered on 30 March a building in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatka, which is rented by Jehovah's Witnesses for worship services. Identifying themselves to the watchman as personnel of the fire department, they requested the keys to the hall and entered, supposedly for an inspection. In the evening of the same day, during the worship service of the Jehovah's Witnesses, representatives of the police arrived with the inspectors. While two of the officers distracted believers, a third policeman "suddenly discovered" four brochures that are listed on the federal list of extremist materials. Just when these materials were planted, believers do not know, although there is no doubt that the materials had been planted, the press service of the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia reports.


On 31 March in Saransk several young people arrived at a worship service of Jehovah's Witnesses under the guise of being interested in study of the Bible, and they brought with them materials included in the federal list of extremist materials. During the meeting, police officers stormed into the building with a warrant to conduct a search, along with OMON special troops. When everyone was distracted, the young people rose, leaving the materials included in the list on the benches.


On the same day, in Okha (Sakhalin province) at a Jehovah's Witnesses worship service being conducted in a private home, two people in civilian clothing arrived. As explained later, these were a representative of the prosecutor's office and an FSB agent. After the meeting, the officials declared that they were checking the building for "antiterrorist protection." At the same time, they showed a fake bomb and explained that in this way they were checking "the diligence of the congregation." Then they forced the believers to sign blank protocols of the inspection which, they said, they intended to fill out later. Despite the pressure and threats, the believers refused.


At the present time, more than 80 items published by the Jehovah's Witnesses are included in the federal list of extremist materials. Jehovah's Witnesses think that this is a mistake and they have sought in courts to exclude their books and brochures from this list. Nevertheless, they do not import, distribute, or store these publications. Believers see to it diligently that such materials do not appear in their houses of worship. (tr. by PDS, posted 6 April 2016)

Related article:
Police raids "find" extremist literature in Jehovah's Witnesses' churches
March 28, 2016
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