State-controlled TV gives negative coverage to Jehovah's Witnesses


Rosssia 1 Yuzhnyi Ural, 14 April 2017


Without Witnesses. Personnel of the regional police headquarters, accompanied by troops of the Russian National Guard ("Rosgvardia") arrived at the Kingdom Hall, the building where Jehovah's Witnesses meet. By decision of the Russian Ministry of Justice, the activity of this organization is now suspended. But the Cheliabinsk cell continues to arrange meetings, in effect violating the law. A correspondent for the State Television Russia-1 Channel Yuzhnyi Ural, Kseniia Komissarova, reports about the special operation for which South Urals law enforcement agents have been preparing for several years and about what will come in the future.


This so-called church is not open to everybody, but the mission of Rosgvardia troops was fulfilled. The fence was taken by storm. The witnesses of the special operation were dozens of Jehovah's Witnesses. A man in a suit identified himself as Viacheslav. Judging by everything, he is some kind of elder, but he apparently did not have the spirit to admit it.


"I attend and listen attentively and I get benefit."


To dissemble here seems to be the order of things. As these Jehovah's Witnesses admit, the leaders of the cell hid from them the fact that in March the Russian Ministry of Justice suspended the activity of the Administrative Center of the religious organization. Until the decision of the Supreme Court regarding its complete prohibition because of indicators of extremism. Bank accounts are already frozen and the proceedings are also underway. But it seems that devotees really do not understand that in continuing their meetings they are violating the law.


"Apparently you do not get it. Because we obey Jesus Christ; he is now the ruling king. He told us: 'Do not forsake your meeting,' and we will not forsake our meeting.


The fact that Jehovah's Witnesses live in accordance with their own laws is confirmed by sect-scholars: it is forbidden to serve in the army and to vote in elections, to transfuse blood and transplant organs, and to communicate with unbelievers. The results are children's deaths and dissolution of the family. And such are the stories of hundreds around the country.


"They deform the mind and deform people's psyche. Which often precipitates very serious psychological disorders. So that the Jehovah's Witnesses sect is undoubtedly a destructive cult," notes sect-scholar Konstantin Putnik.


They assume the appearance of "martyrs" and speak about persecutions. Meanwhile Russian courts have ruled 95 brochures of the organization to be extremist. As is the case of the activity of eight cells in the regions. Exclusive personnel. Law enforcement agents explained that in a private section on the outskirts of Asha, devotees also assemble. Although the religious group is not registered. What they are engaged in still remains to be guessed. But all materials have been quickly turned over to the prosecutor's office. And it cannot be ruled out that for Jehovah's Witnesses in Cheliabinsk province this may become reality and not the mythical "end of the world." (tr. by PDS, posted 14 April 2017)

Ed. note: Here is a more sympathetic version of the news.


SOVA Center for News and Analysis, 14 April 2017


Personnel of law enforcement agencies arrived at a meeting of Jehovah's Witnesses in Cheliabinsk.


On 14 April 2017 it was reported that personnel of the Chief Directorate of the MVD of Russia for Cheliabinsk province, accompanied by troops of Rosgvardia, descended upon the Kingdom Hall of the congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses in Cheliabinsk. According to news media information, representatives of law enforcement agencies burst into the building after storming a fence.


The goal of the special operation was not specified, but it was noted that the local religious organization continued work despite the fact that the activity of the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia and the rights of its member organizations were suspended in March until the decision of the Supreme Court on the lawsuit for the liquidation of the Administrative Center. Journalists reported the words of Jehovah's Witnesses that the leaders of the congregation supposedly hid this fact from them.


The day before, 11 April 2017, according to information of Jehovah's Witnesses themselves, personnel of law enforcement agencies burst into the celebration of the Memorial of Christ's Death [the Last Supper] in Snezhinsk of Cheliabinsk province and copied passport data of believers and also arrived at services in Krasnoiarsk and Michurinsk of Tambov province, in order to ask questions of believers and deliver summons.


We consider that liquidation of organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses for extremism, prosecution of members of their congregations, and bans of their texts are illegal and are a clear manifestation of religious discrimination. (tr. by PDS, posted 14 April 2017)

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