How the Russian church can distance itself from Jehovah's Witnesses case


by Deacon Andrei Kuraev, 2 May 2017


The head of the Department of External Church Relations, Metropolitan of Volokolamsk  Ilarion, in a broadcast of the program "The Church and the World" on Russia-24, said that the church had not taken any part in this case, they were not approached for a consultation.

But just out curiosity, if they had been “approached for a consultation”, who would have given it?

A request of that type would be forwarded to the head of the sect studies department of the PSTGU [Orthodox St. Tikhon Humanities University], president of the St. Irenaeus of Lyon Informational-Consultation Center (at PSTGU), president of the Russian Association of Centers for the Study of Religions and Sects, and professor of the PSTGU, A. L. Dvorkin.

And who was it who served as the chief apologist, consultant, and instigator of the Justice Ministry’s suit? The chairman of the Expert Council on the Conduct of State Religious Expert Analyses at the Justice Ministry, A. L. Dvorkin.

Yes, the Minister of Justice himself is a graduate of the PSTGU and a student of A. L. Dvorkin.

And, well, on top of that the metropolitan whole-heartedly welcomes this ban.

The metropolitan did not say what constitutes the crime of the Jehovists, but he did say that “their doctrine contains a host of false teachings. They do not believe in Jesus Christ as God and Savior, they do not recognize the dogma of the Holy Trinity.”

And why should this judgmental, negative, and sweeping judgment not be considered extremism? In what respect does it differ from the condemned quotes from the Watchtower?

And now I am afraid for Alexander Leonidovich [Dvorkin]. Could his (and my) criticism of other religions suddenly be declared extremism?

As for Alexander Leonidovich himself, he denies participating and says that he did not order an expert opinion on the JW’s. (tr. by DSC, posted 20 July 2017)

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