Officials may have found a way Jehovah's Witnesses are adjusting


They suspected that it was Jehovah’s Witnesses

by Anna Bogdanova

NGS News, 19 July 2017


A check-up was made in a tent city on the shores of the Ob Sea. The police and government officials suspect that the adepts of Jehovah’s Witnesses, a group which has been declared a dangerous sect in Russia, have settled in on the shore under the guise of ordinary visitors.

As the vice governor of the province announced on the 19th, the government officials fear that the visitors may harm their children.


“A task force of our interdepartmental commission drove out there along with the Department of Internal Affairs. Under the authority of the Department of Internal Affairs we checked people’s identification,” said vice governor of Novosibirsk Province Aleksandr Titkov. “For now it is difficult to say whether they are Jehovah’s Witnesses or not. But, they are [some kind] of believers.”


He described how on the shore the task force found a tent camp, which looked like an ordinary collection of recreational campers. “Really, this is a group of parents of a particular confession that have come to the forest around the Novosibirsk Reservoir and set up a tent camp as a way for their children and families to spend time,” explained the vice governor. "Today we are looking into the circumstances. If we determine that spending time in this way poses a threat to the lives and health of the children, then it is possible that we will decide to get everybody out of this tent camp.”


The vice governor did not specify why exactly the authorities were concerned or how they had found out about the camp.


Last year there was a religious scandal in Berdsk. In one of the schools there, someone slipped Valentine cards with the message “Jesus loves you with all his heart” into the pockets of children.


Note: Jehovah’s Witnesses are an international religious organization. In 2017 the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation declared the activities of the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia and all 395 of its regional divisions to be extremist and banned them in Russia. (tr. by DSC, posted 21 July 2017)


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