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'I Do Not Know Why We Persecute Jehovah's Witnesses,' Putin Says

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At a December 11. 2018 meeting with the Council on Civil Society Development and Human Rights, one council member, Ekaterina Shulman, addressed President Putin: “There is a list of organizations, for which there is information that they are involved in terrorism and extremism. There are 489 of them, and 404 of them are Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

Pressing her luck, she continued: “Here I will take a sinister pause. There could be an abundance of claims against Jehovah’s Witnesses—they don’t allow blood transfusion, don’t send children to hospitals, [ed: not a charge that I have heard before] but they definitely are not calling for violence or committing it.”

Putin’s response was: “We should treat the representatives of all religions in the same way – this is true, but still, it is also necessary to take into account the country and the society in which we live. True, this does not mean at all that we should include representatives of religious communities in some destructive, or even in terrorist organizations. Of course, this is complete nonsense, you need to carefully deal with it. Here I agree with you.”

Later in the meeting, Putin returned to the topic and added: “Jehovah’s Witnesses are Christians, too. I don’t quite understand why they are persecuted. So this should be looked into. This must be done.” The Washington Post and Time picked up on the story the next day, the Post saying that he “has pledged to look into the reported persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses.”

Now, what to make of this?

Yaroslav Sivulski, the press secretary for JWs in Russia, stated: “We have noted the president’s reaction with surprise. If he knows about the whole situation, then probably his reaction could change something. We hope that he will give instructions to have the matter examined and something may happen. Though, knowing the realities of our country, there is not much optimism.” Okay, so they’re not breaking out the champagne just yet.

The online community of Jehovah’s Witnesses was a cynical bunch, by and large, with many thinking Putin was just being slippery. In fact, since translating from Russian to English poses challenges, one brother understood him to say: “Jehovah's Witnesses are also Christians, for which I do not really understand how to persecute them,” as though he was searching for more effective ways to do it.

Hmm. Did he say "I really do not understand how to persecute them" or "I really do not understand how they are persecuted"? It is the six-million-dollar question. It is a little like the Twilight Zone episode in which the earthlings were relieved to find the alien's handbook "To Serve Man." ‘Ahh, it means their intentions are good,’ and they breathed easily, but at the show’s end they discovered to their discomfort that it was a cookbook.

I tend to take President Putin’s remarks at face value. There is no reason that he has to say what he does, even expanding it to ‘Jehovah’s Witness are also Christians.’ When his Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, who was also among the officials that Witnesses contacted via a letter campaign launched in hopes of averting the ban, was asked a similar question last year, he could not have answered more harshly than he did. I think Putin is being genuine, at last waking up to something that he has barely paid attention to. Maybe it is like the hinge squeaking in the background somewhere that he has long noticed and it is now driving him nuts. Perhaps he will even pick up his WD-40, go lubricate it himself, and subsequently vent his wrath upon whoever allowed such idiocy to take center stage and paint his country before all the world as a nation of goons--in the spirit of Ahasuerus avenging Haman.

A president is a busy guy. It is popularly sold that anything that goes down in a country will have his fingerprints all over it, but this is seldom so for matters of ‘low priority.’ Of course, this is not low priority for us, but it can hardly be otherwise for him. At a subsequent news conference, he spoke to the danger of nuclear war, which he hopes the West does not get to cavalier about: “The danger of the situation escalating is being downplayed,” he said, adding that the lowering of thresholds for nuclear capability “could really lead us to catastrophe.”. If he loses sleep at night, it is not over the travails of a small religion. It is over the thought of the world going up in flames.

Western media excoriates him, but we should not let the propaganda of one king mold our view of the other. I was very careful, in writing the book, Dear Mr. Putin – Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia, not to do that. In the event it was ever read by anyone that mattered, I did not want to sabotage it by being disrespectful or accusing.

It wasn’t that hard to do—for example, by spotlighting the two, likely three, times that Russia, not the United States, saved the world from certain nuclear war. Lieutenant Colonel Petrov spotted an incoming missile from the U.S, judged it a malfunction, and against orders, did not relay the report to the excitable Kremlin. Second-in-command Vasili Arkhipov refused to sign-off with his two fellow officers to launch a nuclear attack during the Cuban missile crisis—the decision had to be unanimous. Nikita Khrushchev arguably brought that crisis to a close with his last-minute telegram to President Kennedy.

However, in refraining from criticizing Putin personally, I was not just being expedient. I honestly came to feel it not likely that he was one of the instigators. I admit that feeling wavered in view of the abuses of the last few months, with Witnesses physically accosted by police, but now it intensifies. Promisingly, he is not cut from the same cloth as many in high government. He was not born to privilege in the ruling class. He started from the ground up, as a regular office worker, and lived with his parents during the early days of his working life. He thus probably retains a feel for the interests of the ‘common man’ that his co-rulers do not. In the end, it hardly matters, because ‘the heart of a king is as streams of water’ in Jehovah’s hands. But it helps if it is neither ice cubes nor steam to begin with.

He didn’t have to say it, is the point. He could have issued some boiler-plate beatitude of how ‘the situation is serious and we continue to monitor it closely.’ He certainly didn’t have to say that Witnesses are Christian too, thus showing that he will not be bullied by ones who insist they are not. His statement makes it much harder for Russia to thumb its nose at any upcoming ECHR verdict, indicating that he has no intention of doing that. How can his words not ease the pressure on Jehovah’s Witnesses in that country? After all, if you were a Russian cop, would YOU beat a brother up after what he just said?

Still, he is conscious of the majority. How much freedom of worship will be restored remains to be seen, since he observes that with 90% of the country being of a certain religious orientation, one cannot throw everything overboard so as to please the "sects." It is enough not to persecute them, which he seems inclined not to do. Maybe the brothers will have to tip-toe around for a while, and it will not necessarily be a bad thing for our people to focus on being discreet. That has long been the direction of theocratic training, anyhow. If Putin truly had evil intent, however, he would not have returned to the topic to say that he doesn’t really understand why Jehovah’s Witnesses are persecuted. Now let’s see how well he holds up as the more devious ones labor to remind him. We will see whose resolve prevails. Probably, Brother Sivulsky has it just right: he is surprised and cautiously optimistic.

In some respects, it may prove a replay, with hopefully different outcome, of the situation with Pilate judging Jesus. Pilate knew he was being set up. He knew he was innocent. He worked rather hard to free him—that much is clear by reading any one of the gospel accounts, and the conclusion is inescapable by combining them. But the scoundrels were so insistent, even hinting that to release Jesus would be treasonous, that he eventually caved. After all, it wasn’t his prime concern. He had a province to run. He tried to do the right thing. That’s how it is with many today. They try to do the right thing, but they only try so hard. When the going gets rough, they opt for expediency.

The Russian Orthodox Church has insisted that it did not instigate the ban and I am inclined to believe them. That is not to say that prominent ones did not squeal with delight, like kids on Christmas morning, or that some instigators did not have Church connections. But the villainy stems from an anti-cult movement, with French connections, that is active in many lands. Conditions in Russia were ripe, that’s all, just like they were ripe for Communism 100 years ago, which was also imported from abroad.

Writing Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia took the better part of a year. There were few publicly available online sources that I did not read during this time, save only for those that were repetitive. The most telling report was one by Joshua Gill, a religion writer, revealing

    Hello guest!
.

“The Russian Supreme Court’s July 17 ban on the Jehovah’s Witnesses was the result of a decades long conspiracy funded by the French government, blessed by the Russian Orthodox Church, and sanctioned by the Putin administration…The latest phase of that plan first garnered international attention with Russian authorities’ arrest of a Danish citizen.” That would be Dennis Christensen, arrested May 25, 2017 for conducting a congregation meeting after the ban had gone into effect, and still in prison at this time of writing, (December 2018) his case only recently coming to trial.

Gill spotlights the role of Alexander Dvorkin, the Russian Ministry’s Expert Council for Conducting State Religious-Studies. That Council exists so as “to investigate religions that deviate from Russian Orthodox teaching and to recommend actions against those religions to the state.” They have recommended taking strong action on non-majority faiths. Mr. Dvorkin is also vice president of the European Federation of Research and Information Centers on Sectarianism (FECRIS), a French NGO dedicated to identifying as a “sect/cult or a guru the organization or the individual which misuses beliefs and behavioral techniques for his own benefit.” It is an organization fully funded by the French government, and it may be remembered that that government tried to eliminate Jehovah’s Witnesses by imposing a 60% tax on their activities in 1998. The tax was steadfastly appealed by Jehovah’s Witnesses until it was struck down by the European Court of Human Rights fourteen years later.

The Daily Caller article reveals the depth of Dvokin’s misinformation and dislike of Jehovah’s Witnesses. “Their adepts recruit failed university enrollees, and people on vacation as well; they have a wide range of psychological influence, especially on the unstable minds of adolescents and youths,” he says of them and the Hare Krishnas. He has encouraged the public to “take part in the fight against sects, file complaints and collect raw data so that the local authorities can react quickly.” In a 2009 documentary called ‘Emergency Investigation: Jehovah’s Witnesses,’ he compared Witnesses to drug dealers. The Journal for the Study of Beliefs and Worldviews attributes instances of public violence against Russian Witness members to that documentary, just as the violence visiting Kingdom Halls in Washington State is similarly stoked by the inflammatory use of the C-word.

It is impossible not to call to mind religious enemies of early times who instigated the violence against the original Christians, as related in Acts. Jehovah’s Witnesses, the foremost example among others, are more dangerous than Satanists, Dvorkin says, because they “conceal evil under the guise of good.” Counterintuitively, the Satanist Church of Moscow was not among the handful of groups he singled out. It had not been labeled extremist. It had also come out in enthusiastic support of the Witness ban in Russia.

Mine was the minority view among the Witnesses I spoke with. “You are a better Christian than I am,” one said. “You always expect the best from people. I don't believe a word a politician says.” Note that his distrust is of “a politician,” not of Putin specifically, though he hardly sings his praises. One could even say that it is a sign of being “insular”—they are all the same to him. Having said that, there are no end of non-Witnesses who feel the same way about politicians, and they long have, the writer Mark Twain even saying that politicians must be changed as frequently as a diaper—and for the same reason.

It is true that I try to think the best of people. Am I a “better Christian” in this instance? Or just a dumber one? Time will tell.

The Ebook is free:  Dear Mr. Putin - Jehovah’s Witnesses Write Russia 

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I think something was lost in translation ... which is an art and a science... NOT just a science.

" 'I Do Not Know Why We Persecute Jehovah's Witnesses,' Putin Says "

He may have used the word "prosecute", or something else, if he said anything similar to that at all.

Yesterday I predicted that he would rescue Jehovah's Witnesses before 2020, for the sole reason that he thinks like an adult.

That's my best guess, based on my perception of how Russians think, and how adults think ... nothing more.

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@TrueTomHarley The 777 Crew was on this recently, so was Radio Europe. Ironically enough, some who brought this news up were using WoA's video from May 2.

@James Thomas Rook Jr. It's persecuted. Also I remember showing you that Russian Hit List Website that was targeting political heroes (to keep people at bay before Putin's election), hackers, and religious folk that includes JWs. I am confirming today that as of recently 5-6 days ago that website had been taken down.

As we speak, Cyrill must be fuming mad right now, he is already uneasy with Ukrainian Christians as of recent also.

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8 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

HOW DO YOU KNOW ... Putin used the word "persecuted", if you did not see a video of him saying it .... AND .... competently speak and understand both Russian and English?

How do I know that the sun is hot unless I go up there and touch it?

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1 hour ago, TrueTomHarley said:
9 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

HOW DO YOU KNOW ... Putin used the word "persecuted", if you did not see a video of him saying it .... AND .... competently speak and understand both Russian and English?

How do I know that the sun is hot unless I go up there and touch it?

As usual, TTH ... when you cannot honestly answer a fair question, you resort to a "cutsey" statement that is completely irrelevant, for the specific purpose of diverting attention from the fact that you do not WANT to answer the question, as it would divulge you lack of previous analysis.

The question remains ... and is still valid.

HOW DO YOU KNOW ... Putin used the word "persecuted", if you did not see a video of him saying it .... AND .... competently speak and understand both Russian and English?

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Because not everyone in the world is a moron.

Chivchalov reports that it is all over Russian news sources, Bro Sivulski said what he said, TASS commented on it. Time and the WaPo & others picked up on it

Surely somewhere in that august body there must be someone who knows how to translate.

After all, when Jimmy Carter said he loved the people of Poland & his translator said that he lusted for them, the blooper was caught immediately.

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Coincidence is not the same as Causality.

.... and I doubt that Jimmy Carter truly loves the people of Poland .....

and now.... time for a review of what we have learned .....

1.) QUESTION: " HOW DO YOU KNOW ... Putin used the word "persecuted", if you did not see a video of him saying it .... AND .... competently speak and understand both Russian and English?"

2.) FIRST ANSWER: " How do I know that the sun is hot unless I go up there and touch it?"

3.) SECOND ANSWER: " Because not everyone in the world is a moron,"

.... AND TO TOP IT OFF ..... you still have not answered the question, which has a VERY simple two word answer.

 

 

 

"I don't."

 

 

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23 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

QUESTION: " HOW DO YOU KNOW ... Putin used the word "persecuted", if you did not see a video of him saying it .... AND .... competently speak and understand both Russian and English

How do I know that you are an actual person and not a malfunctioning bot in desperate need of repair?

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3 minutes ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

Same answer: 

 
 
 

Okay, just so you know that I am taking your remarks seriously and treating you fairly:

I took your observations to the Worldwide Council of Lofty Ones. When they heard it was you, they didn't want to touch it, but I told them, probably capturing only the spirit of what you might say, not the exact words: "Even a blind transgendered astronaut lands on Pluto once in a while."

At my insistence they examined everything spoken and they concluded that you were right!!! There had been mistranslating. It was not "persecuting" That much was correct. But every other word had been mistranslated and Putin had actually been discussing an episode of Green Acres in which Arnold the Pig feels unjustly put upon.

Now, do you mind? I've got things to do. Do you have any idea the psychiatrist bills I'm running up because of you?

I mean, nobody should look at anything per your "reasoning."  Every second here spent by anyone on anything here or anywhere else is wasted time.

("Ahh...now ve are getting somewhere," my shrink tells me.)

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2 hours ago, James Thomas Rook Jr. said:

As usual, TTH ... when you cannot honestly answer a fair question, you resort to a "cutsey" statement that is completely irrelevant, for the specific purpose of diverting attention from the fact that you do not WANT to answer the question, as it would divulge you lack of previous analysis.

The question remains ... and is still valid.

HOW DO YOU KNOW ... Putin used the word "persecuted", if you did not see a video of him saying it .... AND .... competently speak and understand both Russian and English?

Usually when it is people like the TASS, who were pretty much among those the Duma does not like, them attesting to Putin's words is actually correct. They also alluded back to 2016 whereas want Putin had been vocal about Christians and preaching, to which, to those in the Christian world, see as concerning.

Even my sources confirmed this as a truth since they are living in Russia themselves. Not to mention TASS and others had used a video produced by WoA that was uploaded May 2 of last year.

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@TrueTomHarley Now the next thing that is concerning is the Russian Orthodox Church. Should they cry about something to the Kremlin, the Kremlin will act upon what they are being asked. Surely should something go down, the RoC will pop up again to make it difficult for some people.

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Don't criticize person who is Critical Thinker :))))) ..... but you can criticize WT  as much you wish. WT speculative doctrinal thinking has purpose: to collect and keep members who will support Corporation with money and free labor.  

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6 hours ago, Outta Here said:

    Hello guest!

There, you big hillbilly @James Thomas Rook Jr.  Start translating:

Мы сегодня простились с Людмилой Михайловной Алексеевой. Думаю, каждый из вас со мной согласится в том, что это был светлый, мужественный и сильный человек. Она отстаивала справедливость так, как ей подсказывала совесть. И многие годы Людмила Михайловна участвовала в работе нашего Совета, была в этом кругу среди нас, очень многое сделала, для того чтобы Совет стал

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8 hours ago, Outta Here said:

    Hello guest!

The relevant portion is translated through bing as follows. I don't speak Russian, but can just about read it phonetically. After letting Bing and then Google translate, Google did a very good job overall, but this one portion appears to be better in Bing, but only for this one particular sentence that I've marked in red below.

------------------

V. Putin: Thank you.

With regard to the first of your stories about this African students got to see, of course, nonsense kakaja‑to. From what you are telling, it's just kakaja‑to nonsense.

And, of course, need to do what you suggest, to analyze the enforcement practice. And, if necessary, make adjustments to the kakie‑to.

B. Ryakhovskiy: For this girl to me now turned to the European Court of Justice, I have continued to ...

Putin: I don't know what denomination it belongs, she is Christian, but there are also a lot of directions. Jehovah's witnesses, too, Christians are being persecuted, I also do not really understand. So we just need to analyze, it is necessary to do so. I will talk with Vyacheslav Mikhailovich, and try to do it.

The Russian language original is 95% down into the page that @Outta Here provided above.

В.Ряховский: По этой девушке ко мне сейчас обратились, для того чтобы я продолжал в Европейский Суд…

В.Путин: Я не знаю, к какой конфессии она принадлежит, она христианка, но там тоже много направлений. Свидетели Иеговы тоже христиане, за что их преследовать, я тоже не очень понимаю. Поэтому надо просто проанализировать, надо это сделать. Я переговорю с Вячеславом Михайловичем, и попробуем это сделать.

The key word here is преследовать, which oddly enough can mean basically "chase" and therefore it can mean both prosecute and persecute. Formally you should to add a phrase that means "judicially" or "by trial" (i.e. преследовать + в судебном порядке, or преследовать + по суду ) and it means prosecute. Without these additions, I think it really should mean persecute, especially if used with a religion or minority in the context. Therefore, it SHOULD mean persecute here, but I suspect this translation could legally be challenged as just a less formal way of meaning "prosecute." 

In fact, if you just go to translate.bing.com and type in преследовать, you will get the following, which includes both prosecute and persecute without the formal additions:

Translations of  "преследовать"
VERB
haunt преследовать, логово, мучить, обитать
pursue преследовать, проводить, осуществлять, добиваться, стремиться, следуем
chase чейз, погони, преследовать, преследование, догнать, гоняться, гоньбы
prosecute преследовать, судебного преследования, обвинить, наказывать, уголовное преследование, сажать, осудить
persecute преследовать
harass преследовать, беспокоить, изводить, домогаться, докучать, запугивания
stalk стебель, преследовать, ножке, черенок, плодоножки, стеблю, палочка
obsessing преследовать, одержимы, увлеченно
© 2018 Microsoft

------------------

For reference, I have also added Google's translation of larger portions of the context below. Both for the original question about JWs, and the context of the later discussion where Putin evidently brings up JWs on his own, even if the particular case (of the African med student "missionary" studying in Russia) was not a JW:

-----------the rest of this post is Google's translation of excerpts from the link that Outta Here provided: ----------

There is also a list, for example, of organizations that also have information that they are involved in extremism and terrorism. There are 489 of them, 404 of them are Jehovah's Witnesses. I will make here an ominous pause. Many, perhaps, there are claims to Jehovah's Witnesses - they don’t transfuse blood, don’t send children to the hospital - but they certainly don’t call for violence and don’t carry it out.

So 404 of 489 - this is it. That’s how many terrorist organizations we have in the Russian Federation. Thus, I would like to express the hope that the anti-extremist legislation will, let's say, be moderated in accordance with the requirements of society and in accordance with the real level of crime.

Because everyone has more or less understood that these searches for pictures on social networks and the initiation of cases on this issue - this does not contribute to strengthening anything, it does not correspond to any state interests, it does not prevent any terrorist acts.

As we can see, when, unfortunately, this kind of thing happens, these are people who did not follow these lists, who did not come into the view of law enforcement agencies, because, of course, they do not post pictures on VKontakte, they do not communicate among themselves in open communities. They coordinate their actions completely differently.

Thank.

V.Putin: Thank you very much.

Ekaterina Mikhailovna, I am very pleased that the questions, rather sharp questions, were raised precisely by you - an employee of the Institute of Social Sciences under the President of the Russian Federation.

E.Shulman: Yes, I am now twice under the President of the Russian Federation, both at the place of work and in social activities.

V.Putin: See, everything is the same.

And they require careful consideration, all the questions you raised.

Regarding Jehovah's Witnesses. Probably, we can, and even should at some point, be much more liberal to representatives of various religious sects, but we should not forget that our society does not consist solely of religious sects. 90 percent of the citizens of the Russian Federation, or so, consider themselves Orthodox Christians. We have three more practically traditional our religions, which the state provides assistance. We should treat the representatives of all religions in the same way - this is true, but nevertheless it is also necessary to take into account the country and the society in which we live. True, this does not mean at all that we should include representatives of religious communities in some destructive ones, not even in terrorist organizations. Of course, this is complete nonsense, you need to carefully deal with it, here I agree with you.

You always return me to the case of Ponomarev, he is probably a truly respected person. But the judge, when he made the decision, do you think I knew that he was making the decision? Of course not. But when a judge makes such decisions, he does not proceed from merit or from something else. If it were a simple citizen who few people know, even the question would not be raised. The law is the same for everyone. To close relatives could be released at parting, at the funeral, there is no other case in the law. The judge is guided by these direct instructions of the text of the law itself, that's all. There is nothing like that, there is no ambush here, there is no political motive.

About unauthorized rallies. Let's still come back to this and see. You yourself mentioned, said about Paris. See, there are victims already affected. The fight is mainly in the center of the capital, and a state of emergency has been declared because of this. How many pogroms there are, burnt cars, shops, the losses are not only in the state, but also in people who have nothing to do with the state, they are enormous. And all this time - like a match, and everything started.

This does not mean at all that we should not analyze our own life and not look after the law that is in place in our country. But still, we must understand the world we live in. Liberal approach to an unauthorized rally. The hard answer from the state what? Water cannons, gas, batons, hundreds of delays - hundreds, can you imagine? Don't we know that? More recently, there have been heavy events in which the Constitution of the Russian Federation was adopted in force, in conditions of growing civil war, in fact, civil war! Crowds of people with weapons ran across Moscow, stormed the Ostankino, crawled along some kind of underground facilities, communications. Regular units of the Russian army were brought into Moscow, internal troops were involved, and they still fired at each other, not understanding what was happening. Chaos! Carefully need to treat this very. Although, of course, it is necessary to analyze the conditions in which we live and the rules that govern our life, including its side, which you mentioned.

Please, I beg you.

---------------- skipping to the area near the end where Putin brings up JWs on his own---------------

If the damage was mitigated, repaid, and the antisocial act is not so serious there.

A.Sokurov: It is the New Year and Christmas amnesty.

Vladimir Putin: Let's think, we have Christmas every year. We must carefully approach this.

It is necessary to finish already. I promised, otherwise I will work until three in the morning.

Here it is, that's all. Please, I beg you.

V. Ryakhovsky: Vladimir Vladimirovich, thank you very much.

To be honest, this is the first time in six years, the turn has reached me.

I have two questions, I will try to short, saving time.

In July 2016, a federal law was passed under the title “On the adoption of additional measures to counter terrorism”, the so-called “Spring Act” among the people.

This law amended the law on freedom of conscience. The Law on Freedom of Conscience was supplemented by a chapter on missionary activity. The definition of missionary activity is given, the procedure for its conduct is established, to the extent that, in order for a person to speak about his convictions, he must be delegated by a religious organization and have a standard document.

The Code of Administrative Offenses introduced Article 5.26 on establishing liability. A year and a half has passed, and I would very much like to ask the initiators of this law: has the goal, which was set by the authors, been achieved? According to this law, at least one extremist was held accountable?

Nevertheless, law enforcement agencies initiated and brought to court more than 600 administrative cases involving representatives of various religious denominations, with the possible exception of one - the most widespread. These things are as unbelievable as imagination can probably be.

Here is just one vivid example: Nizhny Novgorod, a student, a citizen of an African country, a sixth-year student at a medical university, is a little more than a month from state examinations. She gives an interview to one of the Internet channels, talks about herself, about her family, about her childhood, about how she has been a believer since childhood, a Christian, and in Russia she also comes to church, and all this helps her in her studies .

Two administrative cases are brought against her. The first is for violating the rules of missionary activity, she is fined, the second is for violating the goals of staying in the Russian Federation. She arrived on a missionary visa, and here she says something about her convictions. And she is appointed in the second case a fine and expulsion from the Russian Federation. Fortunately, the appellate station probably had enough intelligence: they didn’t cancel these decrees, but they postponed her expulsion until they received the diploma, in just a few months.

Interestingly, the basis of these cases was the expert opinion, which saw in this video hidden appeals, hidden missionary activity.

That is, you understand what's the matter? Hidden. There are no obvious signs of missionary activity. And why are they not? Yes, because it is hidden, and because of this, she was brought to justice.

I can bring a lot of such things, because this is part of my professional interests. The Constitution has a stable notion: when the freedom of conscience is revealed, it is said about the right to impart one’s beliefs. This measure, this rule of law appears, to put it mildly, simply manifestly excessive, it does not contribute to the harmonization of interfaith relations, but, on the contrary, leads to imbalance and violation of the constitutional rights of citizens.

Therefore, Vladimir Vladimirovich, we kindly ask you to instruct the Supreme Court to simply summarize the practice. And then there are so many accumulated of these cases that you can just draw caricatures. It just comes to ridiculous! I just brought one thing, but in fact there are a lot of them. And to raise the question of generalizing this practice on 5.26 with respect to religious organizations, and in general, probably, raise the question of the expediency, to what extent is such regulation justified. There is the concept of "spreading religious beliefs." Why else to introduce the concept of "missionary activity"?

The second question is completely irrelevant to this. Literally the day before, I had a meeting with several businessmen who responded to your May invitation to return to the Russian Federation after the years of emigration on the so-called Titov list.

And indeed, it was precisely by believing your word and not doubting your innocence, because those behind whom there was something, I think, would not even come at your invitation. And the fact that several people have already returned to their homeland in the hope that, while at home, they will be able to recover and protect their good name.

And one of the first defendants in the so-called Titov list, who returned to Russia after 13 years of forced emigration in London, became a businessman from Yekaterinburg Sergey Kapchuk. I met him. You should have seen his eyes after he arrived. Just burning, shining - he came home, he came, believing your call and believing that here is true today, unlike those years when he left, justice.

But, alas, he encountered today the same methods of investigation from which he had once escaped. He was automatically charged since 2005. After reading the materials of the case, as he explained to me, the corruption scheme in the government of the Sverdlovsk region, in which it was used, simply became clear.

They filed applications for the interrogation of specific people, heads of individual industries, confrontations - all of this consequence closes his eyes today, and, as we understood, is ready to bring the case to court, to hang up some conditional or slightly lax sentence, order to forget this thing.

But he did not come for this. He did not come to be given a conditional sentence, not to be released under an amnesty, but to prove that he was innocent.

Therefore, Vladimir Vladimirovich, kindly requested. The first is to give the General Prosecutor's Office to take over the cases of Sergei Kapchuk, and similar cases for the people who came, returned to Russia, to take control. And to you, of course, such a request, to still follow the fate of these people not until they returned, but in general, before the completion of their work.

This case has a public outcry today. Why? Because others, those who still remain abroad today, they are closely watching the result of this business. This will be an example for them, as an urge to return to Russia too. And, fulfilling the request of Kapchuk, I just wanted to give you a short appeal from him.

Thank you very much.

V.Putin: Thank you.

As for your first story about this African student, you need to look, of course, some sort of nonsense. From what you tell, it's just some kind of nonsense.

And you need, of course, to do what you propose - to conduct an analysis of law enforcement practice. And if necessary, make some adjustments.

V.Ryakhovsky: According to this girl, they now appealed to me, so that I would continue to the European Court ...

V.Putin: I don’t know to which confession she belongs, she is Christian, but there are also many directions. Jehovah's Witnesses are also Christians, for which I do not really understand how to persecute them. Therefore, you just need to analyze, you need to do it. I will talk with Vyacheslav Mikhailovich, and try to do it.

K. Kabanov: Thank you, Vladimir Vladimirovich.

Dear Colleagues!

You know, I actually, probably, in my 14 years of work, every time I hear that we have two problems: law enforcement agencies and bad laws.

In fact, in the framework of the instructions you gave last time, Vladimir Vladimirovich, we dealt with the history of the criminalization of the teenage environment. But, as we were taught at previous duty stations, we must look deep into, look, study . . . . 

 

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4 hours ago, JW Insider said:

V.Putin: I don’t know to which confession she belongs, she is Christian, but there are also many directions. Jehovah's Witnesses are also Christians, for which I do not really understand how to persecute them. Therefore, you just need to analyze, you need to do it. I will talk with Vyacheslav Mikhailovich, and try to do it.

I still, in my own mind, assuming that I know the mind of Russian thinking ... especially of a man who used to be the head of the Soviet KGB, and also presumably knowing how adults in such positions think, do NOT believe that he used the word "persecute".  I believe this was in the mind of the translator, or the algorithm of the translation computer program,  ... NOT V. Putin.

Unless I can talk to someone who has the original video or transcript, in Russian, and who is conversational in BOTH Russian and English ... and I can get an equally qualified second opinion ... It is my belief and conjecture that the word he used is "prosecute".

Here is the general idea of  how I believe the thoughts actually were spoken:

" V.Putin: I don’t know to which confession she belongs, she is Christian, but there are also many directions. Jehovah's Witnesses are also Christians, for which I do not really understand how it is (meaning "why?") we prosecute them. Therefore, you just need to analyze, you need to do it. I will talk with Vyacheslav Mikhailovich, and try to do it."

If there is ANYBODY that knows HOW to persecute AND prosecute someone ... it is the former head of the KGB.

Translation is an art, as well as a science, and there are some artists that put out poor work, and scientists that plow your aircraft into a cornfield, and some computer programs that, like the HAL9000, do not take into consideration all aspects of a problem.

Deactivating Hal 9000 HD (COMPLETE).mp4

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