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  1. RUSSIAN WITNESSES FLEE FROM RUSSIA The plight of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia is considered an asylum application. Representative of the Finnish Movement: "Some have been expelled from work and schools, their homes have been ruined and the meetings are blocked." The Finnish Immigration Service has also taken note of the Russian decision to ban the business. Most Jehovah's Witnesses are still waiting for their asylum decision. The plight of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia is reflected in Finland as a request for asylum. According to the Finnish Immigration Service, last year, "several dozen" members of the movement arrived in Finland as asylum seekers, while in previous years the cases were mostly isolated. The decision of the Russian Supreme Court last April to ban the movement as "extremist" is underlying. The result was the closure of the national headquarters of Jehovah's Witnesses in St. Petersburg, the official abolition of hundreds of local divisions and the confiscation of business ownership. The consequences of the decision of Veikko Leinonen, the spokesperson of the witnesses of the Finnish Jehovah's Witness, have also been suffered by the members of the movement. "Some have been expelled from work and schools, their houses are smashed and spiritual activities and meetings are blocked," says Leinonen. "It started last summer when the Jehovah's Witnesses started arriving to some extent in Finland, a big crowd here will hardly come, but I think there are still dozens." According to LEINONEN, a total of around a thousand Jehovah's Witnesses left Russia. However, most of them went to Finland: Ukraine, Poland and Germany. "One thousand is the number we mentioned, when the Finnish Immigration Service asked us what the total amount would be." Leinonen says that the witnesses of Finland Jehovah strive to demonstrate Russia arrivals family of faith and sisters in the hotel trade, but nothing organized apukampanjaa not in his opinion, has started. For example, Russian Jehovah's Witnesses remain in reception centers. Previously, it was alleged that Vasili Kalin, the Russian leader of the Jehovah's Witnesses, had also moved to Finland. However, the information has not been confirmed. THE FINLAND IMMIGRATION SERVICE remembers that, in this case, the requests are handled individually. "There is still much to be addressed in the applications currently submitted in 2017. There are individual Jehovah's Witnesses who have been positive in recent years, but also negative," says Esko Repo, Head of the Asylum Unit. However, Russia's actions have been observed in the Finnish Immigration Service. According to Revo, all asylum seekers are evaluating what would happen to him if he returned. "It is known that there have been violations," says Repo. "Toky, all the time, our country is also receiving information from Russia, about this change of law with respect to Jehovah's Witnesses and jurisprudence, in addition to what Jehovah's Witnesses have done in practice since those legislative changes. "RELIGIOUS movements faced difficulties in Russia in 2016. The new prohibitions of anti-terrorist laws contained articles that prohibited religious missions. The decision of the Supreme Court to prohibit the motion was continuous. Russia is basically religious freedom, but religions have to register in the country. Why did Russia especially raise Jehovah's Witnesses to a stewardship? Among other things, the New York Times quoted the Russian Ministry of Justice from the logic so that the denomination has shown "evidence of extremist activity that constitutes a threat to the rights of citizens, public order and the safety of society".
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  2. Russia - The Holy Spirit of Jehovah in action ~ ????? I thought it would be heartening to share an experience I had while working on the Bethel Chelmsford site a couple of days ago. I worked with a Russian-speaking brother and, of course, I asked him if he had "any updated news about our brothers and sisters in Russia". He has been talking to some of his friends in Russia and told me that "many inactive" had begun to return to the truth when they saw the persecution as a sign of the nearness of the end of this system. He also mentioned that some employers who have witnesses as employees have been interested in the truth, since they can not relate the good behavior of their employees with the label of "extremism". This has made some of them curious about our beliefs and teachings. Also those interested have had their interest reached by what has been happening, so some have increased their interest. Also the fact that some of the countries that enforce the law have had to go through our literature trying to find something extremist has meant people who would normally have nothing to do with the truth have come to understand our message of the good news. It is amazing how Jehovah has used this prohibition and the unjust treatment of our brothers as a catalyst to get people interested in the truth. He also mentioned that there was consensus that the "exemplary family award" that was given to the family of witnesses at the award ceremony was purposely made to be a symbolic gesture that "yes, Jehovah's Witnesses are good people" and as people who have no problem with us Almost nobody believes it was an accident, since nobody can get so close to Putin without the powers to know everything about you, your family, the way you live, including your religion, and everything others about his life and that of his families. The timing was well judged and "it seemed to be a way of letting the world realize that it was trying to be fair and balanced, maintaining its position on extremist activities." :confused: The preaching work is done very covertly and they do not go out of their way to mention that they are Jehovah's Witnesses, maybe just a few words in a conversation and then they continue normally. In the smaller cities where everyone knows everyone, there is more persecution than in cities where it is easier to mix. Some brothers are leaving the country and find it very easy to request asylum for reasons of religious persecution even more than asylum seekers from countries torn by war. I believe that the spirit of Jehovah is working firmly in Russia even though there is a lot of religious persecution. Jehovah is using this situation in a very positive way, just as we thought he would. I know that this information comes only from one source and that other sources may have a different opinion on all this, but I found it extremely encouraging to hear the positive effect that this situation has had on the country of Russia. Google translated – ? Tap on Video Link mp4 ________? 2D5071EA-7A2E-45AE-A639-767607D6536F.mov
  3. 9 March 2017 A Jehovah’s Witness in London. ‘These were some of the most persecuted Christians of the 20th century.’ The small Siberian town of Birobidzhan is set in a mosquito-infested swampland on the far eastern end of the Trans-Siberian railway. It was to places such as this that the Soviets exiled various undesirables. In April 1951 more than 9,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses were rounded up and sent to Siberiaon Stalin’s instruction. They were allowed to take 150kg of their possessions with them. Everything else was confiscated by the state. You may walk past embarrassed as Jehovah’s Witnesses try and hand you cringeworthy religious literature on the high street. But these were some of the most persecuted Christians of the 20th century. And their persecution continues. A couple of months ago, the Russian police raided the Birobidzhan branch of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and “discovered” extremist literature. The Jehovah’s Witnesses describe the incident thus: “Masked special police disrupted a religious meeting and planted literature under a chair in the presence of the attendees.” The police ordered the place to be permanently closed. A few weeks later, the Russian ministry of justice demanded that the Jehovah’s Witnesses HQ hand over all information on their 2,277 Russian congregations. After a brief examination of what the police allegedly found, it concluded that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were showing signs of “extremist activity”. Congregations in Belgorod, Stary Oskol and Elista have all been shut down. Bibles have been impounded at customs, their literature banned. Many expect that the Russians are gearing up for an outright ban. “Unfortunately, in today’s Russia, the will to confine Russians to restricted and state-determined religious beliefs has proved increasingly strong,” is how Andrew Wood, former British ambassador to Russia, described what has been going on. “Fabrication is always both repellent and a sign of desperation at the absence of credible proof of extremism.” So what is it about Jehovah’s Witnesses that the Russians find so objectionable? This week, I decided not to avoid the eye of the couple who hand out literature at my tube station. So many times I’ve ignored them, and their Olympic smiling endurance, brushing past grumpily. Reading about their history, I now feel guilty about my lack of respect. On open display was What Does the Bible Really Teach?, the book that the Russian authorities often plant in kingdom halls as an excuse to shut them down. I flicked through. It’s really not my thing. And the graphics are criminally cheesy. But it’s pretty bog-standard Christian fundamentalism, with an emphasis on the end of the world. “What makes the Jehovah’s Witnesses different?” I asked the smiling man. “We take the Bible literally,” he replied. “But so do others. What makes you distinctive?” “Take ‘thou shalt not kill,’” he replied. “We don’t participate in war.” Jehovah’s Witnesses were taken to Nazi death camps for that very reason. They refused to swear loyalty to a worldly government and refused to serve in the military. They wouldn’t say Heil Hitler either. So within months of the Nazis coming to power, their meetings were ransacked and a Gestapo unit was set up to register all known Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their children were taken off them to receive a proper patriotic German education. And they were given their own purple triangle to wear as identification. In 1942, Wolfgang Kusserow was beheaded in Brandenburg prison by the Nazis for refusing to fight. “You must not kill,” he said at his trial. “Did our creator have all this written down for the trees?” Jehovah’s Witnesses are right to fear what is happening to them again, right now, in Russia. They have seen it all before. It should be a warning to all of us that the idea under which they are now being persecuted is that of “extremism”. It’s a word that draws its persuasive force from those who would use their religion to plant bombs and sever heads. So anti-terror legislation is now also being used to target those whose faith is only “extreme” in terms of its commitment to non-violence. The Russians are using the fear of Islamism as an excuse to crack down on all religious activity that refuses to bow the knee to Mother Russia. “My parents were exiled to Siberia,” said Yaroslav Sivulskiy, a spokesman for the Russian Jehovah’s Witnesses. “They worshipped even while they were in those camps. We will continue too.” Respect, I say. Anti-terror legislation is being used to target those whose faith is only ‘extreme’ in terms of its commitment to non-violence. It should be a warning to us all. theguardian Russia: alleged "missionary activity" prosecutions continue
  4. As the Kremlin's crackdown on religious minorities broadens, Russia's community of Jehovah's Witnesses have taken to congregating in secret. Photo: Alexander Demianchuk / TASS From the Moscow Times, June 2, 2017, updated at 13:41 By Katie Davies @@katiedavies91 The low-rise building, located in Moscow’s leafy suburbs, has the look and feel of being abandoned. Its lower floors are shrouded in darkness. The doors are shuttered. The only clue that anything might be amiss is the recorded piano music that drifts out from the upper floors, audible to anybody listening carefully enough. Inside the building, out of sight on the second floor, a group of people are meeting. At first glance, the crowd seems innocuous. Some sit with children; many are elderly. They pray, read the Bible, and sing. In the eyes of the eyes of the Russian government, each is an extremist threat. The group represents just a handful of the country’s estimated 175,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses. On April 20, the group was labeled extremist by Russia’s Supreme Court, a description it now shares with groups like Islamic State. Ever since the ruling, Russia’s Jehovah’s Witnesses have been in limbo, with the umbrella organization effectively banned from operating. But across the country, believers are still organizing weekly meetings. Some in the congregation do not know if the meetings at their Kingdom Hall are legal. One believer, who asked to be identified under the pseudonym Sasha, insisted the informal meetings were covered under the Russian constitution, and its provisions to protect believers’ right of assembly. Recent developments would, however, suggest that the Russian state views things differently. On May 25, Danish national Dennis Christensen was arrested on extremism charges after attending labeled meeting in Oryol. Another man in the remote town of Uchaly was fined for organizing gatherings in a rented room on May 18. On May 24, in the Komi republic, a Jehovah’s Witnesses’ meeting hall was attacked with a Molotov cocktail. […]
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    ... ce-of-extremism-ban-58142
  5. Latest JW Broadcast confirms that indeed many are now becoming interested in Jehovah's Witnesses because of the lies of Christendom's Churches and the anti-cultist and the actions of the Government of Russia:
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  6. Jehovah's Witnesses clear out their property WHAT DO JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES OWN IN ST. PETERSBURG? One of the most influential religious organizations in the world has now fallen under a ban in Russia Moskovskii Komsomolets, 5 May 2017 The Supreme Court has actually ruled that the Jehovah's Witnesses conducted extremist activity. Now they are required to cease their work immediately, which they have already done. Further, apparently, there will be new owners of their property. And these believers' property is good, especially in St. Petersburg. People left in tears In the northern capital, which has traditionally been considered to be multi-confessional, a place was found for the Jehovists also. Here they own a dozen hectares of land in Kurort district in the village of Solnechnoe, with dwellings and office buildings. They also own a congress hall with 2,500 seats on Kolomyazh Prospect, building 21, with a hectare of land. And several smaller buildings. The central office of the Russian Jehovists is located in Solnechnoe. In the plan of its arrangement it may be compared with a monastery. Families of clergy worked and lived there. In all, about 300 persons worked in the settlement of the Administrative Center. Now the buildings on the shore of the Finnish Gulf are empty. The inhabitants began leaving with their things as soon as they learned of decision of the court. Many had lived and worked here for years and therefore they departed in tears. "We will challenge the decision, but we do not want to create in the authorities the impression that we are not obeying the court," one of the former leaders of the center explains. Instead of a dump they built a palace There existed the myth that back in the early 1990s Mayor Anatoly Sobchak presented the Witnesses a parcel of 10.5 hectares in Solnechnoe and a hectare on Komomyazh. However, as it turned out, according to documents the religious organization acquired the territory of a former Pioneer Camp in Solnechnoe, which included residences, buildings, and a boiler house, from a construction company for 150 million rubles. According to representatives of the Jehovists, the camp had been completely ruined and they rebuilt it and turned it into a well landscaped lot. At the time, fellow Jehovist believers from Finland, Sweden, and Norway worked on the construction. They brought a Finnish architect. The Scandinavians brought construction materials and hired workers. The construction began in 1992 and by 2002 the entire "camp" was ready. And all of this belonged to citizens of other countries, the Witnesses aver, and therefore it cannot be confiscated. While the construction of the camp was underway, the Witnesses found the land for the Hall of Congresses. Mayor Anatoly Sobchak signed an order to transfer to the Jehovah's Witnesses one hectare on Kolomyazh Prospect. It was leased for 49 years under the condition that for each square meter they were supposed to pay 10 rubles as their contribution to the development of the city. It turned out that the land was not without a surprise—under the future building was found a hazardous waste dump. But the Jehovists paid for the complete disposal of harmful waste. Despite the rumors about the foreign imprint in the immovable property of the Jehovists, according to information of Rosreestr [Russian Register] both the land in Solnechnoe and the hectare on Kolomyazh today are registered to the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia. The foreign owners, who might have been able to protect the property of their Russian fellow believers, could not be found. (tr. by PDS, posted 5 May 2017)
  7. Threatened with an imminent ban on their worship in Russia, Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide support their fellow worshippers in Russia by means of a global letter-writing campaign. Instructions are provided for those who would like to participate. Source

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