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  1. Reports from the Kuril Islands say that on February 25, 2019, in the town of Kurilsk and in the village of Reydovo (Sakhalin region), FSB officers searched two women, Olga Kalinnikova and Larisa Potapova, both Jehovah's Witnesses. The searches were conducted using a warrant issued by Chief of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation for the Sakhalin Region Lieutenant General (!) S. Kudryashov, as well as on the basis of a warrant from the judge of the Sakhalin Regional (!) Court, V. Malyovanny. Although the operation was formally called the “Inspection of the premises," computers, hard drives, cell phones, flash drives, and other personal items were confiscated from the two women. Criminal charges have not been initiated, and the women are not named as suspects or accused. Reason for the seizures was not explained. As a result, the women were left without means of communication on an isolated island. About 1,600 people live in Kurilsk, and about 1,000 people live in Reydovo. Law enforcement officials throughout the country continue to misinterpret ordinary religious activities of citizens as “extremist activities." Meanwhile, the Government of Russia has repeatedly insisted that the decisions of the Russian courts to ban the organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses “set out no assessment of the religious denomination of Jehovah’s Witnesses or limitation or prohibition to individually manifest the aforementioned denominations.” https://jw-russia.org/en/news/19022816-642.html
  2. The brothers need your prayers? RUSSIA.. DOZENS OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES ARRESTED (TWO DETAINED) AS POLICE AND ARMED TROOPS RAID HOMES OF JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES CONFISCATING THEIR PROPERTIES AND OTHER VALUABLES. No fewer than 16 residences of peaceful citizens in Belgorod and 12 residences in Kemerovo were subjected to invasion by representatives of law enforcement agencies and to searches. Dozens of people were arrested and several have remained in custody for two days now. As the European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses reported on 9 February, the citizens are suspected of continuing the activity of the organization "Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia," which was liquidated by decision of the Russian Supreme Court on 20 April 2017, which found the aforesaid organization "extremist." In the evening of 7 February in Belgorod, large groups consisting of personnel of the police, the Investigation Directorate of the MVD, and armed troops of a SOBR [Special Rapid Response Unit] simultaneously barged into a number of private homes of local residents. In some cases citizens were thrown to the floor and pinned to the wall, and then all were forcibly taken to the police department and searches were conducted in the residences. A group of deaf people also was taken to the police department, who had gathered for friendly communication. In all, dozens of people were taken to the police department at 60 Prince Trubetskoy St. At the police department, passport data were collected from citizens, fingerprints were taken, and summons were drawn up. The last of those released left at nine in the morning of the next day. Two citizens, Anatoly Shaliapin and Sergei Voikov, were held in custody for 48 hours and the issue of the selection of measures of prevention was decided within the context of the investigation of a case regarding continuation of the activity of an extremist organization. During the searches, which sometimes were conducted in a brutal form and were accompanied by insulting comments, from the citizens were seized Bibles, all electronic equipment and data storage devices, travel passports, money, and in some cases even photographs that were hanging on the wall. The Russian Ministry of Justice, which last year requested the liquidation of the legal entity of Jehovah's Witnesses, had insisted that the constitutional rights of individual believers would not be affected in any way in the event of the satisfaction of its lawsuit. A criminal case is about to opened for the two brothers that was detained?? www2.stenton.edu www.jw-russia.org #jwrussia
  3. Russia persecutes Jehovah's Witnesses on the Internet ~ The Russian government has requested that the broadcast of 4 sites on the internet provide information about the witnesses. The Office of the prosecutor at kabardino-Balkaria is asking the court to restrict access to the four internet sites of the religious organization "Jehovah's witnesses" * whose activity is banned in Russia by extremism, informs the control authority of The region. " in internet monitoring, he revealed four " Jehovah's witnesses in Russia " which include a variety of topics, publications, magazines, books, videos, news about the religious organization " Jehovah's witnesses "*, he said in a statement. It is noted that following the results of monitoring, four requests were sent to the tribunal to restrict access to these internet resources. By decision of the supreme court of the Russian Federation of 20 April 2017, the activities of the organization "the administrative centre of Jehovah's witnesses * in Russia" and local religious organizations forming part of its structure They've been discontinued. The Russian ministry of justice included "Jehovah's witnesses" * on the list of organizations settled by extremism. https://ria.ru/religion/20180216/1514792568.html
  4. NOTICE LAST MINUTE. Brothers from Russia report an escalation of police violence against Jehovah’s Witnesses (online translation but can be understood) Massive searches and criminal cases against believers in Kemerovo and Belgorod - in reference to the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation At least 16 houses of civilians in Belgorod and 12 houses in Kemerovo were subjected to intrusions and searches of law enforcement agencies. Dozens of people were arrested, some remain in custody for two days. It is suspected that citizens continue the activities of the organization "Center for management of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia". Therefore, this criminal prosecution is a direct consequence of the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of April 20, 2017 to recognize this organization as "extremist". On the night of 7 February 2018 in Belgorod, large groups of law enforcement officers, composed of police officers, the Investigation Department of the Ministry of the Interior and the armed fighters of the SOBR, simultaneously invaded several private houses of local residents. . In some cases, the citizens were thrown to the ground, placed against the wall, then all were taken by force to the police, in the houses they registered. A group of deaf people were also taken to the police, who met for friendly communication. In total, the police department on the street. Prince Trubetskoi, 60, was handed over to dozens of people. In the management of citizens, the passport data, the fingerprints, the downloaded citations are collected. The last one left at 9 in the morning of the following day. In Kemerovo, on January 23, 2018, fanatics were searched in the homes of civilians. The case, instituted on January 19, 2018 in part 2 of art. 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, is carried out by the investigator of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation for especially important cases, Colonel Justice Oksana Rybalkina. She asked the court to make records in the homes of citizens, arguing that, according to her, at least 14 local residents continue to profess the religion of the Jehovah's Witnesses. The judge of the central district court of the city of Kemerovo, Irina Ivanova, at one time satisfied at least 12 of his motions. As a result, a search was carried out in 12 houses of peaceful believers, which continued even during the night. In some cases, SOBR officers armed with masks opened their doors by force, burst in and placed the civilians against the wall with their arms raised or falling to the ground. Sometimes, the apartment was invaded by more than 10 people, including police officers, Rosgvardia and the Investigation Committee. Citizens were denied the opportunity to make a phone call or to invite a lawyer; the refusal was accompanied by an explanation by Stanislav Shlagov, a high-ranking police officer in particularly important cases: "We are not in the United States." Citizens, including women and the elderly, experience a state close to shock. Many have aggravated chronic diseases. Telephones, tablets, computers, personal belongings and information media are confiscated. It is reported that the witnesses who were present during the searches were familiar with the police and actively helped them, in some cases with their advice.  Supreme Court, which prohibits the activities of a religious organization "Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia", will not be removed the constitutional right faithful to practice their religion freely. However, Judge Ivanov, for example, by allowing searches of investigative conduct Rybalkina did not bring any evidence that they are citizens continue to participate in the activities of the organization liquidated by a court, and not only to exercise their inalienable constitutional right to the freedom of religion. In the Kemerovo Regional Court, 11 appeals have already been filed against judicial decisions to authorize the production of records. It is noteworthy that the Russian Ministry of Justice, who asked about the liquidation of the legal person of Jehovah's Witnesses, insists that the constitutional rights of believers their claim could not be affected. https://jw-russia.org/news/18020917-286.html
  5. The assembly hall seizure follows on the heels of a court ruling just one week earlier that threatens to take the property used by the Witnesses’ national headquarters, located near St. Petersburg. Source
  6. 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
  7. MARCH 21, 2017 RUSSIA, Jehovah’s Witnesses Mobilize Global Response to Threat of Ban in Russia ! Make your participation a matter of prayer.—1 Tim. 2:1-4. Personal letters should be mailed no later than April 1, 2017. Send a personal letter to one or more of the officials listed at the end of these instructions. You may send more than one letter to the same official: scroll down to the ADDRESSES.... NEW YORK—Threatened with an imminent ban on their worship in Russia, Jehovah’s Witnesses are responding with a direct appeal to Kremlin and Supreme Court officials for relief through a global letter-writing campaign. The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses is inviting the over 8,000,000 Witnesses worldwide to participate. On March 15, 2017, Russia’s Ministry of Justice filed a claim with the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation to label the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia as extremist and liquidate it. The claim also seeks to ban the activities of the Administrative Center. If the Supreme Court upholds this claim, the Witnesses’ national headquarters near St. Petersburg will be shut down. Subsequently, some 400 registered Local Religious Organizations would be liquidated, outlawing the services of over 2,300 congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia. The branch property, as well as places of worship used by Witnesses throughout the country, could be seized by the State. Additionally, individual Jehovah’s Witnesses would become subject to criminal prosecution for merely carrying out their worship activities. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the claim on April 5. “The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses wants to heighten attention to this critical situation,” states David A. Semonian, a spokesman at the Witnesses’ world headquarters. “Prosecuting non-violent, law-abiding citizens as if they were terrorists is clearly a misapplication of anti-extremist laws. Such prosecution is based on completely false grounds.” The Witnesses’ global campaign is not without precedent. Nearly 20 years ago, Witnesses wrote to defend their fellow worshippers in Russia in response to a smear campaign by some members of the government in power at the time. Additionally, Witnesses have initiated past letter-writing campaigns to motivate government officials to end persecution of Witnesses in other countries, including Jordan, Korea, and Malawi. “Reading the Bible, singing, and praying with fellow worshippers is clearly not criminal,” adds Mr. Semonian. “We hope that our global letter-writing campaign will motivate Russian officials to stop this unjustifiable action against our fellow worshippers.” Letter-Writing Campaign Supporting Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia Instruction Sheet March 20, 2017 Format  If you own a personal business, you may use business letterhead.  Use your own language. There is no need to have letters translated into Russian. If you are fluent in Russian, you may write letters in Russian.  Letters should be one page in length and should be typewritten or neatly handwritten.  Give attention to proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation.—be pp. 71-73.  Add your personal signature to the letter.  No copies of letters need to be sent to the elders, to the branch office, or to anyone else.  Literature should not be included.  Use your personal return address on the envelope. Be sure that the address of the official you are writing to matches that listed at the end of these instructions.  Send by postal mail with sufficient international postage. Do not use e-mail. Content.  You are writing to the official to request his intervention. Express the hope that the Russian authorities will stop the legal action being taken against the branch office and the congregations in Russia so that our brothers and sisters can continue to gather peacefully for Christian meetings without interference. You could express appreciation for the laws of the Russian government that guarantee freedom of religion to all citizens.  Letters should be candid but respectful. Summarize key facts in your own words. Letters may refer to one or two facts listed below or more recent information published on jw.org. Keep in mind that “a mild answer turns away rage,” and “a gentle tongue can break a bone.”—Prov. 15:1; 25:15.  You could briefly mention how our meetings and publications have benefited you personally and your family. Do not mention the names of individuals in Russia who are Jehovah’s Witnesses. Facts  On March 15, 2017, the Ministry of Justice in Russia filed a claim with the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation seeking “to declare the religious organization, the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses, extremist, ban its activity, and liquidate it.” A decision by the Supreme Court in favor of this claim will have dire consequences for all of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia. The Administrative Center and 400 local legal entities used to own or rent Kingdom Halls would be dissolved. This means that the branch Instruction Sheet March 20, 2017 Page 2 property in St. Petersburg and Kingdom Halls throughout the country could be seized by the State. In addition, each of the more than 170,000 Witnesses could be criminally prosecuted merely for meeting for worship, reading the Bible together, or talking to others about their faith.  Russia’s “Federal Law on Extremist Activity” is being misapplied to Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia. Jehovah’s Witnesses strive to be good citizens. We are known worldwide for our peaceful activities, and under no circumstances would we ever resort to any activity that could legitimately be construed as “extremist” or criminal in nature.  The activity of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the publications that we produce encourage love of God and neighbor, love for family, and respect for government. There is absolutely nothing “extremist” or criminal in such Bible-based publications. Addresses:  President of Russia Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin 23 Ilyinka Str. - Moscow Russian Federation 103132  Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev 2 Krasnopresnenskaya Naberezhnaya Moscow Russian Federation 103274  Prosecutor General Yury Yakovlevich Chayka Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation 15A Bolshaya Dmitrovka Str. Moscow Russian Federation GSP-3 125993  Minister of Justice Alexander Vladimirovich Konovalov Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation 14 Zhitnaya Str. Moscow Russian Federation GSP-1 119991  Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Viktorovich Lavrov Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation 32/34 Smolenskaya-Sennaya Square Moscow Russian Federation 119200  The Chairman of the Supreme Court Viacheslav Mikhailovich Lebedev Supreme Court of Russian Federation 15 Povarskaya Str. Moscow Russian Federation 121069
  8. Retrial of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Taganrog—When Will the Injustice End? Via
  9. In yet another attempt to restrict religious freedom, Russian authorities have filed a claim to declare the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures to be extremist. Hearings are set to begin on March 15, 2016. Last year, Russian customs officials took an unprecedented step when they denied the importation of these Bibles. This latest step is an irreverent attack on a sacred Christian text. Russian legislation prohibits declaring the Bible to be extremist. However, the Leningrad-Finlyandskiy Transport Prosecutor is justifying his claim by citing the opinion of a person who is unqualified in linguistics. If the prosecutor succeeds in court, the New World Translation could be banned from distribution in Russia. https://www.jw.org/en/news/legal/by-region/russia/claim-nwt-extremist-20160222/
  10. Jehovah's Witnesses > WTBTS of Pennsylvania > Archive of Publications > 2016 C.E. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Russian authorities have increasingly resorted to fabricating evidence to justify charges of extremism against Jehovah’s Witnesses. This video examines three such incidents and what they mean for freedom of worship in Russia.

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