Jump to content
The World News Media

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'persecution'.

The search index is currently processing. Current results may not be complete.
  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • English
    • Topics
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses's Topics
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses's Weekly Study Materials
  • Testigos de Jehová's Tema
  • Chevrolet Volt's Topics
  • Nederlands's Topics
  • ελληνικά's Topics
  • Μάρτυρες του Ιεχωβά's Topics
  • Tieng Viet's Topics
  • русский's Topics
  • Свидетели Иеговы's Topics
  • Polski's Topics
  • Świadkowie Jehowy's Topics
  • Mga Saksi ni Jehova's Topics
  • Testemunhas de Jeová's Topics
  • Portugués's Topics
  • Testimoni di Geova's Topics
  • Zeugen Jehovas's Topics
  • Deutsch's Topics
  • Témoins de Jehovah's Topics
  • Nouvelles du Monde's Topics
  • Español's Topics
  • Korea 세계 포럼's Topics / 주제
  • Tiếng Việt's Chủ đề

Categories

  • Records
  • Food and Drink
  • Health and Medicine
  • Religion
  • Español
  • Bitcoin

Calendars

  • Community Calendar
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses's Events
  • Testigos de Jehová's Calendario
  • Chevrolet Volt's Events
  • Nederlands's Events
  • ελληνικά's Events
  • Μάρτυρες του Ιεχωβά's Events
  • Μάρτυρες του Ιεχωβά's Events
  • Tieng Viet's Events
  • русский's Events
  • Свидетели Иеговы's Events
  • Polski's Events
  • Świadkowie Jehowy's Events
  • Mga Saksi ni Jehova's Events
  • Testemunhas de Jeová's Events
  • Portugués's Events
  • Testimoni di Geova's Events
  • Zeugen Jehovas's Events
  • Deutsch's Events
  • Témoins de Jehovah's Events
  • Español's Events

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


About Me

Found 14 results

  1. The magazine cover below was posted here on the same day I had come across one of its articles. March 1,1979 "The desire to share with Jesus Christ in the vindication of Jehovah’s universal sovereignty became a most powerful motivating force in the lives of Jehovah’s Witnesses. It strengthened them to endure the worst persecution that ever befell Jehovah’s Witnesses—during World War II. So Jehovah’s visible organization came off victorious once again to his vindication. For dedicated, baptized persons to share in that victory, what did it take? Faith in Jehovah’s theocratic organization. Did the remnant of spiritual Israelites and their theocratic companions, the “great crowd” of Christ’s “other sheep,” have such victorious faith? Yes!" Those were the days, apparently. I see no further “victories” of such on the horizon for the Watchtower at this time. Unless, they twist the Russian situation into one of victory, proclaiming their faith in “Jehovah’s organization” helped them endure the persecution that has come upon them. However, many JWs have attempted to flee the country, which doesn’t reflect well on the power of their “haven of refuge”. (WT 82 9/15 pp. 17-22) How does persecution and horrific deaths of JWs equate to an earthly organization gaining victory, and justifying God? This “mountainlike” organization was not able to protect them from the terrible Nazi onslaught, nor has it been able to do so today in Russia. Instead of God justifying himself, the organization justified or vindicated its existence as worthy of praise, as the recipient of one’s unrelenting faith, even in the face of persecution and death. At the willing sacrifice of many on its behalf, it appears powerful, mighty and victorious. This is how I see the disgusting truth behind the underlying message in the opening Watchtower quote. The organization has a few descriptive terms: Jehovah’s “earthly organization” professes to be “no part of the world”: As in the first century, so in this twentieth century, Jehovah has an earthly organization. It can be identified by its fruits. Unlike the many religious organizations that are part of the world that is alienated from God and that profess to be his organization, IT HAS NOT ALLIED ITSELF WITH THE POLITICAL GOVERNMENTS OF THE WORLD. It, therefore, shares none of the responsibility for the unchristian things done by those governments. w65 7/15 p. 427-428 A “visible theocratic organization” that has established a “worldly” identity: Being adapted to modern conditions and requirements and being obliged to render to Caesar Caesar’s things, the visible theocratic organization today HAS A LEGALLY ESTABLISHED SERVICE AGENCY, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, incorporated in 1884 under the laws of the state of Pennsylvania, United States of America. w54 9/1 p. 533 Now notice what the 1884 “official magazine Watch Tower” has to say about organization: “We belong to NO EARTHLY ORGANIZATION; hence, if you should name the entire list of sects, we should answer, No, to each and to all. We adhere only to that heavenly organization—‘whose names are written in heaven.’ (Heb. 12:23; Luke 10:20.) All the saints now living, or that have lived during this age, belonged to OUR CHURCH ORGANIZATION: such are all ONE Church, and there is NO OTHER recognized by the Lord. Hence any EARTHLY ORGANIZATION which in the least INTERFERES with this UNION OF SAINTS is CONTRARY to the teachings of Scripture and OPPOSED TO THE LORD’S WILL—‘that they may be ONE.’ ( Joh 17:11.)” What a beautiful, captivating truth, which led God’s anointed people into eventual idolatry. We now see that the Watchtower no longer follows this mission statement, but highlights the organization as absolutely necessary to acknowledge as one’s salvation. Amos 3:5; Luke 21:34-36; Rev 20:7-9 w72 6/1 pp. 328-333 – “As we approach the universal war of Armageddon it is vital to stay close to Jehovah’s mighty organization.” We have a mighty, mountainlike, theocratic, even “spirit-directed” organization, still unable to protect its people. Judges 10:14; Rev 13:1,7,11,15 We also see that the “union of saints” is not possible, since a false priesthood/elder body has INTEREFERED with their ability to be one body under their Head, Jesus Christ. The Watchtower now states “such efforts (to bond) would cause DIVISIONS within the congregation and work against the holy spirit, which promotes peace and unity”. ( w16 January p. 24) This is so strictly enforced that the elders have been given authority to spiritually “kill” any who reject their ruling position and the organization’s pseudo stance as “theocratic”. Col 1:18; Eph 5:23,26,27,30-32; 1 Pet 4:10; 1 Cor 12:24-26; Rev 13:15,16; Matt 24:48-51 A lot has happened since 1884 when Russel wrote his words in the Watchtower, hasn’t it, JWs. He would be disfellowshipped today if he were to voice this belief to the present governing body. Only when all the parts of the body submit to Christ as head, will they find harmony, affection, agreement, and unity, according to the arrangement of God, who supplies order and peace. 1 Cor 14:33; 1:10; 7:17; 14:32,40; Rom 9:16 Those who have humbly submitted to the Body's arrangement by God (1 Cor 12:18; 11:29,31,32), have found that order and peace, and relief from the confusion which is the condition of those still under "Babylon the Great", whose very name, means "confusion" ("Babylon"). (2 Cor 12:20; 1 Cor 1:11,12; 3:3; 4:6,18; James 4:1; 1 Cor 11:19) There is little time left for the anointed to recognize what is required of them and to conform, leaving behind their rebellion, idolatry, and spiritual fornication, to make peace with God (Isa 1:18-20). If they do, their sins will be washed away (Isa 48:20; Jer 31:11; Matt 24:12). and they will be given a white robe....sealed as a vessel of Truth (Zech 3:1-10; Isa 4:2; Ezek 17:22; Zech 4:10). Pearl Doxsey - "Unity of Christ's Body/Armageddon" According to the 1884 WT, INTERFERENCE against the union of the saints is the SIGN OF OPPOSITION to the Lord’s will; and aptly describes the “Man of Lawlessness” who OPPOSES and EXALTS HIMSELF above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the TEMPLE of God, showing himself that he IS God.” 2 Thess 2:4 It is a “disgusting thing standing in the holy place”/Temple of God, an “abomination” representing the spirit-directed “image” of divine authority, which IS the organization. Ezek 44:6-9; Dan 9:27; Exod 20:3-6; Rev 13:11,15,4 “They have placed their abominations in the house that bears My name and have defiled it. 35 They have built the high places of Baal in Ben Hinnom Valley to sacrifice their sons and daughters in the fire, (or “pass through the fire”) to Molech—something I had not commanded them. I had never entertained the thought that they do this detestable act causing Judah to sin! Jer 32:34,35 Today, to “pass through the fire” indicates to me a dedication and sacrifice of oneself to submit to evil; a fiery proof, contrary to refinement leading to personal victory in Christ. It is the condemnation based on the Word of God. Spiritual harlotry and idolatry results when one puts faith in a present day “Molech”, above our required faith in God. 2 Kings 17:17; Lev 18:21; Ezek 20:31; Jer 3:6,7;2 Pet 2:3; 1 Cor 3:13-15; Jer 23:29 Baal means “Master”; Molech has the meaning of “master” “king”, but also "the most common word for chief magistrate" (“commander of an army”) Revelation tells us of two Beasts, two Masters, a dual spiritual power over God’s saints and many peoples during the last days. Dan 2:31,33,40-43; 7:7; Rev 13:1,2,11-13 They revere or “worship” the first Beast, putting faith in its magnificent “spirit-directed” abilities, to lead them into a promised peaceful paradise. Rev 13:4,14,15; Ezek 13:10; Hos 4:12 For this offer, they are willing to face persecution and the loss of physical life if necessary, on behalf of ”Jehovah’s visible theocratic organization”. The army which the “Beast with two horns” gives authority to, is the “abomination” spoken of in Dan 11:31. Rev 9:1-6;13:12 With eyes that are open, this transgression against God’s Temple is well observed as ‘sitting in’ and ruling over the anointed Temple of God, as directed to do so by the Beast/false prophet/Harlot. 2 Thess 2:3,4;1 Pet 2:5,9; 1 Cor 3:16,17; Rev 19:20 It is the Man of Lawlessness – an army of elders or “magistrates” which has received authority to oppress and “conquer” the anointed ones. Dan 8:24; Rev 13:7 Is the Watchtower Beast/Master truly “conquering” the saints? Yes. Conquering is the language of war, which we are presently in; the war of Armageddon. Luke 21:20; Matt 24:3,24,25; 9-11,13,21; Dan 12:1,4 They are overcome by demonic expressions issued from the “dragon”, the Beast, and the second Beast/false prophet/Harlot. Rev 16:13,14; Eph 6:12 For those who stand up to both Beasts, the “kings” and their “magistrates”, and who are persecuted for defending their faith in God and truth in Jesus Christ, they are symbolically “killed”; yet, they come alive in Christ. Mal 3:5; Eph 2:3-8; Rev 11:3,7,11; Matt 19:29 It is known among all JWs, that those who take their stand against the GB’s decrees carried out by the elders, are disfellowshipped, which the organization considered a spiritual “death”. This is the irony in teachings by this Beast. Those who sacrifice their life on behalf of “Jehovah’s organization” are viewed as the victorious ones. Those who sacrifice their symbolic life for their testimony to Christ are considered worthy of eternal destruction. Jer 23:14; Matt 26:65; Heb 13:13; 12:2; 1 Pet 4:14,16; Rom 6:5; Matt 5:11; John 15:21; Acts 5:41; Rev 3,5,6 A movie was made a while back about the prophet Jeremiah. It is a movie of drama and scriptures combined, but there is one scene at the temple, that I will never forget. Jeremiah is speaking to Zedekiah the last king of Judah, before the temple was destroyed and Israel went into exile to Babylon. He had earlier pleaded for the nation to submit to Nebuchadnezzar’s rule, but Judah was ready to battle against him. (Jer 38:14-23) Jeremiah: “Obey I beseech thee, the voice of the Lord which I speak unto thee and your life will be saved, and the city will not be burned.” Zedekiah: “So, now you’re speaking for the Lord again. Well, never mind, our armies are prepared.” Jeremiah: “How can you continue to LIE to yourself as well as your people?” Zedekiah: “TRUTH is in the eyes of the beholder.” Jeremiah: “The word of the Lord which I speak to thee, IS the truth.” Zedekiah: “The Lord which you ask me to seek…is SILENCE. If God has something to say to me, why does he send you to tell me?” Jeremiah: “Why would the Lord speak to you, unless you’ve committed your life to HIM.” Zedekiah: “I HAVE.” Jeremiah shakes his head, turns swiftly toward a set of large wooden double-doors, and flings them open to reveal statues of idols. He says, “Instead of making monuments to false gods, make your LIFE a living monument to the word of God.” Zedekiah: “It is as my people desire.” Jeremiah: “You are KING! They look to YOU for leadership! Your pursuit of your own pleasure, wealth and power HAVE TAUGHT THE PEOPLE TO TRUST IN FALSE GODS!” He raises his voice even further, “YOU HAVE LED THEM TO BELIEVE THAT THE ONE TRUE GOD…IS NOT ENOUGH!” JWs, is God alone NOT ENOUGH for you to put faith in? Can you see that the faith you give to a most unique idol, a “spirit-directed” visible organization, can lead to your downfall? Your leaders have convinced you to trust in a false god! The people in Jeremiah’s time believed that the presence of the “temple of the Lord” would save them, even though they harbored their idols. Jer 7:3-5, 9,10 What is your temple today? Is it the organization? It appears so, yet if the anointed were not in the Watchtower from the beginning, there would be no difference in your religion than any other in Christendom. You may have forgotten who they are, these anointed “living stones” whom God expects their sacrifices to be heard and in harmony with pure truth in Christ. However, an “abomination”, a false priesthood of elders, has muscled its way in to rule over God’s Temple priesthood. Ultimately, JWs DO practice the same hypocritical worship as Judah in Jeremiah’s time, by proclaiming their trust and faith in God, while also having full trust and faith in the organization, and the “kings” who brought them into a falsehood called “truth”. Your leaders have sought out pleasure and wealth in material possessions, that they admire and praise (Warwick). Luke 4:5-7 They have slowly developed an unquestionable power over God’s anointed and YOU, TEACHING you to revere a monumental idol. This idol has made the brazen promise of eternal life to those who “worship” it. As Zedekiah said in the movie, “truth is in the eye of the beholder”. 2 Thess 2:9-12 When Joshua went up against Ai, they were defeated because one member “committed a trespass” regarding the “things set apart for destruction”, the “accursed”, the “doomed” that he brought into the camp. Deut 13:17 Josh 7:110-12 –“Israel has sinned. They have violated My covenant that I appointed for them. They have taken some of what was set apart. They have stolen, deceived, and put those things with their own belongings.12 THIS IS WHY THE ISRAELITES CANNOT STAND AGAINST THEIR ENEMIES. They will turn their backs and run from their enemies, because they have been set apart for destruction. I will no longer be with you unless you remove from among you what is set apart.” The ”accursed thing” happened to be an eye-catching Babylonian garment. Luke 16:15 A garment from Babylon - the destroyer, an accursed city doomed to destruction. Ps 137:8 Garments in God’s word carry a symbolic meaning. It can clarify who or what we identify with; wickedness or righteousness. Ezek 18:20; Isa 61:10; Ps 109:29 By choosing one or the other, it signifies who we are willing to “sacrifice” our life for. Even the rank and file "JW" is eager to surrender their "garment"/individuality/identity, to the Beast they admire... as it says in the baptism vow... "Do you understand that your dedication and baptism IDENTIFY YOU ("enrobes/dresses you"), as one of "Jehovah's Witnesses" in association with his "spirit-directed" organization?" (John 20:22) (Rev 13:15; 16:13-16; 19:20) Yes... they desire an identity that belongs to and is associated with, the powerful... and so they too, surrender their robes of individuality/personal reputation of integrity before God, to "don" their new garment/identity, as one of "Jehovah's Witnesses", under blind obedience to it's hierarchy under the wicked steward/harlot. Pearl Doxsey - "Our Outer Garment" God pointed out to Joshua that His covenant had been violated. His decrees that he had specifically said should be followed to guarantee their safety, were transgressed. Josh 1:7,8;6:18,19 Today, God’s covenant with the anointed priesthood has been violated by allowing uncircumcised priests to present the “daily sacrifices” . Deut 21:5; Ezek 44:7; Mal 2:5-9 This is an “accursed thing”, doomed to destruction, that is present among the anointed and YOU. 2 Thess 2:7,8 “Babylon’s” Harlot daughters direct the Watchtower Beast to lead YOU in supporting the “abomination” that defiles the House that bears God’s name. 1 Cor 3:16,17; Rev 17:3-6 YOU wear the garment that indicates who you serve, which is the Beast/Man of Lawlessness. Surely JWs, you must see that putting “faith in Jehovah’s theocratic organization” is bolstering lawlessness and idolatry! Should we suffer persecution on behalf of an idol, an idolatrous “MOUNTAIN” that is the SOURCE of persecution for those anointed ones who DESIRE TO BE ONE UNDER CHRIST? Jesus replied to them, “HAVE FAITH IN GOD. 23 Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this MOUNTAIN, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, IT WILL BE DONE FOR HIM. Mark 11:22,23 The Lord reigns! Let the earth rejoice; let the many coasts and islands be glad. 2 Clouds and thick darkness surround Him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. 3 Fire goes before Him and burns up His foes on every side. 4 His lightning lights up the world; the earth sees and trembles. 5 The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord— at the presence of the Lord of all the earth. 6 The heavens proclaim His righteousness; all the peoples see His glory. 7 All who serve carved images, those who boast in idols, will be put to shame. All the gods must worship Him. (“gods” – “angels”, Heb 1:6,14; Mal 2:7) 8 Zion hears and is glad, and the towns of Judah rejoice because of Your judgments, Lord. 9 For You, Lord, are the Most High over all the earth; You are exalted above all the gods. 10 You who love the Lord, hate evil! He protects the lives of His godly ones; He rescues them from the power of the wicked. 11 Light dawns for the righteous, gladness for the upright in heart. 12 Be glad in YHVH, you righteous ones, and praise His holy name. Psalm 97
  2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45815889 This takes the proverbial biscuit. These are guys that plant Jehovah's Witness publications on................Jehovah's Witnesses!!! They might be in for a decoration!
  3. YELM, Wash. — Authorities on Wednesday were investigating after someone tried to set fire to the Kingdom Hall of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Yelm. This comes after four other recent attacks on Kingdom Halls of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Thurston County that are being investigated as hate crimes. In the latest incident, authorities were called around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday to the report of an attempted arson at the Kingdom Hall on Vail Road SE in Yelm. The ensuing investigation closed a large section of Vail Road for most of the day. Church elders had arrived to find fire logs stacked up against an outside wall that was smoldering. They doused the logs with water and prevented any further damage to the building. The elders reported finding a suspicious device placed on the ground on the west side of the building. It “had the appearance of being an explosive device,” so deputies called the bomb squad to the scene. People living nearby the church told Q13 News they were told by law enforcement to evacuate for their own safety. “I got woken up by my roommate Zachary saying there was a device on the church next door to our house and we needed to evacuate,” said Richard McIntire. McIntireÂ’s shared his concern about living so close to whatÂ’s become a repeated target. “I donÂ’t understand why people have to target churches,” he said. Neighbors in rural Yelm expressed their worries about the attacks and hoped police would soon make an arrest before someone gets hurt. By late afternoon investigators determined the suspicious device wasnÂ’t dangerous. The Thurston County SheriffÂ’s Office later tweeted, “The suspicious device was made to look like a real bomb but in the end, it was found to be fake.” Read more: https://q13fox.com/2018/08/08/possible-explosive-device-found-after-attempted-arson-at-kingdom-hall-in-yelm/
  4. Today Presidents Trump and Putin meet for summit, and the New York Times tells of an exiled Jehovah's Witness who proposes Trump ask Putin a simple question: "Why are Russians who pay their taxes, follow the law and embrace the Christian values promoted by the Kremlin being forced to flee their country?" https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/16/world/europe/putin-trump-russia-jehovahs-witness.html A simple [and single] question. To propose that Trump do this is exactly the non-confrontational style of Jehovah's Witnesses, and is proof in itself that they are not extremist. Moreover, because the goal is so modest, it is not impossible that it could happen. Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia is not everywhere, but where it is, it is draconian, with police dressed in riot gear breaking down doors to arrest them. Meanwhile (and irrelevant), I did a google search of "New York Times Jehovah's Witnesses." The second hit is an article from 1958, telling of (I think) the largest Christian assembly in history. Remember, Google is personalized. Your results may vary. http://www.tomsheepandgoats.com/2018/07/ill-take-it-fake-news-or-not.html
  5. (Moscow) – Law enforcement authorities across Russia have carried out a sweeping campaign against JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in recent months, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have carried out dozens of home searches, raids, interrogations, and other acts of harassment and persecution. The authorities are holding 18 men in pretrial detention on charges of organizing, participating in, or financing the activities of an “extremist organization” solely for their religious activities. Several others are facing the same charges and are under house arrest or subject to travel restrictions. The charges carry a maximum 10-year prison sentence. Russian authorities should release those in detention immediately, drop the charges, and halt the persecution of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses. “The JehovahÂ’s Witnesses are simply peacefully exercising their right to freedom of religion,” said Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The JehovahÂ’s Witness faith is not an extremist organization, and authorities should stop this religious persecution of its worshipers now.” Human Rights Watch interviewed four lawyers defending JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in five regions and a representative of the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses. Human Rights Watch also reviewed court documents, media reports, Russian government statements, and Federal Security Service (FSB) photos and videos purporting to show the raids. The raids and arrests stem from an April 2017 Russian Supreme Courtruling that banned all JehovahÂ’s Witnesses organizations throughout Russia. The ruling declared the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses Administrative Center, the head office for 395 JehovahÂ’s Witnesses branches throughout Russia, an extremist organization and ruled that all 395 be shut down. The ruling, which affects more than 100,000 JehovahÂ’s Witnesses across Russia, blatantly violates RussiaÂ’s obligations to respect and protect religious freedom and freedom of association. Russian authorities should reverse the ban on the organizationÂ’s activities and remove the “extremist” designation, Human Rights Watch said. Meanwhile, they should leave JehovahÂ’s Witnesses free to practice their faith. JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Russia and other former USSR countries have faced persecution in the past. During the Soviet era, they were arrested and imprisoned in labor camps, including in Siberia. Within the past decade, worshipers across Russia have faced persecution, intrusive home searches, and arrests, and have been denied rights to freedom of assembly, association, and religion. In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ruled against Russia for closing the Moscow branch of the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses and refusing to allow the group to re-register. The court found violations of articles 9 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protect freedom of religion and association, respectively. In addition to awarding monetary damages, the court said that Russia should review the domestic decisions that led to the violations. Russia has refused to carry out the judgments in that case and several others brought by members of the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses. On the contrary, Russia has continued to persecute JehovahÂ’s Witnesses, seeking the groupÂ’s complete dissolution in Russia. From April to June 2018, law enforcement raids targeted JehovahÂ’s Witness communities in at least 11 regions throughout Russia, from Saratov region in southwestern Russia to Primorsky Krai in RussiaÂ’s far east. Police carried out the raids, often accompanied by a combination of FSB officials wearing masks, armed personnel of the Interior Ministry Special Task Police Force or National Guard, and representatives from the Investigative Committee, RussiaÂ’s criminal investigation service.  The authorities, who obtained search warrants or entry permits in most cases, confiscated personal computers, mobile phones, bank cards, passports, religious literature, and, in some cases, housing deeds. Dozens of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses, including at least one child, were taken to local investigative offices for questioning. Others were detained and later charged. A lawyer representing a JehovahÂ’s Witness who is in pretrial detention in Murmansk Region told Human Rights Watch that the authoritiesÂ’ actions contradict religious freedom guarantees in the Russian Constitution. “The [Russian] constitution says that you can practice your faith together with others, but as it turns out, thatÂ’s a crime,” said Yegiazar Chernikov, of the Sverdlovsk LawyersÂ’ Association. In at least two regions, armed officers threatened the worshipers with firearms, in one case pointing a gun at a personÂ’s head, a lawyer familiar with the incident told Human Rights Watch. A JehovahÂ’s Witnesses representative told Human Rights Watch that approximately 160 JehovahÂ’s Witnesses have fled Russia to seek refuge abroad. On June 20, RussiaÂ’s Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights announced that it had asked the prosecutor generalÂ’s office to verify the legality of criminal prosecutions against JehovahÂ’s Witnesses practicing their faith. A week earlier, several of the spouses of the men in pretrial detention had sent a letter to the chair of the council, Mikhail Fedotov, urging him to ask President Vladimir Putin to end the raids and arrests and to restore freedom of religion in Russia. Over 150 Russian activists, journalists, and academics – including several members of Memorial, RussiaÂ’s foremost human rights group – signed and published an open letter urging the authorities to immediately release those in detention and to reverse the Supreme CourtÂ’s decision to liquidate the JehovahÂ’s WitnessesÂ’ organization. JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Russia – like all people in Russia – should be able to peacefully exercise their rights to freedom of religion and association, Human Rights Watch said. Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Russian Constitution as well as the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Russia is a party. Under international law, freedom of religion includes the freedom to practice oneÂ’s religion or belief both individually and in community with others, in public or in private, and through worship, practice, and teaching. Russia already has many rulings against it for its failure to respect the freedom of religion of faith communities and minority religious groups, such as the Church of Scientology, the Salvation Army, and the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses “Russia should do right by its national and international obligations to respect freedom of religion,” Denber said. “Russian leadership should make sure that law enforcement is honoring and protecting that right, not trampling on it.” Raids Aimed at Intimidation The JehovahÂ’s Witnesses are a peaceful religious community. The consistent show of force in raids in many locations in Russia was disproportionate and seemed aimed at sending a strong message of intimidation, Human Rights Watch said. In most regions, the authorities arrested people they singled out as leaders and organizers of the local JehovahÂ’s Witnesses community for such actions as recruiting new members and distributing religious literature that the authorities label “extremist.” On May 16 in the Orenburg Region, in southwest Russia, law enforcement personnel searched 18 homes in four cities and charged nine people. Two are in pretrial custody and another is under house arrest. On May 17 in Birobidzhan, in southeast Russia, representatives of the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses reported that about 150 law enforcement personnel raided the homes of at least nine JehovahÂ’s Witnesses, confiscating photos, bank cards, money, and computers. An official reportedly saidthat the operation was code-named “Judgment Day.” One person was arrested and charged with organizing activities of an “extremist organization” but was released from pretrial detention eight days later. On April 18 in the town of Polyarny in the Murmansk Region, in northwest Russia, armed law enforcement agents raided at least seven homes and arrested two men. They took several others into custody for questioning and later released them. Police also took a 16-year-old girl into custody and questioned her at the local investigative unit for several hours. A video posted on the Murmansk Investigative CommitteeÂ’s website shows men wearing camouflage uniforms and helmets forcing open a door to an apartment. The arrest and raid campaign took place as the trial of a JehovahÂ’s Witness who is a Danish citizen, Dennis Christensen, continues in Orel, a city in western Russia. Christensen, who was arrested in May 2017, is being tried on charges of organizing activities of an “extremist organization” and faces a maximum 10-year prison sentence if convicted. He has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rightsalleging, among other things, that his arrest constituted unlawful interference with his right to freedom of religion. Another JehovahÂ’s Witness in Orel, 55-year-old Sergei Skrynnikov, was charged on May 8, 2018, with participating in the activities of an “extremist organization.” A lawyer who is defending three JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in two regions said that throughout the past eight months, FSB agents in the Orenburg Region and the Republic of Bashkortostan conducted wiretapping, videotaping, and other surveillance of JehovahÂ’s WitnessesÂ’ activities – for which they said they had warrants – as part of the investigation. In some cases, the lawyer said, authorities placed recording devices in JehovahÂ’s WitnessesÂ’ homes. Earlier in 2018, police raided more than two dozen JehovahÂ’s WitnessesÂ’ homes in Belgorod and Kemerovo. Two JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Belgorod are facing extremism charges. Saratov and Shirokoe, Saratov Region On June 12, authorities in Saratov Region, southwestern Russia, raided at least seven homes of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in the city of Saratov and village of Shirokoe. According to the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Russia, special forces officers broke down doors and confiscated computers, books, notebooks, photographs, bankbooks, and passports. The authorities took at least 10 people to FSB offices for questioning. Three were detained and charged with organizing activities of an “extremist organization.” They are: 43-year-old Konstantin Bazhenov, 35-year-old Aleksei Budenchuk, and 33-year-old Felix Makhammadiyev. On June 14, the Frunzensky District Court placed all three in pretrial detention until August 12. Tomsk, Tomsk Region Law enforcement raided several homes and cars belonging to JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Tomsk between 10 a.m. on June 3 and about 2 a.m. the next day, the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Russia reported. Officers confiscated Bibles, mobile phones, tablets, computers, photographs, money, bank cards, and other personal possessions. They took about 30 people to the police anti-extremism center for questioning. According to a statement by the Tomsk Investigative Committee, the searches were part of a joint FSB and Internal Affairs Ministry investigation into meetings of JehovahÂ’s Witness residents in Tomsk. Investigative authorities allege that worshipers studied prohibited, “extremist” religious materials and carried out organized religious activities in violation of the Supreme CourtÂ’s ruling against the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses Administrative Center. Representatives of the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that 48-year-old Sergei Klimov was detained after a search of his home on June 3, was charged with organizing activities of an “extremist organization,” and will remain in pretrial detention until August 4. Magadan, Magadan Region The JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Russia reported that on May 30, FSB and law enforcement officers arrested Konstantin Petrov, 31; Yevgeny Zyablov, 41; and Sergei Yerkin, 61, after searching their homes in the city of Magadan (Magadan Region). On the same day, authorities in Khabarovsk (Khabarovsky Krai) detained Ivan Puyda, 39, based on a court order from Magadan. All four are accused of organizing activities of an “extremist organization” and will remain in pretrial detention until July 29. Naberezhnye Chelny, Republic of Tatarstan Police and FSB officials searched the homes of 10 JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in the city of Naberezhnye Chelny, in south-central Russia, on the evening of May 27. The JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Russia reported that the searches lasted “well into the night.” Investigators arrested Ilham Karimov, 37; Vladimir Myakushin, 30; Konstantin Matrashov, 25;   Aydar Yulmetyev, 24, on suspicion of organizing and participating in the activities of an “extremist organization” and placed them in pretrial detention until July 25. The Naberezhnye Chelny City Court displays records of all four hearings. According to the religious freedom monitoring group Forum 18, Karimov, Myakushin, and Matrashov have appealed their pretrial detention. Perm, Perm Krai The JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Russia reported that on the evening of May 22, Aleksandr Solovyev, 48, and his wife, Anna, were detained at the railway station in Perm, in the Ural Mountains region, after returning from a trip abroad. Law enforcement then searched the coupleÂ’s home and reportedly seized property deeds, photographs, several Bibles, and a Wi-Fi router. Anna was released, but her husband was held for two days. He was released on May 24, and the Sverdlovsk District Court ordered him confined to house arrest. According to Forum 18, he is being investigated on charges of participating in the activities of an “extremist organization.” Before the 2017 Supreme Court ruling banning the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses Administrative Center, Solovyov chaired the Perm JehovahÂ’s Witnesses congregation, according to the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Russia website. Birobidzhan, Jewish Autonomous Region On May 17 in Birobidzhan, southeast Russia, police raided the homes of at least nine JehovahÂ’s Witnesses. The raids were carried out by approximately 150 law enforcement officers. An official reportedly saidthat the operation was code-named “Judgment Day.” On May 18, 55-year-old Alam Aliev was placed in pretrial detention until July 13 under suspicion of organizing activities of an “extremist organization.” The FSB stated that its request to detain Aliev “was motivated by the fact that the crime is classified as grave” and because “[t]he suspect may impede the criminal proceedings, put pressure on witnesses, and also evade investigative and judicial authorities.” Following an appeal by AlievÂ’s lawyer, Aliev was released from detention on May 25 but still faces charges. Orenburg, Orenburg Region On May 16 in Orenburg Region, Investigative Committee authorities, FSB officials, and armed National Guard officers searched 18 homes in four cities. Vitaly Svintsov, a lawyer representing two JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in the region, told Human Rights Watch that nine people were charged with organizing or participating in the activities of an “extremist organization.” Two of them, Aleksandr Suvorov and Vladimir Kochnev, both 38, remain in pretrial custody until July 14. Twenty-six-year-old Vladislav Kolbanov remains under house arrest. The other six remain under travel restrictions while the investigation is ongoing, Svintsov said. Photographs of some of the raids posted on the Orenburg Investigative Committee website show FSB officials and riot police in bulletproof vests and masks approaching JehovahÂ’s WitnessesÂ’ residences. A statement by the Orenburg Investigative Committee said that investigative operations were “carefully planned and organized” by law enforcement with the aim of “seizing documents and items relevant to the criminal case, as well as identifying other persons involved in unlawful activities.” Investigators allege that the suspects “organized activities of a subdivision of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses [Administrative Center] by calling and holding meetings, organizing the recruitment of new members, and communicating the contents of religious literature to meeting participants.” Shuya, Ivanovo Region Forum 18 reported that law enforcement raided four homes in the town of Shuya, western Russia, early on the morning of April 20. Dmitry Mikhailov, 33, was arrested on May 29, over a month after his home was searched and placed in pretrial custody until July 19. He is being accused of “financing extremist activities.”  On April 20, the Ivanovo Region Investigative Committee released a statement about the home searches, alleging that since the beginning of 2018, JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Shuya had been studying literature “containing statements degrading human dignity . . . and elements of propaganda of the exclusivity of one religion over another.” Vladivostok, Primorsky Krai Several homes belonging to JehovahÂ’s Witnesses were reportedly raidedon April 19 in the far-east city of Vladivostok. Human Rights Watch was able to confirm that on April 23 Valentin Osadchuk, 42, was placed under arrest by Frunzensky District Court on charges of participation in the activities of an “extremist organization” after authorities searched his home and confiscated computers, notebooks, and other devices. He remains in pretrial detention until September 20. Representatives of the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that five others face the same charges but remain at liberty subject to travel restrictions. Polyarny, Murmansk Region On the evening of April 18 in the town of Polyarny in the Murmansk region, armed law enforcement raided at least seven homes and arrested two JehovahÂ’s Witnesses, Roman Markin, 44, and Viktor Tifimov, 61. Others whose homes were searched were taken to the local investigative unit for questioning and later released without charge. The Murmansk Region Investigative Committee stated on its websitethat National Guard officers and FSB officials who led the home searches confiscated computer drives and religious literature. A video posted to the website shows men wearing camouflage uniforms and helmets forcing open a door with a pry bar. The Investigative Committee said that beginning in April 2017, the suspects had allegedly “organized activities of the religious organization [JehovahÂ’s Witnesses] by convening and holding meetings, organizing the recruitment of new members, and leading studies of religious texts at meetings.” MarkinÂ’s lawyer, Arli Chimirov, told Human Rights Watch that armed officers broke down MarkinÂ’s door and told him and his 16-year-old daughter, who was at home with him, to lie on the floor while law enforcement threatened them with firearms and searched the apartment. MarkinÂ’s daughter was escorted to the investigative unit and was questioned for several hours along with her mother, who arrived some time later. On April 23, 2018, the Polyarny District Court placed Markin in pretrial custody until June 11. MarkinÂ’s lawyer unsuccessfully appealed the decision. According to court documents on file with Human Rights Watch, investigative authorities requested that Markin be placed in pretrial detention because of the risk that he “may continue criminal activities, threaten participants in the legal proceedings, hide or destroy evidence, and also fail to attend preliminary court hearings.” On June 4, MarkinÂ’s pretrial detention was extended to October 11. TifimovÂ’s lawyer, Yegiazar Chernikov, told Human Rights Watch that beginning in October 2017, investigators had been collecting as evidence audio and video recordings of conversations among JehovahÂ’s Witnesses. Chernikov said that on several occasions, a woman involved in the investigation invited Tifimov to her home, where audio and video recording devices were in place, and asked him questions given to her by investigative authorities and designed to incriminate him. Tifimov was originally detained until June 12, 2018, but his pretrial detention was extended until October 11. Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan The religious freedom group Forum 18 reported that approximately 60 law enforcement officers, some of them armed, raided eight homes in the city of Ufa, south-central Russia, on the morning of April 10. Investigators confiscated personal belongings, books, and photographs. The lawyer representing one of the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses who was detained said that authorities threatened worshipers with weapons, in one case holding an automatic weapon to a personÂ’s head. At least 20 people were reportedly taken to the Lenin District Investigative Department for questioning and fingerprinting but were later released. One girl was called for questioning, but when she showed up for the meeting with her mother and the director of her school, the investigator failed to appear. On April 12, Anatoly Vilikevich, 32, was arrested on suspicion of organizing activities of an “extremist organization,” and placed in pretrial detention. VilikevichÂ’s lawyer, Vitaly Svintsov, who appealed the order, told Human Rights Watch that on June 21 the Supreme Court of Bashkortostan overturned the lower courtÂ’s decision and placed him under house arrest. A statement by the Bashkortostan Republic Investigative Committeealleged that Vilikevich had organized a local chapter of the banned JehovahÂ’s Witnesses Administrative Center. Investigators who searched his home confiscated “prohibited literature,” the statement said. https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/06/28/russia-sweeping-arrests-jehovahs-witnesses Since 2007, dozens of pieces of JehovahÂ’s WitnessesÂ’ literature have been banned and placed on the federal registry of banned extremist materials. Pictured here, stacks of booklets distributed by a local leader of a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation in the Siberian town of Gorno-Altaysk are seen during a court session on December 16, 2010.  ©2010 Reuters/Alexandr Tyryshkin
  6. Officials from the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization say Russian law-enforcement officers have carried out “mass searches” on members’ homes in the Urals region of Orenburg and in the Far Eastern city of Birobidzhan. Jarrod Lopes, a spokesman for the World Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses in New York, on May 17 said 150 law-enforcement personnel raided more than 20 adherents’ homes in Birobidzhan, the capital of Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Region. The raids came after searches had been carried out on May 16 in the Orenburg region near the border with Kazakhstan in which 18 Jehovah’s Witnesses were questioned and three were taken into custody, Lopes said. The spokesman said a criminal case had been initiated against an adherent of the Christian sect, Alam Aliyev, and that a trial was expected on May 18. Russia’s Supreme Court in July 2017 upheld a ruling that the Jehovah’s Witnesses should be considered an extremist organization, effectively banning the denomination from the country. The original ruling, issued in April 2017, was the first time an entire registered religious organization had been prohibited under Russian law. Long viewed with suspicion in Russia for their positions on military service, voting, and government authority in general, the Jehovah’s Witnesses -- which claim some 170,000 adherents in Russia and 8 million worldwide -- are among several denominations that have come under increasing pressure in recent years. The sect began operating in Russia and across the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Russia's treatment of Jehovah’s Witnesses has raised concerns from governments and religious organizations in the West. “The treatment of the Jehovah’s Witnesses reflects the Russian government’s tendency to view all independent religious activity as a threat to its control and the country’s political stability,” the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said after the Supreme Court ruling last year. https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-jehovah-witnesses-raids-urals-orenburg-far-east/29233089.html
  7. Cant see this under Russian news yet: https://tv.jw.org/#en/mediaitems/LatestVideos/pub-jwb_201707_14_VIDEO
  8. 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
  9. Russia’s Supreme Court Begins High-Profile Case Against Jehovah’s Witnesses NEW YORK—Today, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation began consideration of a claim from the Ministry of Justice to liquidate the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia. The Court announced a recess, and the hearing will resume Thursday, April 6, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. The Witnesses had filed a counterclaim with the Court on March 30, 2017, against the Ministry of Justice. Today, however, the counterclaim was dismissed by the Court prior to the recess of the hearing. The Court also refused to allow experts to testify about the basis for the claim of the Ministry of Justice and refused to allow those who witnessed the falsification of evidence against local religious organizations of Jehovah’s Witnesses to testify. The high-profile nature of the case is sparking coverage by international news outlets, including an article in Time magazine posted online on April 4 (“Russian Supreme Court Considers Outlawing Jehovah’s Witness Worship”) and a front-page article in the print edition of The New York Times (“Pacifist, Christian and Threatened by Russian Ban as ‘Extremist’”) on April 5. “We certainly hope that Russia’s Supreme Court will uphold the rights of our fellow believers in Russia to freely carry out their peaceful worship,” adds David A. Semonian, a spokesman at the Witnesses’ world headquarters in New York. “Millions of people around the world will be watching carefully to see how the case progresses and if Russia acts to protect its own law-abiding citizens who are Jehovah’s Witnesses.” https://www.jw.org/en/news/releases/by-region/russia/supreme-court-begins-case-against-jehovahs-witnesses/
  10. “I was just a boy when Stalin exiled my family to Siberia merely because we were Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is sad and reprehensible that my children and grandchildren should be facing a similar fate. Never did I expect that we would again face the threat of religious persecution in modern Russia,” says Vasiliy Kalin, as Russia petitions the Supreme Court to ban Jehovah’s Witnesses. Of course, it’s all going to go against us eventually in this system of things. When Jesus said his followers would be hailed before courts, it wasn’t so that they could receive ‘good citizenship’ plaques. When Jesus himself was dragged before Pilate, he didn’t sweet-talk his way out of it, did he? It’s all the doings of the ‘house’ church. Many countries have house churches, who agree to be strictly subservient to the state. Russia, once officially atheist, found they could not stamp out the urge to worship, so they settled on the house church, which they seek to harness as a force for national unity. “What can we do for you?” they ask the house church. “Take out the competition,” is the reply. Putin doesn’t care, most likely. It’s not his thing. “Give the house church what it wants,” he reasons. “That way I keep them out of my hair.” After all, he has a country to run. It was just that way with Pilate, who tried to get Jesus off, but in the end, gave in to fanatics. ‘What are they saying about me, here?’ said Paul to the Jewish leaders in Rome. ‘Are they digging up any dirt on me?’ But there was no internet in the first century, and snail mail was snail mail. “We have not received letters about you from Judea, nor have any of the brothers who came from there reported or spoken anything bad about you. But we think it proper to hear from you what your thought are, for truly as regards this sect, we know that it is spoken against everywhere,” they told him. (Acts 28:21-22) It is a mark of true religion today. Depend upon it to be “spoken against everywhere.” Surely, the house church make Russia look like utter fools on the world stage. You cannot view jw.org, banned in Russia and Russia alone, and think for one moment that it is extremist. One would think that ISIS would have taught the Russians what extremism is. Still, while we hate persecution and we pray for our Russian brothers under trial, persecution does often turn out for advancement of the good news. “Why are they making trouble for the Jehovahs?” some people ask. “They’re nice people.” "In their literature, there are some very harsh statements and very insulting statements about other faiths," says Alexander Dvorkin, a former Russian Orthodox priest who now teaches the history of religion and cult studies at St. Tikhon University in Moscow. "Of course, every religion has the right to criticize other faiths, but that should be done in a non-insulting manner, especially if you are talking about [my faith] the faith of the majority." (brackets mine) The reason you can and should criticize other faiths is that, as any non-religious person knows, religion has historically served as chief cheerleader of war and killing. That’s why a growing number of persons would like to ban it. “Dvorkin says that the Jehovah's Witnesses are not Christian because they don't believe in the divinity of Christ.” (from NPR) Got it? It’s also violence at the hands of Trinitarians. A more intolerant bunch you will never see.
  11. March 21, 2017 DOCUMENT: URGENT VIDEO APPEAL OF VASILY KALIN IN CONNECTION WITH LAWSUIT TO BAN JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES Unprecedented news has become the occasion for this appeal. The Ministry of Justice has taken it upon itself to close and to declare criminal a whole religion—the Jehovah's Witnesses. A lawsuit has already been filed in the Supreme Court of Russia. They ask for the supreme measure of punishment for all 396 of our organizations, including our Administrative Center. We are talking about their liquidation and finding them to be extremist. A special point is to confiscate from believers all of their houses of worship and other property. While the Ministry of Justice wants to do this immediately. For 175 thousand adherents of our religion, they are possibly facing the most trying period of their life. I recall the April night in 1951. At the time eight and a half thousand believers of our religion, that is, practically ALL, were deprived of their homes and taken to Siberia for permanent settlement. The life of thousands of believer was irreparably broken. Hundreds and hundreds passed through the camps. But they did not renounce their faith. And they did not become bitter. They always remained peaceful people, as Christ also commanded. Subsequently the state recognized us as victims of political repressions. And how blasphemously we again find ourselves in the position of dangerous criminals! If the Ministry of Justice achieves its [goal], believers will face up to 10 years in prison! Recently, after the liquidation of a registered congregation in Taganrog, 16 of our brothers and sisters in the faith were sentenced to large fines and several even to a 5-year suspended prison term—just for joint reading of the Bible. A new indictment may lead them to real prison terms. For what? What are these people guilty of? That they, as seems to somebody, study the Bible "incorrectly"? That they consider their faith the only truth? Or are they guilty of not resorting to violence, following the gospel command ment: "put the sword into its sheath"? The accusation of Jehovah's Witnesses for extremism is absurd and savage. We ask you who may influence the course of events, look the facts in the face objectively and impartially. Finally, we are reminded of an episode described in the Acts of the Apostles. Christians were condemned on false charges. One of the judges of the Supreme Court, the Sanhedrin, said of them to his colleagues: "Leave these people in peace; let them go. If their aim and their act is from man, it will die of itself; but if it is of God, you will not be able to destroy them. And you would turn out to be fighting against God himself!" (Acts 5:38,39) Vasily Kalin Chairman of Governing Body of the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia Russian transcription posted on website of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 21 March 2017
  12. Russia's a nation of laws, just like here, and there's no legal barrier now for those who hate us to shut down the Branch. The brothers lost a critical legal appeal at Moscow City Court. Putin may not even know about it. He's had a lot on his plate lately. Places like Russia favor the 'house' church. They don't necessarily believe it, they likely don't, but they favor it because it's a force for national unity. 'What can we do for you?' they ask. 'Take out the competition,' is the reply from the Church. How could any brother in Russia not think it a remarkable coincidence? The enemies of Jehovah's Witnesses are fully empowered to close Bethel. And at Witness meetings worldwide this week was played the movie about how the Assyrian army was poised to destroy Jerusalem, and in one night a single angel destroyed them all. Yet the movie was made two years ago, and the Bible reading schedule that determines when to play it is many years old! Hezekiah, the Israelite King, wasn't overconfident. He didn't assume God was going to bail him out - for maybe he wouldn't. He just knew that he was to trust fully in God and remain faithful. But I hate to see the brothers go through more harassment, if not total shut-down. They've been through so much already. 'Hey, remember that angel we dispatched to Jerusalem? I'm impressed with his portfolio. Check on his availability, won't you?' Is there that sort of discussion somewhere? Will it work that way? Or will world opinion prevail upon leaders there to carry on as every other nation does, Russia being the only nation on earth to ban JW.org. It's laughable. The house church makes them look like utter fools before the world. (not to mention it kills us) Nobody can watch JW.org and think it is, even to the tiniest degree, extremist. Our brothers bear up under persecution when they must, and it often brings honest-hearted (and courageous) people into the fold. People say 'why are they making trouble for the Jehovah's? They're nice people.' ............ Tom Irregardless and Me.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Service Confirmation Terms of Use Privacy Policy Guidelines We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.