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    • By Isabella
      PRISONS ARE fecund incubators for coronavirus — people in tight proximity, surfaces easily contaminated, closed internal spaces, poor hygiene and lack of medicines. For those around the world who have been thrown into jails for their beliefs, the pandemic could become a death sentence. Prisoners everywhere must be protected from the virus on humanitarian grounds, and political prisoners ought to be freed now so they do not die for their words and convictions.
      In Kyrgyzstan, journalist Azimjon Askarov is ill. Let him go. Iran must release Iranian American businessman Siamak Namazi, held for more than four years in Evin prison. In Russia, the political prisoners include 26 Jehovah’s Witnesses in pretrial detention and eight in penal colonies. They should not face a covid-19 death sentence for their religious beliefs. In Venezuela, the “Citgo 6” have been recently moved from house arrest to prison. They are six oil company executives — five U.S. citizens and one permanent resident — arrested and detained in 2017. They must be released.

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    • By Isabella
      On March 20, 2020, the investigator D. Melnikov opened another criminal case under Part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation against local resident Tatyana Kulakova. Criminal investigations are under way against her husband and eldest son, Dmitriy. The youngest of the Kulakov family, Yevgeniy, for reasons of conscience, asks to replace his military service with alternative civilian service (ACS). However, the authorized bodies unreasonably deny his request, threatening criminal prosecution for “evading military service.”

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    • By Isabella
      67-year-old Yuriy Krutyakov was arrested on March 4, 2020, on suspicion of extremism. Now he is placed in the Moscow pre-trial Detention Center No. 4, a special unit for particularly dangerous criminals. Yuriy suffers from a number of serious diseases, having undergone several operations. Meanwhile, Yuriy was deprived of the Bible. His copy of the Holy Scriptures was withdrawn for verification; until now, the book has not been returned.

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    • By Isabella
      A Russian court has overturned the convictions of six Jehovah’s Witnesses accused of extremism, marking the first instance of the group's worshippers having their verdicts overturned in Russia, the group announced Wednesday.
      The court in Penza, some 550 kilometers southeast of Moscow, handed five adherents suspended two-year prison sentences in December. The sixth worshipper, Vladimir Alushkin, was jailed for six years after an investigation had shown that he had continued to run the local Jehovah’s Witnesses branch despite the group being outlawed in Russia.
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      Vladimir Alushkin, a Jehovah's Witnesses member who in December was jailed for six years, has been released after his conviction on extremism charges was overturned.
    • By Isabella
      On the afternoon of 3 March 2020, a court in the southern Crimean town of Yalta is expected to issue its verdict in the "extremism"-related criminal case of Jehovah's Witness Artyom Gerasimov. The prosecutor has demanded a general regime jail term of six and a half years, plus one year of restrictions on freedom and a three-year ban on unspecified activity (see below).

      On the morning of 5 March, the District Court in the northern Crimean town of Dzhankoi is expected to issue its verdict in the "extremism"-related criminal case of another Crimean Jehovah's Witness, Sergei Filatov. Closed hearings on 25 and 28 February heard the final speeches in the case. The prosecutor has demanded a strict regime jail term of seven years (see below).

      If either Gerasimov or Filatov is convicted, they would be the first Jehovah's Witnesses convicted in Russian-occupied Crimea to punish them for exercising freedom of religion or belief (see below).

      Two other Jehovah's Witnesses in Russian-occupied Crimea face "extremism"-related criminal charges. Russian security forces again raided the home of one of them on 13 February. An FSB security service present during the raid put the phone down as soon as Forum 18 asked why it had been launched (see below).

      Meanwhile, the FSB security service Investigator has three times refused to grant permission for Oleg Prikhodko to receive a pastoral visit in Simferopol Investigation Prison from Archbishop Kliment, of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The Investigator initially refused because the Church does not have Russian registration. His third refusal claimed such a pastoral visit might harm the investigation (see below).
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    • By Isabella
      WASHINGTON (RNS) — Russia’s human rights record, including its history of mistreating religious minorities, is worsening, according to testimony at a hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday (Feb. 27).  
      “Unfortunately, the human rights situation in Russia continues to deteriorate, and just when you think things can’t get any worse, they do,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., co-chair of the Tom Lantos Commission on Human Rights, at the hearing in the Rayburn House Office Building.
      Elizabeth Cassidy, director of research and policy at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, said Russia’s “malign activities around the globe are clearly evident, yet its systematic, ongoing, egregious repression of religious freedom is less well known.”
      “The Russian government maintains, frequently updates and enforces an array of laws that restrict religious freedom,” Cassidy added.  
      She said Jehovah’s Witnesses, who were banned as “extremist” by the Russian government in 2017, are “among the groups most brutally targeted under these laws in recent years,” as praying, preaching and dissemination of materials outside designated places of worship are often prohibited.
      As of the day of the hearing, the Jehovah’s Witnesses report that 35 of their members are in prison, 25 are under house arrest and 29 have been convicted in Russia.
      “These violations are escalating, spreading through the country and even across its borders,” Cassidy said.

      Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., left, co-chair of the Tom Lantos Commission on Human Rights, talks with Elizabeth Cassidy, center, and Melissa Hooper after a human rights hearing Feb. 27, 2020, at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

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    • By Isabella
      On February 21, 2020, in the Republic of Belarus, police officers detained Russian citizen Nikolay Makhalichev, 36. Checking his documents, they declared he was wanted by the Russian authorities since he was professing a banned religion. Three days later the prosecutor sent him to pre-trial detention facility SIZO-2 in Vitebsk, Belarus.

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    • By Isabella
      Authorities in Russia’s Far East have charged eight Jehovah’s Witnesses with extremism earlier this month, bringing the number of worshippers facing criminal prosecution there to 22, the religious organization said Tuesday.
      Birobidzhan, a city in the Jewish autonomous district, was among a handful of cities to label the Jehovah’s Witnesses as an “extremist” group in 2016. A year later, Russia’s Supreme Court declared the religious group to be “extremist” and banned its estimated 400 branches across the country.

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    • By Isabella
      On February 6, 2020, in Orenburg, officers of Penal Colony No. 1 beat believers Budenchuk, German, Gridasov, Makhammadiyev, and Miretskiy with clubs and legs. As a result, one of them, Feliks Makhammadiyev, was hospitalized. The rest were falsely charged and sent to a punishment cell.
      Believers were beaten upon admission to a penal colony located in the Krymsky lane, Orenburg. The next day, the doctors examined them. Only after Feliks Makhammadiyev wrote a document stating that he had “hit himself in the toilet” was an ambulance called in. He was hospitalized, underwent surgery, and a drainage tube was inserted into his lung to drain the fluid. Among other things, the tests showed that Makhammadiyev’s body was starving (he suffers from gluten intolerance, and the colony’s staff members had taken away his prescribed special food). The remaining believers were sent to a punishment cell on false accusations, for example, “for smoking in the wrong place.” (Jehovah's Witnesses do not smoke for religious reasons.)

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    • By Isabella
      Late in the evening of February 10, 2020, Vadim Kutsenko, 31, was tortured in the forest, leaving him in pain and weakness. Law enforcement officers repeatedly beat and choked him and applied electric shocks to his stomach and leg.
      They demanded that he give them information about other Jehovah’s Witnesses. When the officers realized that Vadim Kutsenko would not divulge any information, they took him to the investigator’s office for further interrogation. He remains in custody. On February 15, 2020, the Ingodskiy District Court will determine what, if any, restrictions they will impose on him.
      The condition of other detained Jehovah’s Witnesses, Sergey Kirilyuk, and Pavel Mamalimov, is unknown.
      The Trans-Baikal Territory is the territory where during the Stalinist repressions Jehovah's Witnesses were massively exiled to a special settlement. Believers were later rehabilitated and recognized as victims of political repression.
      A year ago, on February 15, 2019, seven peaceful Jehovah's Witnesses in Surgut were tortured with electric shocks, suffocation, and beatings. Under torture, investigators forced them to answer questions about their religion and fellow believers. According to the messages of believers, an investigation is under way.

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    • By Isabella
      MOSCOW, February 11 (RAPSI) – Investigative authorities of Russia’s Zabaikalsky Krai region in Siberia have initiated a criminal case over activities of a chapter of banned Jehovah’s Witnesses, according to a statement of Russia’s Investigative Committee.
      Investigators believe that a local chapter of Jehovah’s Witnesses has been operating in the town of Chita and several districts of the Zabaikalsky Krai for some years; the case was opened on the grounds that this religious society had been banned by a court decision as an extremist organization.
      In April 2017, the Supreme Court of Russia ordered liquidation of the Jehovah's Witnesses managing organization and all its 395 local branches. In August, the Administrative Centre of Jehovah's Witnesses was added to the list of banned extremist organizations.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization has had many legal problems in Russia. Since 2009, 95 materials distributed by the organization in the country have been declared extremist and 8 Jehovah's Witnesses’ branches have been liquidated, according to the Justice Ministry.
      Jehovah's Witnesses is an international religious organization based in Brooklyn, New York. Since 2004 several branches and chapters of the organization were banned and shut down in various regions of Russia.

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    • By Isabella
      Federal Financial Monitoring Service of the Russian Federation (Rosfinmonitoring) has included more than 200 innocent believers in the list of individuals involved in extremism and terrorism. They lose their jobs, business, pensions, bank accounts and even the opportunity to buy a SIM card or get insurance.

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    • By Isabella
      Two Jehovah’s Witnesses have been convicted of extremism in Russia’s Far East, the group said Tuesday amid what activists say is an escalating crackdown on the religious group.
      The ruling to hand the two worshippers in the Khabarovsk region a two-year suspended sentence comes after Russia’s Supreme Court declared the Jehovah’s Witnesses an “extremist” organization in 2017.
      A court found Jehovah’s Witnesses Nikolai Polevodov and Stanislav Kim guilty of membership in an extremist organization, the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia group said. 
      Polevodov and Kim are also among six fellow believers currently awaiting a verdict on charges of organizing an extremist organization. They were detained during a raid on what the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia called a non-religious gathering at a cafe in 2018. 

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    • By Isabella
      Fifty Russian citizens have been awarded compensation totaling more than 1 million euros ($1.1 million) for police brutality and illegal searches, according to four European human rights court rulings issued Tuesday.
      Russia paid more than 600 million rubles ($9.5 million) to its citizens in compliance with European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rulings in 2019, officials said. Russia’s payouts over 20 years, they said, totaled 200 million euros.
      Three of the latest ECHR rulings award 29 Russian citizens 835,000 euros on claims of torture through electric shocks, needles in nails and beatings with truncheons, according to a tally by the MBKh News website.
      In its fourth ruling, the ECHR awarded 21 Russian lawyers 180,000 euros on claims of unlawful searches.
      Russian law enforcement has been rocked by several torture scandals in recent years, with reported victims including LGBT people in Chechnya, Jehovah's Witnesses and prisoners. 
      President Vladimir Putin in 2015 allowed the Russian Constitutional Court to overrule decisions issued by the Strasbourg-based judiciary. Putin’s recent constitutional shake-up includes a proposal for Russian law to take precedence over international rulings, a clause that experts viewed as targeting the ECHR.
      The share of Russian cases in Europe’s top human rights court reached a seven-year high in 2019, according to its recently released annual report.

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    • By Isabella
      The rebel Luhansk People's Republic – which denies registration to many religious communities including all Protestants – threatens to cut off gas, electricity and water to places of worship belonging to unrecognised communities. The rebel authorities have allowed the only Catholic priest to return to the territory, but have not said if he can remain permanently or only for three months.
      In 2019 the rulers of the unrecognised self-declared Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) in eastern Ukraine cut off or threatened to cut off gas, electricity and water supplies to religious communities which had a recognised place of worship but which failed to gain registration under LPR laws. Gas supplies were cut off in 2019. In late 2019 the LPR authorities also threatened to cut off electricity and water supplies.
      "Officials argue that they cannot supply gas, electricity and water to organisations that don't officially exist, as they can't have contracts with them," Baptist Pastor Serhii Moroz told Forum 18 (see below).

      In December 2019 Culture, Sport and Youth Minister Dmitry Sidorov, revealed that of the 195 registered religious organisations, 188 are from the Russian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate. The others are Muslim, Old Believer, Jewish and Catholic. No Protestant, Jehovah's Witness, Hare Krishna or other communities are allowed to get registration 
      No registration – no gas, electricity, water
      Religious communities which had a recognised place of worship but which failed to gain registration under LPR laws had their gas cut off in 2019, Baptist Pastor Serhii Moroz, who is originally from the region but now lives in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, told Forum 18 on 4 February 2020. In late 2019 came the threat that electricity and water too would be cut off.

      "Officials argue that they cannot supply gas, electricity and water to organisations that don't officially exist, as they can't have contracts with them," Pastor Moroz told Forum 18.

      Communities which met in church members' homes have not had gas, electricity and water supplies cut, Pastor Moroz added.

      Inna Sheryayeva, head of the Religious Organisations and Spirituality Department of the Culture, Sport and Youth Ministry in Luhansk, told Forum 18 she had not heard that gas, electricity and water supplies have been or are threatened with being cut off to places of worship that have not been able to gain registration.

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      In September 2006 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a GLOBAL COUNTER-TERRORISM STRATEGY resolution (A/RES/60/288).  Although not a binding resolution, it was hailed as a landmark U.N. plan of action designed to enhance national, regional and international efforts to counter terrorism. (See page 1, 2 of 60/288)   Please note that this resolution began to link the combating of religious intolerance, discrimination and defamation with counter-terrorist initiatives.  Governments involved would report back to the U.N. on the progress made in regards to its implementation.   In “Pillar 1”, this resolution outlined several “MEASURES TO ADDRESS THE CONDITIONS CONDUCIVE TO THE SPREAD OF TERRORISM”.  Please note some of these measures:


      We resolve to undertake the following measures aimed at addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, including  . . . religious discrimination


      2. To continue to arrange under the auspices of the United Nations initiatives and programs to promote dialogue, tolerance and understanding among civilizations, cultures, peoples and religions, and to promote mutual respect for and prevent the defamation of religions, religious values, beliefs and cultures.


      3. To promote a culture of peace, justice and human development, ethnic, national and religious tolerance and respect for all religions, religious values, beliefs or cultures by establishing and encouraging, as appropriate, education and public awareness programs involving all sectors of society. In this regard, we encourage the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to play a key role, including through inter-faith and intra-faith dialogue and dialogue among civilizations;


      Progress reports of the countries that implemented 60/288 can be found on the UN website.  For example:  There is a 2010 U.N. progress report entitled “With Consensus Resolution, General Assembly Reiterates Unequivocal Condemnation of Terrorism, Reaffirms Support for 2006 UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy” (GA/10977).   Also there is a 2014 report entitled “Activities of the United Nations system in implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy” (A/68/841) that can be found on that website.   As you view these documents notice how the “engagement of civil society” was part of that implementation strategy. (See page 2 of GA/10977)


      Democratic Western powers including America implemented the GLOBAL COUNTER-TERRORISM STRATEGY (A/RES/60/288) as can be seen in the documents cites above, but they repeatedly rejected the need to “prevent  defamation of religions, religious values, beliefs and cultures” as a means to combat conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism.  For example in a speech given in September 2012 by America’s National Security Advisor Denis McDonough on “International Religious Freedom” (See page 7, 12-13 “Remarks by Denis McDonough on International Religious Freedom | whitehouse.gov”) he summed up how these types of resolutions “sought to penalize defamation which undermined free speech and expression”.  Also The Mission of the United States Geneva press statement by Hillary Clinton reiterates this point. Despite these kinds of objections by Western democratic governments, the U.N. continued to support counter terrorism measures to prevent religious defamation. 


      Consider what the Russian Federation represented by Alexander A. Pankin said at the U.N. in 2010 regarding its support for the U.N. Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.  He stated “since the United Nations Global Strategy had been adopted (in Sept 2006), the President of his country had signed a document that outlined Russia’s approach to the effective implementation of that initiative”. (Page 8)   Approximately three years later around June 2013 the Russian Federation passed laws against religious blasphemy. (See articles on Russia’s legislation of blasphemy laws)  Keep in mind that some countries in Africa, Asia, the Baltics, Europe, the East and many in the Middle East share similar religious defamation or blasphemy legislation, whether they are Christian/ Jewish Orthodox or Islamic nations.  The UN’s consideration for such countries contributed to the development of U.N. resolution 60/288 which urged the combating the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism by preventing blasphemy of religions and religious values.   




      In March 2011, UN Resolution A/HRC/RES/16/18 was born as a result of Western democratic governments including Britain and the US working together with human rights organizations and religious organizations such as the “Organisation of the Islamic Conference” (Also called: Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) and the Vatican.  Although this was not a binding resolution it too was touted as a “landmark” resolution because it dropped or excluded the need to prevent “defamation” as a condition conducive to the spread of terrorism.  (See: Mission of the United States Geneva; “Joint Statement on Combating Intolerance, discrimination and violence”- July 15, 2011)


      Resolution A/HRC/RES/16/18 was titled:  “COMBATING INTOLERANCE, NEGATIVE STEREOTYPING AND STIGMATIZATION OF, AND DISCRIMINATION, INCITEMENT TO VIOLENCE AND VIOLENCE AGAINST, PERSONS BASED ON RELIGION OR BELIEF”.  This resolution was designed to “prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion or belief and to implement measures to guarantee the equal and effective protection of the law”. (Page 1)   However, it omitted the phrase “prevent the defamation of religions, religious values, beliefs and cultures” and called on Member States to “Understand the need to combat denigration and negative religious stereotyping of persons, as well as incitement to religious hatred”.  (page 3 [G])  Note the following conditions it addressed:


      ·          incidents of intolerance, discrimination and violence against persons based on their religion or belief in all regions of the world


      ·         any advocacy of discrimination or violence on the basis of religion or belief


      ·         actions that willfully exploit tensions or target individuals on the basis of their religion or belief”


      ·         any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, whether it involves the use of print, audio-visual or electronic media or any other means


      On page 2 of resolution 16/18 it makes “note” of a speech by the “Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference at the fifteenth session of the Human Rights Council” and “draws on his call  for states to take the following actions to foster a domestic environment of religious tolerance, peace and respect, by”:


      (b) Creating an appropriate mechanism within Governments to, inter alia, identify and address potential areas of tension between members of different religious communities, and assisting with conflict prevention and mediation;

      (c) Encouraging training of Government officials in effective outreach strategies;

      (d) Encouraging the efforts of leaders to discuss within their communities the causes of discrimination, and evolving strategies to counter these causes


      On July 15, 2011, a clarification was requested in a “Statement” by the Secretary General of the “Organization of Islamic Conference”. (Page 1, 2 of the “statement”)   He pointed out the “need to squarely address and develop a common understanding on some of the grey areas. They include the exact nature and scope of the complementarities between the freedom of opinion and expression and the prohibition of incitement to hatred on racial, national and religious grounds as stipulated in articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”. (ICCPR).   The “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” is a treaty of the United Nations General Assembly that commits its signatories to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.  Likely in response to the request of the OIC, on September 12, 2011, (six months after resolution 16/18 was adopted) the U.N. Human Rights Committee issued “General comment No. 34” in regard to Article 19 of the ICCPR.   Note point 48:


      United Nations Human Rights Committee - “General comment No. 34” of the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”

      48. Prohibitions of displays of lack of respect for a religion or other belief system, including blasphemy laws, are incompatible with the Covenant, except in the specific circumstances envisaged in article 20, paragraph 2, of the Covenant. Such prohibitions must also comply with the strict requirements of article 19, paragraph 3, as well as such articles as 2, 5, 17, 18 and 26. Thus, for instance, it would be impermissible for any such laws to discriminate in favour of or against one or certain religions or belief systems, or their adherents over another, or religious believers over non-believers. Nor would it be permissible for such prohibitions to be used to prevent or punish criticism of religious leaders or commentary on religious doctrine and tenets of faith.


      Point 48 of “General comment No. 34” indicated that although “prohibitions of displays of lack of respect for a religion or other belief system, including blasphemy laws, are incompatible with the Covenant”, under Article 20 paragraph 2 of the Covenant there are “specific circumstances” that allow an exception that permits prohibitions on the freedom of expression such as “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence”.  Also Article 19 paragraph 3 of the Covenant allows for the freedom of expression or assembly to be “subject to certain restrictions  . . . as provided by law and are necessary” for “the protection of national security or of public order or of public health or morals”.  For your convenience Articles 19 and 20 are provided below:


      International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: 


      Article 20 

      1.       Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law. 


      2. Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law. 


      Article 19

      1.       Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.


      2.       Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.


      3.       3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:


      (a)   For respect of the rights or reputations of others;


      (b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.


      Prior to this “The Permanent Mission of the United States of America” sent a letter to the United Nations on November 3, 2010 entitled: “UNITED STATES RESPONSE TO THE UNITED NATION OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS CONCERNING EXPERT WORKSHOPS ON THE INCITEMENT TO NATIONAL, RACIAL OR RELIGIOUS HATRED”.  This was part of the United States contribution toward the development of resolution 16/18.  Please note that in 2010 this letter disclosed that “the United States has entered a reservation to Article 20, according to which the Article does not authorize or require legislation or other action by the United States that would restrict the right of free speech and association protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States”.  The letter pointed out that “the United States does not, therefore implement Article 20 prohibitions, in the spirit of open dialog.”  (See Pages 1-3, of the letter) 


      Note that the U.S. “reservation” to Article 20 favored “open dialog” rather than enacting laws that prohibit freedom of expression, however it did not make a reservation to Article 19 which could be enacted to protect national security and public order in the event of war or serious act(s) of terrorism or religious chaos.  This should help us appreciate the United States implementation of resolution 16/18 over minority religions is only a pro-active measure taken to avoid the dire conditions where freedom of expression or assembly would need to be restricted by law. 


      Consider this carefully, a worldwide ban of all religion is not prohibited by either Article 19 or 20, provided the reasons for such a ban are sufficient enough to warrant it.  However, in the United States and other democratic countries that reject blasphemy laws, a ban on Jehovah’s Witnesses alone or a ban on all religions except Jehovah’s Witnesses would not be in accord with these articles of the UN covenant, but a ban that restricts religious free speech equally is very possible under the right circumstances. 





      On December 14, 2011, at a meeting called the “Istanbul Process for Combating Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief,” Hillary Clinton then American Secretary of State revealed that “the United States has made a commitment to support the 1618 implementation efforts” and hoped to “take practical steps to engage with members of religious minority groups” in order to have “anti-discrimination laws” in America “enforced equally”.  (Remarks at the Istanbul Process for Combating Intolerance, Page 1, 3)  

      A very important report of this meeting was published entitled:  “REPORT OF THE UNITED STATES ON THE FIRST MEETING OF EXPERTS TO PROMOTE IMPLEMENTATION OF UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL RESOLUTION 16/18 – DECEMBER 2011”. Notice the opening comments of this report on page 4 which highlighted the meetings objective and its purpose: 


       At the invitation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, representatives of 26 governments and four international organizations met in Washington, D.C. on December 12-14, 2011 to discuss the implementation of United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution (UNHRC) 16/18 on "Combating Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping and Stigmatization of, and Discrimination, Incitement to Violence and Violence Against, Persons Based on Religion or Belief." 


      The implementation meeting focused on two elements of the steps set forth in Resolution 16/18: prohibiting discrimination based on religion or belief and 2) training government officials, including on how to implement effective outreach to religious communities 


      The Executive Summary of the U.S. report stated: “Presenters and participants in the interactive sessions were law enforcement and anti-discrimination experts. Presenters included experts from invited countries and international organizations, as well as personnel from the United States Departments of Homeland Security and Justice”.  Please note how outreach to religious minorities was being actively demonstrated at this meeting, as reported under the subheading “PLENARY SESSION II: Roundtable Demonstration: Engagement with Religious Minority Communities in the United States”:  Pertinent excerpts are provided below:  (See page 7, 8 of the report)


      Description: A participant from the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) at the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) described his office’s responsibility to protect the United States from foreign and domestic threats while guaranteeing that the protection of national security is carried out without infringing upon constitutional freedoms. DHS/CRCL relies on a number of tools to accomplish this mission, including regular engagement with diverse ethnic and religious communities in cities across the United States. This session familiarized participants with DHS/CRCL’s engagement process and set the stage for subsequent discussions of engagement strategies. Participants had the opportunity to witness a re-creation of a community engagement roundtable where community stakeholders raised civil rights concerns with DHS personnel. Meeting participants were also able to ask questions of the community stakeholders and DHS personnel to propose suggestions and best practices of their own.


      The DHS participant continued by elaborating on the goals of the roundtable process. These include: reaching broader audiences, providing access to community events, and obtaining information about community interests and concerns. DHS/CRCL roundtables have helped assure that communities have accurate information about government policies and practices, both by conveying information to the representatives and by identifying gaps in public information.


      Participants from a diverse set of religious communities, civil rights advocates, and participants from the United States Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice, engaged in a roundtable discussion with representatives of various religious and faith-based communities as well as civil rights and civil liberties groups.


      The above clearly demonstrates how DOJ or affiliated agencies would use “roundtable discussion” with religious communities to “assure that communities have accurate information about government policies and practices, both by conveying information to the representatives and by identifying gaps in public information”.  (See also U.S. Report -Page 5, 19)  Note the motive for engagement with religious minorities and these roundtable discussions and is not just to protect constitutional freedoms but to protect the national security of the United States. (See U.S. Report page 7, 9, 25)  The following excerpts are found under the subheading “GOVERNMENT OUTREACH AND TRAINING INTERACTIVE SESSION II: Government engagement with communities in conflict. (U.S. Report -pages 21-22)


      The DHS participant noted that the United States endeavors to engage with faith communities and minority communities, especially those in which members feel alienated.  A participant from the United States Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Community Relations Service (CRS) talked about other resources that the government can offer to help communities address conflict peacefully. “While other parts of the DOJ enforce civil rights laws in the United States, DOJ/CRS works with communities in conflict to address tension associated with allegations of discrimination by facilitating dialogue, providing training, and conducting mediation.


      The DOJ/CRS participant stressed that his office intervenes when its services are requested, and sometimes on its own initiative if need be. The mediation agreements produced during this process are not legally enforceable, but parties may choose to issue a public statement outlining their shared commitment to take certain remedial action. DOJ/CRS conciliators are required under United States law to conduct their activities in confidence, without publicity, and are prohibited from disclosing confidential information. The participant from DOJ/CRS explained that in his experience, if an event occurs in the United States or overseas that may lead to tension in the United States, engaging early and discussing the issue with the relevant community or communities is important.


      As indicated in the U.S. report, in the event of a religiously motivated terrorist attack that threatens U.S. national security, the DOJ/DHS or affiliated agencies can “intervene” with relevant religious communities without being requested.  According to the report, national security concerns require the DOJ/DHS to carry out these kinds of roundtable discussions with religious minorities to provide them with pertinent information, communicate changes in policy or mediate “conflict prevention”.  In practical terms it means that after a serious terrorist event these US agencies may want the leaders of minority religions to appreciate the need to refrain from publishing something that might heighten or incite tensions, hatred or violence between faiths or religions.


      At this point in the research, it is important to keep in mind how the January 15, 2001 Watchtower referenced below portrayed the governing body as a representative of the faithful slave and that the resolutions being discussed in this research began to be implemented in America at a time when we still identified the faithful slave as follows:


      *** w01 1/15 pp. 30-31 How the Governing Body Differs From a Legal Corporation ***

       ‘The faithful slave’ has been ‘appointed over all his master’s belongings.’ These include facilities at headquarters in New York State, U.S.A., and the 110 branches now operating worldwide. The members of the slave class know that they will be called upon to render an account for the way in which they have used what has been entrusted to them. (Matthew 25:14-30) Yet, this does not prevent the ‘slave’ from allowing qualified overseers from among the “other sheep” to care for legal and administrative responsibilities. In fact, this allows members of the Governing Body to devote more time “to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”—Acts 6:4.

      As long as conditions in this world permit, the Governing Body, representing “the faithful and discreet slave,” will make use of legal entities. These are convenient, but they are not indispensable. If a legal entity is dissolved by government decree, the preaching work will still go on. Even now, in lands where restrictions are in effect and no legal entities are used, the Kingdom message is being proclaimed, disciples are being made, and theocracy’s increase continues. That is happening because Jehovah’s Witnesses plant and water, and ‘God keeps making it grow.’—1 Corinthians 3:6, 7.

      *** w01 1/15 p. 31 A Special Announcement ***

      “The faithful and discreet slave’ and its Governing Body have had entrusted to them interests that are higher and far more encompassing than those granted to legal corporations. Making a very significant point, Brother Barr stated: “Set out in the chartered purposes of each of such entities are matters that are limited in their scope. Our Master, Jesus Christ, however, has appointed the faithful slave class over all his ‘belongings, or Kingdom interests here on earth.”





       In the DHS’s resolve to protect national security, we as Jehovah’s Witnesses would not be viewed as exempt from the implementation of Resolution 16/18 or other related resolutions.  We were likely viewed as a “community in conflict” because of our position toward false religion as demonstrated by the tract “The End of False Religion is Near” proclaimed throughout the world in 2006 (Kingdom news NO. 37).  Keep in mind this tract was circulated at the time when the UN GLOBAL COUNTER-TERRORISM STRATEGY (resolution 60/288) was adopted by the UN and was beginning to be implemented by governments around the world including Britain, the EU, Russia, the United States and eastern Islamic countries.  Remember too, this UN global counter-terrorism strategy endorsed the need “to promote mutual respect for and prevent the defamation of religions, religious values, beliefs and cultures” as “measures to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism”.   On the other hand, UN resolution 16/18 was implemented in 2011 by the United States out of regard for its constitutional guarantees.  To ‘prevent conflict’ the US preferred dialog and discussion with any offending minority religions rather than enacting laws that prohibit freedom of expression.   


      At the time of the implementation of UN resolution 16/18  in 2011-2012, our publications still portrayed the anointed remnant as the faithful slave who was “appointed over” the preaching work and all legal entities and the branches including those in the U.S.   During a time of heightened national security would the DOJ/ DHS be frustrated trying to mediate “conflict prevention” with a faithful slave class made up of thousands of members with most living in other countries? 


      It’s only reasonable to think that in order to mediate “conflict prevention” with the faithful slave the DOJ/ DHS would have to inform the anointed remnant of such through the legal entities that were said to represent their kingdom interests.  Why hadn’t the anointed remnant heard anything about the implementation of resolution 16/18?   The w11 8/15 p. 22 Questions From Readers  briefly stated regarding the number of memorial partakers:  “We thus have no way of knowing the exact number of anointed ones on earth; nor do we need to know. The Governing Body does not keep a list of all partakers, for it does not maintain a global network of anointed ones.”  This statement indicates the United States DHS/DOJ would not be able to convey important policy information or mediate “conflict prevention” with all the individuals making up the faithful slave through the governing body.  Also American policies would have no jurisdiction over anointed ones living abroad.  





      Just 10 months after “the United States had made a commitment to support  the implementation of 16/18” and demonstrated in a report how agencies of the DOJ would help in its implementation, the governing body announced the new identity of the faithful slave at the October 2012 Annual Corporate Meeting.  Ironically at the time of this announcement, the study article “Are You a Trusted Steward!” (w12/12/15 p. 9, pars 2, 3) which spoke of the “faithful steward class” in the old sense was available to read online at jw.org.  The fact that this Watchtower was posted on our website during the October 2012 Annual Corporate Meeting, helps us identify the approximate time period when the governing body decided conclusively to identify itself as the faithful slave.  It appears, this decision to change the identity of the slave occurred shortly before the w12/12/15 was finally edited, possibly around August/ September 2012.  This was likely the reason why it wasn’t until approximately six months after the 2012 Annual Corporate Meeting (around April 2013) that the July 15, 2013 Watchtower study article which detailed the change was available on our website.


      The July 15, 2013 Watchtower on page 23 paragraph 14 stated:  “The faithful and discreet slave is thus charged with the responsibility to manage the household of faith. That responsibility includes overseeing material assets, the preaching activity, assembly and convention programs, and the production of Bible literature for use in the field ministry and in personal and congregation study. The domestics depend on all the spiritual provisions dispensed by the composite slave.”   In Paragraphs 11-13, this Watchtower described the faithful slave as being appointed over “the domestics” since early 1919 and those domestics were identified as “all anointed ones” as well as “the other sheep.  Accordingly from early 1919 all members of the congregation were identified as part of the “belongings” the governing body was ‘appointed over’.  Reliance on this arrangement was summed up in a paragraph 2 which stated:  “It is vital that we recognize the faithful slave.  Our spiritual health and our relationship with God depend on this channel”.  


      In summary,  the governing body members working together as the faithful slave were identified as the ones responsible for all means of public dissemination in America and abroad; whether by print, public assembly, website or door to door.   Coincidentally, defining the faithful slave in this manner allowed for direct communication between the governing body acting as the faithful slave and federal agents of the DOJ/DHS intent on implementing UN resolution 16/18.   Through roundtable discussions with DOJ/DHS personnel, any mediation agreements reached in regard to “conflict prevention” related to U.N. resolution 16/18 could be voluntarily applied by the governing body to all methods of publicizing the good news of the kingdom, including all our literature.   Today if a major religiously motivated terrorist event occurs the DHS/DOJ can easily intervene as necessary with the new faithful slave for further “conflict prevention” with the goal of having the faithful slave volunteer to moderate public expressions even further to protect its national security and keep public order.  





      It is important to note when agencies of the DHS are involved in these roundtable discussions with representatives of minority religions “conciliators are required under United States law to conduct their activities in confidence, without publicity, and are prohibited from disclosing confidential information”.  There is strong circumstantial evidence that representatives of US federal agencies had nation security concerns in regard to their ability to communicate with an anointed remnant acting as the faithful slave.  The probability of their communicating this frustration to the governing body is very high.    


      For example:  Did DOJ/ DHS personnel inquire as to the identity of the faithful slave?  Were they concerned about the inability of the governing body to identify or communicate with all members of the faithful slave/remnant?  Were DOJ/ DHS personnel made aware in confidence by a few brothers that the governing body was in the process of discussing a change in the identified of the faithful slave?   Answering yes to any of these questions could indicate confidential discussions with the DHS surrounding the faithful slave may have tilted the decision in favor of the governing body identifying itself as the faithful slave. 


      The U.S. report states:  “The mediation agreements produced during this process are not legally enforceable, but parties may choose to issue a public statement outlining their shared commitment to take certain remedial action.”  (See page 22 of the U.S. report)  When it comes to who is responsible for what is preached, was identifying the governing body as the faithful slave part of the “remedial action” needed for “conflict prevention”?  This is very possible.  The brothers involved in these mediation agreements may not have been aware that these roundtable discussions with federal agencies involved the implementation of a UN resolution.  Still regardless of whether they were informed of this or not, the DOJ/DHS was tasked with implementing principles of resolution 16/18 over minority religion in America, including ours.  The brothers have been affected by the implementation of resolution 16/18 and its successor resolution A/RES/67/178 adopted by the UN in March 2013 in two specific ways:    


      #1 -A conflict of interest exists whereby the new doctrine of the faithful slave can be used to shelter governing body members from serious questions related to that doctrine.  For example: Regardless of legitimate and serious concerns or questions about the doctrinal change, elders would feel obligated to support the governing body in their decision and remove any elders who refused to teach the new doctrine.  Escalating further, anointed brothers and sisters who continue to question the change in their heart might feel forced to remain silent, otherwise if they persist in pursuing clarification before they accept the change they could be disfellowshiped as apostates.


      #2 - Another conflict of interest exists whereby the governing body is voluntarily involved in the implementation process of UN resolutions with US federal authorities, which restrains the governing body’s freedom of speech to inform the brothers of a connection between UN resolutions and the persecution taking place in Russia.  It also retrains their freedom of speech in helping the brothers make a possible connection between “the disgusting thing . . . standing in the holy place” and the implementation of U.N. resolutions over Jehovah’s Witnesses.  (Mt 24:15)   


      These two conflicts of interest are related, especially if the governing body’s decision to identify itself as the faithful slave was tilted in that direction because of confidential roundtable discussions with US federal authorities concerned about the logistics of mediating “conflict prevention” with the anointed remnant.  If anointed brothers and sisters are allowed to be disfellowshiped from the congregation for pursuing answers to serious scriptural flaws and doctrinal conflicts found in connection with this new teaching of the faithful slave, without any further clarification forthcoming, this is a telling sign of a secular influence on the decision to identify the governing body as the slave.





      In September 2014 a very serious mandatory or binding U.N. Security Council Resolution 2178 was adopted by the UN in response to ISIS or the “Islamic State”.  It recognized “the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters requires comprehensively addressing underlying factors”, including “countering incitement to terrorist acts motivated by extremism or intolerance”. (Page 2 of 2178)  It’s important to note that this resolution referred back too and underlined “the need to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, as outlined in “Pillar 1” of the United Nations “Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy”. (Page 2 of resolution 2178)   By way of this reference the “defamation of religions, religious values, and beliefs” could be associated with “extremism” and should be prevented.  This development is at the heart of our problems in Russia from 2014 onward.  The July 2011 clarification made by the U.N. Human Rights Committee in paragraph 48 of “General Comment No. 34” did nothing to change this but seemed to justify use of national blasphemy laws to restrict all expressions critical of other religions.      


      Please closely consider the Russian Federation’s own description of its implementation of the U.N.  Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (60/288) in the 2014 U.N. report entitled “Activities of the United Nations system in implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy”. (A/68/841 page 92, 93)  Russia reports on their ongoing efforts to “eliminate conditions fostering the spread of terrorism” and they outlined how “measures are being taken to prevent the spread of religious and political extremism as a factor contributing to the terrorist threat”.   They report that “work is under way to counter the propaganda of terrorist and extremist ideas, including the internet, as well as the dissemination of material advocating terrorist activity or defending or justifying such activity”. Clearly this effort involves the blasphemy and counter-extremism legislation which supports Russia‘s cultural policy.   These actions by Russia were surreptitiously supported by UN resolutions; particularly resolutions 60/288, 2178 and perhaps even the clarification made regarding the ICCPR on paragraph 48 of “General comment No. 34”.


      To speak or publish anything about the elimination of false religion including the culturally supported Russian Orthodox Church is viewed as blasphemous and “extremist” and this relates to identifying ourselves as the true religion.  Likewise to speak or publish anything that points to the elimination of human government by God’s kingdom is also considered “extremist”.    Brothers deserve to understand how U.N. resolutions along with Russian blasphemy laws are involved in this assault upon our faith in Russia.  Even though the United Nations “Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy” declares “effective counter-terrorism measures and the protection of human rights are not conflicting goals”, this research proves such a statement is confusing if not hypocritical, because non-binding U.N. resolutions have encouraged both defamation laws and dialog as ways of combating the conditions that lead to spread of terrorism . 


      Something else to seriously consider is how the Russian authorities were affected when they discovered that the faithful slave was now essentially a religious body subject to American policy which is divergent from Russia’s cultural policy.  This faithful slave was said to be a manager appointed over all our legal entities, the preaching activity and all the brothers as domestics, which would obviously include Russia.  As a result of this change in doctrine, they might have viewed our activities in Russia as an American influence more so than ever before.  Did identifying the governing body as the faithful slave factor into the Russia’s Supreme Court decision on April 20, 2017 to criminalize our faith as extreme?  This decision completely removed what the Russians perceived as an American influence in Russia while justifying their actions by the supposed implementation of U.N. resolutions that justify blasphemy laws under certain circumstances.  





      There is a difference between Russia’s approach to extremist ideology and the Anglo Americas approach to extremist ideology, but both reach the same eventuality.  Russia’s approach is solidly built on anti-defamation legislation that supports its cultural policy and the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC).  It is backed by laws designed to fight terrorism and prevent the spread of extremist ideas. (This would apply to Islamic nations as well).  Anglo America’s approach to the spread of terrorism and extremist ideology is more fluid; it reacts to terrorist events in a measured way.  In other words, the bigger the threat to their nation security the more restrictions they can apply.  Opposition toward the preaching work will escalate if war or religious chaos mounts.  In America laws to restrict freedom of speech and assembly can be enforced if they are deemed “necessary” and in accordance with “Article 19” of the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”, but it would be hard to justify banning the speech of Jehovah’s Witnesses alone.   It is likely the UN would only support countries, regional and state laws with its own resolutions if religious free speech was restrict across all religions.  A ban on their freedom of assembly would likely follow if religions were to cause an uprising in response to restriction of their speech.   


      Please examine the following points made in the references provided below:


      *** w87 9/1 p. 20 par. 13 On Guard Against “Peace and Security” as Devised by Nations ***

      13 The United Nations is actually a worldly confederacy against Jehovah God and his dedicated Witnesses on earth. It is really a conspiracy, with the worldly nations getting their heads together and scheming up what they may do against the visible organization of Jehovah God on earth. During this “conclusion of the system of things,” it was foreshadowed by the conspiracy referred to at Isaiah 8:12.—Matthew 24:3.


      *** w53 9/15 p. 561 par. 17 Flight to Safety with the New World Society ***

      The world alliance known as the United Nations is the chief and most powerful expression of this religio-political conspiracy against the Messianic kingdom of God. We say “religio-political,” because the religions of this world are in on this world conspiracy against the Kingdom, especially the religions of Christendom.

      Recall that it is religious organizations such as the Vatican, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation among others that are helping or helped to implement these U.N. resolutions over minority religions today.  This is a reality.  Evidently mainstream segments of false religion have been a part of this U.N. conspiracy steering this wild beast and the world rulers against Jehovah’s Witnesses.   We can easily observe how the UN has been used to targeted true worship in Russia and the idea of one true religion.  But understanding how US federal authorities have implemented UN resolutions 16/18 and 67/178 over minority religions in America and its affects upon God’s people takes more discernment.  Has this UN conspiracy targeted Jehovah’s Witnesses by helping foment dissension over the question of “Who really is the faithful and discreet slave faithful slave?” (Mt 24:45)  Has the public preaching been voluntarily moderated to ‘prevent conflict’ with other religions, cultures and people of differing backgrounds in accordance with these resolutions?   Do these developments fit with Jesus warning about “the disgusting thing that causes desolation, as spoken about by Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place? (Mt 24:15  What more is to come? 

    • By Isabella
      Invasion of Jehovah’s Witnesses home in Surgut (stock photo)
      On January 28, 2020, at least ten addresses of believers were searched in Pechora (Komi). Of 14 people detained, four remain in custody: 68-year-old Pavel Ogorodov, who suffered a stroke; 60-year-old Gennady Polyakevich, Sergey Skutelets, 43, and Maksim Terentyev, 28.

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    • By Isabella
      On January 22, 2020, a court in Sochi left 68-year-old Nikolay Kuzichkin in custody until February 24, continuing to hold him in a pre-trial detention center where he is being denied needed medical treatment although his condition is critical.

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    • By Isabella
      A Russian court has convicted three followers of the Jehovah’s Witnesses of participating in a religion banned for extremism. They were given suspended sentences of up to 2 1/2 years.
      “Russian authorities today are following in the footsteps of their Soviet predecessors”, said a spokesman for the Jehovah’s Witnesses world headquarters in Warwick, New York.
      The country has convicted 24 members since 2017, when it banned the denomination. Russia is known for its laws intended to crack down on opposition activists and religious minorities.
      In November, Russia angered the West with by announcing a law that allows the Kremlin to label journalists and ordinary people as foreign agents if they collaborate with foreign media organisations and receive financial or other material support from them.
      Last week, one of Russia’s elite universities, announced it is considering banning its students and staff from performing political speech.

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    • By Isabella
      On November 6, 2019, Anatoliy Tokarev was charged under two “extremist” articles at once (organization of the activities of an extremist organization, Part 1 of Article 282.2, and its financing, Part 1 of Article 282.3 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation).

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    • By Isabella
      An 89-year-old former maths teacher faces up to ten years in a Russian prison on charges of religious extremism in a crackdown on Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      Russia outlawed the evangelical Christian group in 2017, categorising it as extremist and on a par with Islamic State and neo-Nazi movements.
      Nine Jehovah’s Witnesses were jailed last year after being arrested while leading or organising prayer meetings.
      They were jailed for between two and six years. More than 30 others have spent at least six months in detention.
      Rimma Vashchenko, born in 1930, is one of eight other residents of Nevinnomyssk, a city in south Russia, who were charged with extremism after raids on Bible study groups by armed police. Four are in their seventies.
      Ms Vashchenko, who has…

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    • By Isabella
      MOSCOW (Reuters) - A court in the Russian Far East on Tuesday handed a six-year suspended jail sentence to a Jehovah’s Witness, Grigoriy Bubnov, after finding him guilty of extremist activity, a spokesman for the religious group said.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses have been under pressure for years in Russia, where the dominant Orthodox Church is championed by President Vladimir Putin. Orthodox scholars have cast them as a dangerous foreign sect that erodes state institutions and traditional values, allegations they reject.
      Russia’s Supreme Court ruled in 2017 that the group was an “extremist” organization and ordered it to disband, a decision that was followed by a crackdown which has seen dozens of adherents detained and hundreds hit with criminal charges.
      Read more: 
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    • By Isabella
      On the morning of January 19, 2020, in Kazan, law enforcement officers detained about 15 believers, including two children and two women over the age of 80. All of them were interrogated using psychological pressure about who forces them to read the Bible. Some believers have been searched and detained.

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    • By Isabella
      On January 13, 2020, the Perm Regional Court upheld the decision of a lower court to punish Aleksey Metsger for practicing his religion. He will be fined 350,000 rubles.

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    • By The Librarian
      In northern Russia, seven men have come forward to claim they were tortured by police because of their religious views. The men are all Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their organisation was banned by Russia’s Supreme Court in 2017 as extremist and dozens of Jehovah’s Witnesses have since been detained across the country. Officials in Surgut initially denied the reports of torture, but now say they will investigate. President Vladimir Putin has called the prosecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘utter nonsense’ and asked the Supreme Court for clarification on how the law is applied. BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford reports.
    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      The text of an open letter from Roman Makhnev, who has been kept in a pre-trial detention center for months because of his religion, to the governor of the Kaluga region Anatoliy Artamonov, is published below. The believer draws attention to the violations of his rights and asks for a fair hearing.

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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      On September 2, 2019, Khabarovsk resident Valeriy Moskalenko was sentenced to two years and two months of forced labor and another six months of restriction of freedom for believing in Jehovah God. We have published the text of his last words before the verdict.

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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      At the end of September 2019, a court in the Primorsky Territory decided to release two believers from the pre-trial detention center. Sergey Sergeyev and Yuriy Belosludtsev from Luchegorsk were placed under house arrest. However, cases for faith against them continue to be investigated.

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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      The jailing of six Jehovah's Witnesses in Saratov for up to three and a half years "equates peaceful believers with dangerous criminals", Jehovah's Witnesses complain. The Prosecutor's Office did not respond as to why it considered these men dangerous and should be jailed. A Khabarovsk court sentenced another man to assigned labour for discussing Jesus' Sermon on the Mount.
      Six men in Saratov have become the first Russian citizens to receive custodial sentences after the Supreme Court's 2017 ban on all Jehovah's Witness activity. Konstantin Bazhenov, Aleksey Budenchuk, Feliks Makhammadiyev, Roman Gridasov, Gennady German, and Aleksey Miretsky were jailed on 19 September for between two and three and a half years in a general-regime labour camp (correctional colony). They intend to appeal.
      Aleksey Budenchuk, Konstantin Bazhenov, Feliks Makhammadiyev, Aleksey Miretsky, Roman Gridasov, Gennady German, Saratov
      Jehovah's Witnesses
      The court "ignored" the fact that that the case materials identified "not a single victim and not a single negative consequence of the alleged extremist activity", Jehovah's Witnesses complained. The verdict "equates peaceful believers with dangerous criminals" (see below).

      Neither the Prosecutor's Office nor the Court responded to Forum 18's question as to why they considered these men dangerous and should be jailed (see below).

      A court in Khabarovsk in the Far East ordered on 2 September that another man, Valery Moskalenko, should carry out over two years of assigned labour followed by six months' probation, also for allegedly "continuing the activities of a banned extremist organisation" (see below).

      The prosecution based its argument on a ten-minute recording of Moskalenko reading and commenting on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount at a Jehovah's Witness gathering. A prosecution "expert" claimed that his preaching contained evidence of "the promotion of exclusivity" and "calls for the continuation of the activities of the banned organisation" (see below).

      Moskalenko "was convicted for his faith and the defence will seek acquittal by all legal means, up to an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights", his lawyer Svetlana Gnilokostova told Forum 18 (see below).

      The Prosecutor's Office did not respond to Forum 18's question as to why it had sought to jail Moskalenko and whether it intends to appeal (see below).

      In Perm on 5 September, Jehovah's Witness Aleksandr Solovyov failed to overturn his conviction and fine of about 11 months' average local wages (see below).
      Raids, arrests, trials continue

      In 2017, Russia's Supreme Court banned all Jehovah's Witness activity throughout the country with its decision to declare the Jehovah's Witness Administrative Centre and all 395 local communities "extremist organisations".

      In addition to the September 2019 convictions in Saratov and Khabarovsk, a further 25 Jehovah's Witnesses are currently known to be on trial in eight different locations. In a ninth case, a court in Kostroma sent the case back to prosecutors. Over 200 more people are the subjects of criminal investigation, with many in pre-trial detention or under house arrest (see forthcoming F18News article).

      Becoming the subject of a criminal case under the Extremism Law can have far-reaching effects on an individual's life, even before conviction. Investigators may have suspects placed on the Federal Financial Monitoring (Rosfinmonitoring) "List of Terrorists and Extremists", whose assets banks are obliged to freeze, with the exception of small transactions of up to 10,000 Roubles.

      On 26 July 2019, President Vladimir Putin also signed into law amendments to the Railway Transport Law which bar anyone "in relation to whom there is information about their involvement in extremist activities or terrorism" from driving trains. This will come into force after 180 days.

      FSB, police, National Guard, Investigative Committee, and other officials continue to arrest, interrogate, and detain Jehovah's Witnesses for allegedly "organising" or "participating in the activity of a social or religious association or other organisation in relation to which a court has adopted a decision legally in force on liquidation or ban on the activity in connection with the carrying out of extremist activity" (Criminal Code Article 282.2, Parts 1 and 2), as well as for the alleged "financing of extremist activity" (Criminal Code Article 282.3, Part 1).

      "The officers often treat the Witnesses as if they were hardened criminals," Jehovah's Witnesses complained in their report to the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw in September 2019.

      "Russia is grossly misapplying its own laws to criminally charge the Witnesses with participating in, organising, or financing 'extremist activity'. In reality, the Witnesses are merely peacefully meeting together for worship, reading the Bible or talking to others about their beliefs."

      In addition to criminal prosecutions and the associated detentions and harsh treatment by police and other investigators, the report also notes the prohibition of Jehovah's Witness literature (including their New World version of the Bible), the state confiscation of property, and "at least five cases" of Jehovah's Witness men of military call-up age being denied the right to perform alternative civilian service.
      Earlier convictions
      Dennis Christensen behind windows in court, 28 January 2019
      Human Rights Watch [CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 US]
      The first Jehovah's Witness in post-Soviet Russia to be imprisoned for exercising his freedom of religion or belief was Danish citizen Dennis Ole Christensen. An Oryol court handed him a six-year sentence in February 2019. He was accused of "continuing the activities" of the local Jehovah's Witness community in Oryol, which was banned and liquidated in 2016, before the Supreme Court ruling.

      Another Oryol Jehovah's Witness, Sergey Vladimirovich Skrynnikov, was charged with the same offence and given a 350,000 Rouble fine in April 2019. This represents about 18 months' average wages in Oryol for those in formal work.

      The first Jehovah's Witness to be convicted as a result of the 2017 ban was Aleksandr Vasilyevich Solovyov from Perm, who received a fine of 300,000 Roubles in July 2019 (see below).
      Muslims also jailed under Extremism Law

      Muslims who meet to read the works of late theologian Said Nursi are also subject to prosecution, fines, and jailing under Criminal Code Article 282.2 ("organisation of" or "participation in the activity of a social or religious association or other organisation in relation to which a court has adopted a decision legally in force on liquidation or ban on the activity in connection with the carrying out of extremist activity").

      Two are known to be serving jail sentences. A Makhachkala court jailed Artur Abdulgamidovich Kaltuyev for three years in November 2017. A court in Izberbash jailed Ilgar Vagif-ogly Aliyev for eight years in June 2018.

      Yevgeny Lvovich Kim, who was released after a year and ten months' imprisonment in April 2019, was deprived of his Russian citizenship and ordered to be deported to Uzbekistan, his country of birth. At present, he remains in a detention centre for foreign nationals in Khabarovsk. It is not known when he will be expelled from Russia, as Uzbekistan is currently refusing to accept him.

      Two more prosecutions of Nursi readers are underway – those of Denis Vladimirovich Zhukov in Krasnoyarsk and Yevgeny Igoryevich Sukharev in the Krasnoyarsk Region town of Sharypovo. It is unknown when they will come to trial.
      Saratov: Six Jehovah's Witnesses sentenced to imprisonment

      On 19 September 2019, after 12 hearings over nearly three months, Judge Dmitry Larin of Saratov's Lenin District Court found six Jehovah's Witnesses guilty under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1 ("organisation of extremist activity"). He jailed all six for up to three and a half years. They were taken into custody directly from the courtroom.

      Judge Larin handed down these sentences:
      1) Konstantin Viktorovich Bazhenov (born 10 May 1975), three years and six months' imprisonment
      2) Aleksey Vladimirovich Budenchuk (born 27 July 1982), three years and six months' imprisonment
      3) Feliks Khasanovich Makhammadiyev (born 14 December 1984), three years' imprisonment
      4) Roman Aleksandrovich Gridasov (born 16 September 1978), two years' imprisonment
      5) Gennady Vasilyevich German (born 12 June 1969), two years' imprisonment
      6) Aleksey Petrovich Miretsky (born 14 December 1975), two years' imprisonment.

      The judge also imposed a five-year ban on holding leadership positions in public organisations and one year of restrictions on freedom. According to the European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses, all six defendants insist that they "have nothing to do with extremism" and are intending to challenge the guilty verdict.

      These are the first custodial sentences for Russian citizens under either the Supreme Court's 2017 ruling which outlawed Jehovah's Witness activities nationwide, or the local bans which preceded it, as well as the first conviction under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1 ("organisation of extremist activity") as a result of the 2017 ban.

      The court "ignored" the fact that the case materials identified "not a single victim and not a single negative consequence of the alleged extremist activity", the European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses commented on its jw-russia.org news website on 19 September 2019. The charges against the men were based on the assumption that "faith in God is 'continuation of the activities of an extremist organisation'," the Association claimed.

      "Instead of searching for and proving the guilt of the defendants, the prosecutor's office was busy 'proving' their confession of a particular religion, while no religion has been banned in Russia," the Association added. "[The verdict] equates peaceful believers with dangerous criminals."

      In court, the defendants argued that "collective meetings and religious practices of individuals are not related to the activities of local religious organisations, but are the exercise of their constitutional right to freedom of religion", the jw-russia.org news website reported on 11 September. They also explained that were they somehow connected with extremism, they "could not be considered followers of Jesus Christ".

      In their final statements on 18 September, the defendants expressed their confusion as to why they were accused of "believing in God, reading the Bible, [and] singing spiritual songs and prayers", and insisted that they did no harm to anyone.

      Prosecutors had asked for prison terms of seven years each for Bazhenov, Budenchuk, and Makhammadiyev, and six years each for Gridasov, German, and Miretsky.

      Bazhenov, Budenchuk, and Makhammadiyev were in detention for 343 days before being released under specific restrictions for the duration of their trial. Under amendments to the Criminal Code signed into law in July 2018, one day in custody is taken as equivalent to a day and half in a correctional colony. Should their sentence enter legal force, it is therefore likely that Bazhenov and Budenchuk will serve about two years and one month, and Makhammadiyev about one year and seven months.

      Gridasov, German, and Miretsky spent the time since their initial arrest under travel restrictions. Should the verdict enter legal force, the length of their terms of imprisonment will therefore be unchanged.

      Forum 18 wrote to Lenin District Court on 25 September, asking why it had decided that custodial sentences were necessary and in what way the six men could be considered dangerous. Forum 18 had received no reply by the afternoon of the working day in Saratov on 4 October. Forum 18 called Judge Larin's office on 4 October, but the telephone went unanswered.

      Forum 18 submitted the same questions to Saratov Regional Prosecutor's Office on 26 September, also asking whether prosecutors were intending to challenge the sentences imposed. Forum 18 had received no reply by the afternoon of the working day in Saratov on 4 October. When Forum 18 called the Prosecutor's Office press service on 4 October, the telephone went unanswered.
      Khabarovsk: Jehovah's Witness sentenced to assigned labour
      Protest in support of Jehovah's Witnesses, St Petersburg, 23 March 2019
      Tatyana Voltskaya (RFE/RL)
      After seven hearings across nine weeks and over a year in detention, Jehovah's Witness Valery Vasilyevich Moskalenko (born 15 April 1967) was found guilty under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2 on 2 September. He received a sentence of two years and two months of assigned labour (prinuditelniye raboty) followed by six months of probation.

      Judge Ivan Belykh of Khabarovsk's Railway District Court also imposed a ban on Moskalenko leaving the city for this period and a requirement to report to probation authorities once a month. Prosecutors had requested a three-year prison term.

      The verdict has not yet entered legal force. Moskalenko denies committing any offence and is challenging his conviction. Khabarovsk Regional Court registered his appeal on 16 September 2019, according to the court website; Judge Natalya Bondareva is due to consider it on 10 October 2019.

      "In the actions of Valery Vasilyevich Moskalenko, there was no crime under Article 282.2, Part 1 of the Criminal Code," his lawyer Svetlana Gnilokostova told Forum 18 on 4 October. "He was convicted for his faith and the defence will seek acquittal by all legal means, up to an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights."

      Moskalenko was released directly from the courtroom, having spent 396 days in custody in Khabarovsk's Investigation Prison No. 1. Under the July 2018 amendments to the Criminal Code, one day in pre-trial detention is taken as equivalent to two days of assigned labour. Moskalenko was therefore deemed to have served his sentence.

      If his appeal is unsuccessful, however, he will still be left with a criminal conviction, and will still have to spend six months on probation.

      The judge took account of extenuating circumstances, Moskalenko's lawyer Svetlana Gnilokostova told Forum 18 on 3 October: the defendant's age, the fact he has a heart condition, his role as carer for his ill and elderly mother (with whom he lived prior to his arrest), positive character references, and the lack of a previous criminal record.

      Officers initially arrested Moskalenko on 2 August 2018 during a series of raids on Jehovah's Witness homes in the city. His name does not appear among the founder members of either of the two local Jehovah's Witness communities active in Khabarovsk at the time of the Supreme Court's 2017 ruling, but he was a founder member of the "Oblachnaya" congregation, which was dissolved in 2012 and apparently re-registered under a different name ("Northern") the same year.

      The prosecution based its argument on a ten-minute recording of Moskalenko reading and commenting on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount at a Jehovah's Witness gathering in a conference hall on 21 April 2018, according to the European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses.

      An "expert witness" for the prosecution, psychologist Alyona Payevshchik from the Emergencies Ministry, claimed that his preaching contained evidence of "the promotion of exclusivity" and "calls for the continuation of the activities of the banned organisation".

      In his testimony, Moskalenko insisted that his sermon had been peaceful. "In my opinion, this specialist [Payevshchik] is not competent in religious matters," his lawyer Svetlana Gnilokostova told Forum 18. "Giving answers to the investigator's questions, she went beyond psychology and was guided by her personal opinion, which is not legal".

      Forum 18 wrote to Khabarovsk Regional Prosecutor's Office before the start of the Khabarovsk working day of 26 September, asking why prosecutors had sought to jail Moskalenko and whether they intended to appeal. Forum 18 had received no reply by the end of the working day in Khabarovsk on 4 October.

      Forum 18 also contacted Khabarovsk's Railway District Court to ask why Moskalenko had received a assigned labour sentence and whether prosecutors had lodged an appeal. A spokeswoman for the court responded on 3 October, saying only that the verdict had not yet entered legal force and that Moskalenko's lawyer had lodged an appeal, which the district court had passed on to Khabarovsk Regional Court.

      According to Article 53.1 of the Criminal Code and Article 16 of the Criminal Procedural Code, judges impose sentences of assigned labour (prinuditelniye raboty) instead of imprisonment, if they decide that the former will have a sufficient "correctional" effect on the convicted person but find that a suspended sentence is unsuitable. Assigned labour is used as a punishment only for minor or mid-level offences, or for a first-time serious offence (as in Moskalenko's case).

      Where assigned labour is carried out is decided by the prison service – it should be at a correctional centre in the region in which the convicted person lives or was on trial, but people can be sent elsewhere if this is not possible.

      Assigned labour may take the form of any job in any organisation, as determined by the correctional centre administering the sentence. According to the Criminal Procedural Code, this takes into account an individual's age, gender, health, ability to work, and occupational speciality, but the assigned work depends on availability and the convicted person has no right to refuse. Officials check on convicted persons' locations at least once a day.

      Assigned labour sentences can last anywhere from two months to five years (one to four years under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2; it is not a possible punishment under Part 1). The work is paid, but, if specified in the sentence, deductions of 5 to 20 per cent may be made from wages and paid to the relevant regional body of the prison service.

      Should a convicted person abscond or break the rules, the sentence will be replaced by imprisonment for the same duration.
      Perm: Appeal unsuccessful

      On 5 September, Perm Regional Court upheld the conviction of the first Jehovah's Witness to be found guilty under the Supreme Court's nationwide ban.

      On 4 July, Ordzhonikidze District Court fined Aleksandr Vasilyevich Solovyov (born 13 February 1970) 300,000 Roubles under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2. This represents about 11 months' average wages in Perm for those in formal work. (END)

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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      On September 20, 2019, in Petrozavodsk, Dmitriy Ravnushkin, 44, was detained—right at his workplace. The Witness was taken for interrogation, which lasted about four hours, after which he was released under recognisance agreement. Three days later he was fired. His boss said: “We don’t need problems.”

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  • Recent Status Updates

    • Eric Ouellet

      Ne dormons pas comme les autres, demeurons éveiller et restons confiant en Jéhovah, le Dieu de Toute BÉNÉDICTION 
      Voici une petite histoire qui va nous faire réfléchir, sur nos qualités, que nous devons manifester en notre être, nous serviteur de Dieu. Comment et qu'elles sont les qualitées que nous devons manifester en actions, envers notre prochain, envers nos ennemis, envers Dieu, envers Jésus, pour Être porté, par le Maître du temps, Au jour de Dieu?
      Quelle est la priorité principale d'un serviteur de Dieu et que devons nous principalement mettre en pratique dans notre vie, pour Être sauvez par celui qui a préparé le chemin de nos pas, pour notre Salut?
      Le titre de cette courte histoire, nous dévoile ce qui adviendra aux serviteurs de Dieu remplis d'amour, Au Grand, jour de Dieu.

      Le Titre est:

      Voici cette petite histoire:
      Un jour, plusieurs différents sentiments cohabitaient tous ensemble sûr une Ile: le Bonheur, la Tristesse, le Savoir ; ainsi que tous les autres, l’Amour y compris. Un jour, on annonça aux sentiments de la région , que l’île où tous vivaient, allait couler. Ils préparèrent donc tous leurs bateaux et partirent. Seul l’Amour resta. L’Amour voulait rester jusqu’au dernier moment. Quand l’île fût près à sombrer, l’Amour décida d’appeler à l’aide à ces concitoyens. Le premier fut "La Richesse" qui passa à côté de l’Amour, dans un luxueux bateau. L’Amour lui dit : « Richesse, peux-tu m’emmener ? »Alors la Richesse lui dit : Non! mon ami l'Amour, " je ne peux t'aider, car il y a beaucoup d’argent et d’or sur mon bateau et je n’ai pas assez de place pour toi." Bonne chance Amour.
      La richesse laissa Amour dans les eaux profondes qui l'entourait et continua son chemin. L’Amour décida alors de demander à l’Orgueil, qui passait aussi dans un magnifique bateau. Alors l'Amour s'exclama « Orgueil, aide-moi, je t’en prie ! » l'Orgueil répondit à l'Amour« je ne puis t’aider, Amour. Tu es tout mouillé et tu pourrais endommager mon bâteau. L'Orgueil, n'aida en aucune manière l'Amour et continua à voguer sur les eaux immense. Plus tard »La Tristesse passa à côté, de l’Amour. L'Amour lui demanda :«"Tristesse, laisses-moi venir avec toi. » la tristesse le regarda et dit: « Ooh… Amour, je suis tellement triste que j’ai besoin d’être seule ! Bonne chance Amour". L'Amour ne se découragea pas et se laissa porter sur les eaux. Quelle minutes plus tard » Le Bonheur passa aussi à côté de l’Amour , mais il était si heureux, qu’il n’entendit même pas l’Amour l’appeler! Soudain, une voix dit sur un bateau de lumière immaculée comme ressemblant à des nuages matérialisés " Viens Amour," je te prends avec moi." L'Amour distingua que celui qui le prit sur son bateau blanc immaculé, était un vieillard, de lui venait les paroles de son sauveur des eaux tulmultueuses. L’Amour se senti si reconnaissant et plein de joie, qu’il en oublia de demander le nom au vieillard. Lorsqu’ils arrivèrent sur la terre ferme, le vieillard s’en alla. L’Amour réalisa combien, il lui devait pour l'avoir sauvé, et aussitôt un Être apparut à l'Amour, Cette personne qui apparut devant lui était "Le Savoir" de toutes choses, alors l'Amour qui était devant Lui, demanda au Savoir :« Qui m’a aidé ? »Le Savoir Dit« C’était "le Temps" » répondit le Savoir.« Le Temps ? » s’interrogea l’Amour.« Mais pourquoi le Temps m’a –t-il aidé ? » Le Savoir sourit, plein de sagesse, et répondit :« C’est parce que seul le Temps est capable de comprendre combien l’Amour est important dans la vie. »
      Que veux dire cette histoire que je vous aie raconté?
      Je vais laisser votre pensée réfléchir en cette histoire et je vais donner l'explication de cette histoire à la fin de ce discours.

      Restons vivifiant d'un Amour sincère.

      DANS de nombreux pays, nous avons recourt de plus en plus aux caméras de surveillance pour observer la circulation routière et filmer les accidents. En cas de délit de fuite, ces enregistrements peuvent permettre à la police de retrouver et d’arrêter le chauffard. À vrai dire, avec ces yeux électroniques un peu partout, il est de plus en plus difficile d’échapper aux conséquences de ses actes.
      Cet abondant recours à la vidéosurveillance, devrait-il, nous rappeler un tant soit peu notre Père bienveillant, Jéhovah ? La Bible dit en effet que ses yeux « sont en tout lieu » (Prov. 15:3). Mais cela veut-il dire qu’il examine constamment à la loupe nos faits et gestes ? Nous observe-t-il avec la seule intention de faire respecter ses lois et de nous punir ? (Jér. 16:17 ; Héb. 4:13). Pas du tout ! Il nous observe en premier lieu parce qu’il nous aime et se soucie de notre bonheur (1 Pierre 3:12).
      Jéhovah nous surveille par amour.

      Qu’est-ce qui nous aidera à comprendre que Jéhovah nous surveille parce qu’il nous aime ? Nous examinerons ensemble cinq façons dont cet intérêt se manifeste : 1) Il nous met en garde lorsque nous montrons de mauvaises inclinations, 2) il nous corrige lorsque nous faisons un faux pas, 3) il nous guide grâce aux principes que renferme sa Parole, 4) il nous soutient lorsque nous traversons diverses épreuves et 5) il nous récompense lorsqu’il remarque le bon qui est en nous.


      Premièrement, examinons comment Dieu nous met en garde lorsque nous montrons de mauvaises inclinations (1 Chron. 28:9). Pour bien saisir cet aspect de son observation attentive, voyons comment il a traité Caïn, qui « s’enflamma d’une grande colère » parce qu’il n’avait pas obtenu l’approbation divine (lire Genèse 4:3-7). Nous voyons ici que Jéhovah lui a vivement conseillé de « [se mettre] à bien agir ». Il l’a prévenu que s'il ne changeait de comportement, le péché était « tapis à l’entrée ». Puis il lui a demandé : « Te rendras-tu maître de lui ? » Dieu voulait que Caïn tienne compte de l’avertissement et qu’« [il y ait] élévation », que Caïn retrouve sa faveur. Il conserverait alors une bonne relation avec Dieu.

      Les yeux de Jéhovah voient clair dans notre cœur ; nous ne pouvons pas lui cacher nos inclinations et nos motivations. Notre Père bienveillant veut que nous marchions dans les voies de la justice ; pourtant, il ne nous force pas à changer de route. Lorsque nous allons dans la mauvaise direction, il nous met en garde par sa Parole, la Bible. Comment ? Dans notre lecture biblique quotidienne, nous tombons souvent sur des passages qui nous aident à surmonter de mauvaises tendances ou des inclinations malsaines. De plus, nos publications chrétiennes traitent parfois d’une difficulté contre laquelle nous luttons et nous montrent comment la surmonter. Enfin, aux réunions de la congrégation, chacun de nous reçoit au bon moment les conseils dont nous avons besoin !

      Toutes ces mises en garde, écrite dans la parole, la bible, qu'elles sont vraiment la preuve que Jéhovah surveille chacun de nous individuellement et cela avec amour. Il est vrai que les paroles consignées dans la Bible existent depuis des siècles, que les publications préparées par l’organisation de Jéhovah sont écrites pour des millions de personnes et que les conseils donnés lors des réunions s’adressent à toute la congrégation. Mais dans tous ces cas, Jéhovah dirige l’attention de chacun, individuellement, vers sa Parole, afin que chacun puisse modifier ses inclinations. Ainsi, on peut dire que toutes ces dispositions sont la preuve que Jéhovah te surveille personnellement avec amour.

      Pour tirer profit des avertissements de Dieu, nous devons d’abord comprendre en profondeur sa parole? Quelle aide notre Père aimant nous fournit-il ?

      Lorsque que nous méditons sur la Parole et nous faisons des recherches profondes sur ces principes biblique, nous apprenons à nous corriger intérieurement et ainsi nous nous rendons particulièrement compte que Jéhovah veille sur nous.

      Bien sûr, il n’est pas spécialement agréable de se faire conseiller ou corriger, mais Jéhovah demande à chaque serviteur, de suivre la discipline enseigné dans sa paroles, de part nos yeux, par la méditation, la lecture attentive et en manifester les rappels constant (Héb. 12:11). Réfléchissons à ce que Jéhovah examine en nous. Nous devons être conscient que chaques actions de notre part pourraient nuire à notre relation avec Dieu. Nous devons se soucier de nos sentiments que nous véhiculons envers les autres. Enfin, nous devons être prêt à donner de son temps et de son énergie pour manifester les changements primordiales, à l’aide de la Bible, manifester les actions requises qui mène à plaire à Jéhovah .

      En psaumes 73:24 Le psalmiste a chanté à Jéhovah : « Par ton conseil tu me conduiras » (Ps. 73:24). Quand nous avons besoin d’une direction, nous pouvons « [tenir] compte de » Jéhovah en cherchant dans sa Parole la vrai direction de penser.

      Oui, par sa Parole, Jéhovah nous guide pour nous aider à surmonter les difficultés de la vie si nous demondons à Jehovah de nous guider personnellement.
      Psaume chapitre 37 à lire en entier.

      Pour quel genre de raisons Jéhovah n’intervient-il pas toujour dans nos difficultés personnelles ?

      Jéhovah a peut-être de bonnes raisons de ne pas intervenir dans certaines situations. Imaginons qu’à nos yeux, notre être intérieur fut blessé mais que Jéhovah ait un autre point de vue, que, selon lui, tu as plus de torts, que tu ne le penses. La remarque que tu as trouvée si vexante peut, en fait, être un conseil justifié, auquel tu ferais bien de réfléchir. Dans sa biographie, frère Karl Klein, qui a été membre du Collège central, a raconté qu’un jour, que frère Rutherford l’avait repris avec franchise. Par la suite, frère Rutherford lui a adressé un joyeux « Bonjour, Karl ! » Mais, vexé par la réprimande, frère Klein lui a répondu du bout des lèvres. Comprenant qu’il lui en voulait, frère Rutherford l’a prévenu qu’il risquait de devenir la proie du Diable. Frère Klein écrira : « Quand nous avons de la rancœur contre un de nos frères, surtout si c’est parce qu’il nous a dit quelque chose qu’il était en droit de nous dire dans l’exercice de ses fonctions, alors nous prêtons le flanc aux attaques du Diable. »

      Quand une épreuve semble s’éterniser, nous pourrions nous impatienter. Que faire alors ? Supposons, que nous roulons sur une autoroute et que nous nous trouvons pris dans un embouteillage. Nous ne savons pas combien de temps cette situation va durer. Si nous nous irritons et que nous essayons de prendre un autre chemin, nous risquons de se perdre et, au bout du compte, d’arriver à destination plus tard que si nous avions patiemment suivi le premier itinéraire. Pareillement, si nous restons sur les voies tracées par la Parole de Dieu, en temps voulu, nous arriverons, à la destination prévu.
      Il se peut également que, lorsque nous sommes éprouvés, Jéhovah n’intervienne pas tout de suite parce qu’il veut que nous recevions une précieuse formation (lire 1 Pierre 5:6-10). Dieu n’inflige aucune épreuve (Jacq. 1:13). La plupart des malheurs viennent de « [notre] adversaire, le Diable ». Par contre, Dieu peut se servir d’une situation éprouvante pour nous aider à croître spirituellement. Il voit notre souffrance et, « parce qu’il se soucie » de nous, il veillera à ce qu’elle ne dure qu’« un peu de temps ». Quand nous sommes
      éprouvé, sommes-nous heureux que Jéhovah nous surveille, convaincu qu’il nous ménagera une issue ? (2 Cor. 4:7-9).


      En fait, Jéhovah examine notre vie pour une raison des plus rassurantes. Par l’intermédiaire de Hanani le voyant, il a dit au roi Asa : « Car, en ce qui concerne Jéhovah, ses yeux rôdent par toute la terre, afin de montrer sa force en faveur de ceux dont le cœur est complet à son égard » (2 Chron. 16:9). Chez Asa, Dieu n’a pas trouvé un cœur complet. Mais si nous, nous continuons à faire ce qui est droit, Jéhovah « montrer[a] sa force » en notre faveur.

      Dieu veut que nous « recherch[ions] ce qui est bon », que nous « aim[ions] ce qui est bon » et que nous « fass[ions] ce qui est bon » afin qu’il puisse nous « témoign[er] de la faveur » (Amos 5:14, 15 ; 1 Pierre 3:11, 12). Il remarque les justes et il les bénit (Ps. 34:15). Songeons, par exemple, aux accoucheuses hébreues, Shiphra et Poua. Alors qu’Israël était en esclavage en Égypte, ces femmes ont craint Dieu plus que Pharaon, qui leur avait ordonné de tuer à la naissance tous les garçons hébreux. Manifestement, leur conscience les a poussées à garder les bébés en vie. Par la suite, Jéhovah « leur fit don de familles » (Ex. 1:15-17, 20, 21). Leurs belles actions n’avaient pas échappé à Jéhovah, dont les yeux « rôdent». Parfois, nous avons peut-être l’impression que personne ne remarque nos belles actions. Mais notre Père céleste y est attentif. Il remarque toute bonne action et il nous récompensera en temps voulu(Mat. 6:4, 6 ; 1 Tim. 5:25 ; Héb 6:10.
      Jéhovah voit tout ce que nous faisons, tôt ou tard, il nous récompensera. En prenant conscience qu’il a l’œil sur nous alors n’ayons pas l’impression d’être sous le regard froid et scrutateur d’une caméra de surveillance. Au contraire, sentons-nous encore plus proche du Dieu bienveillant qui se soucie réellement de nous!

      Revenons à la petite histoire du personnage Amour.
      Avant de vous expliquer le rappels de cette histoire allons lire les paroles de notre Guide JÉSUS Christ.
      Allons en Mathieu 22 :37 à 39
      Alors Jesus lui dit : “ Tu dois aimer Jéhovah ton Dieu de tout ton cœur, et de toute ton âme, et de toute ta pensée. 38 C’est là le plus grand et le premier commandement. 39 Le deuxième, qui lui est semblable, est celui-ci : Tu dois aimer ton prochain comme toi-même
      Mathieu 5:44 à 45a
      Continuez d’aimer vos ennemis et de prier pour ceux qui vous persécutent ; 45 afin de vous montrer fils de votre Père qui est dans les cieux.
      Alors revenons à cet histoire que je transcript au début.
      Nous avions plusieurs personnages, il eut Amour , Richesse, l'orgueil, la tristesse, le bonheur, Le Temps et Le Savoir. Chacun étaient différents en manière de penser, en comportement, pourtant ils parraissent tous ensembles, qu'ils ont réussit leur monde, ils ont ammasé des richesses, leur valeurs en leurs coeur, certains étaient très heureux de leur réussites. Les personnages de cet histoire, aucun personnages ne se montrèrent d'aucune arrogance envers Amour. Richesse, orgueil, tristesse et bonheur ont tous ignoré Amour.
      Amour paraissait être le seul à n'avoir pris aucune précaution au chaos qui venait. Amour avait passé sa vie à comprendre l'Amour de cette vie.
      Il n'avait pas de bateau., il n'avait rien ammassé de cette vie.
      Amour se souvenait que Dieu viendrait le chercher par les nuages matérialisés pour rencontrer le Savoir dans un lieu unique où tout les juste vont.psaime 37'10,11

      Le temps dans cet histoire, qui est le vieillard, est Jésus, Jésus à attendu le signal du Savoir avant de sauver sa brebis, Amour.
      Amour avait transmit à chaque personnages son attention de l'amour, son amour pour son prochain était réel, tous le connaissaient par son Nom "Amour".
      Le temps qui est(Jésus, le viellard) même lui l'a appelé Amour par son Nom.
      Qu'à fait Amour pour rencontrer Le Savoir qui est Jéhovah, comme Jésus il a pardonné les actions de tout ses ennemis, incluant dans sa vie relaté en Galantes 5 :22, 23 par sa maîtrise de soi il a conservé ses 7 qualités, les plus importantes de sa vie et cela jusqu'à presque perde sa vie dans les eaux tumulteuses et il reçu du Savoir, le fruit de L'amour de Jéhovah le Dieu de toutes connaissances, de toutes sagesses et des bénédictions, Amour à reçu  la Récompense  de la promesse qu'il avait attendu toute sa vie.

      Pour finir ce petit discours je vous laisse sur une belle citation de Paul sur le thème de l'Amour.

      L’amour est patient et bon. L’amour n’est pas jaloux, il ne se vante pas, ne se gonfle pas [d’orgueil], 5 n’agit pas de façon inconvenante, ne cherche pas ses propres intérêts, ne s’irrite pas. Il ne tient pas compte du mal subi. 6 Il ne se réjouit pas de l’injustice, mais se réjouit avec la vérité. 7 Il supporte tout, croit tout, espère tout, endure tout. 8 L’amour ne disparaît Jamais, car c'est celui qui aura enduré jusqu'à la fin et les yeux sur fixer sur L'ESPÉRANCE DE LA PROMESSE DE JÉHOVAH LE DIEU DE TOUTES BÉNÉDICTIONS.
      Comme notre petit personnage Amour Notre persévérance nous donnera la chance de recevoir le Prix des juste et des humbles de la terre.
      Cher Serviteurs de Jehovah, annoncons La GLOIRE EN NOTRE DIEU Jéhovah le Dieu de L'Amour, de toutes connaissances et sagesses profondes.

      · 1 reply
    • jwdudleyusa  »  Deaf Hear USA

      Good News From God This 32 page booklet will answer many of your Bible questions.
      · 0 replies
    • jwdudleyusa  »  Deaf Hear USA

      Covid-19 - WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS – Matthew 24:1-14
      Satan the evil one controls the earth and mankind.  1 John 5:19.  John 8:44
      Logical explanations for the world’s problems.—Revelation 12:12.
      Reason to believe that our world will change for the better.—1 John 2:17.
      Yes, for at least three reasons:
      Satan’s rulership is doomed. Jehovah is determined to bring Satan’s control over mankind to an end. He promises to “bring to nothing . . . the Devil” and undo all the damage that Satan has caused.—Hebrews 2:14,
      God has chosen Jesus Christ to rule the world. Jesus is the complete opposite of this world’s present cruel, selfish ruler. Concerning Jesus’ kingship, God promises: “He will have pity on the lowly and the poor . . . From oppression and from violence he will rescue them.”—Psalm 72:13, 14.
      God cannot lie. The Bible plainly states: “It is impossible for God to lie.” (Hebrews 6:18) When Jehovah promises to do something, it is as good as done! (Isaiah 55:10, 11) “The ruler of this world will be cast out.”—John 12:31.
      What will the world be like after its ruler is removed?
      The Bible answers that question at PSALM 37:10, 11, 29, and REVELATION 21:3, 4.
      Jehovah God truly loves the earth and mankind.  John 3:16
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    • Eric Ouellet

      Le coeur de l'amour d'un serviteur de Dieu, est en toute choses, (âme) fragiles, frêles et pourtant, elle se dresse et montrent son message de la vie et déclare sa beauté véritable.
      Elle n'a pas peur de la nature parfois effrayante.
      Elle garde courage et affronte la vie et dit: C'est moi la plus forte.
      Je suis là et je dois restez pour préserver mon lieu paisible et harmonique et attendre avec force et foi et intégrité le jour de Dieu.
      JEHOVAH, est un musicien de la Harpe, Higgayôn la partition du jour de Dieu . Sur les cordes basse d'une lyre à 10 cordes, La Justice de Dieu, prendra Sa place.
      Psaume Chant 92 
      Le jour de Dieu Malachie  chapitre 4

      · 1 reply
    • Eric Ouellet

      La longanimité = Patience et Douceur, deux qualités indispensable à notre ESPÉRANCE.

      J'ai demandé à Jéhovah de la force: Il m'a donné des épreuves à traverser...
      J'ai demandé à Jéhovah de me donner la sagesse: Il m'a donnée des problèmes à résoudre...
      J'ai demandé à Jéhovah de me donner la richesse: Il m'a donné un cerveau et deux bras et deux jambes pour travailler...
      J'ai demandé à Jéhovah de me donner le courage: Il m'a donné des défis à relever...
      J'ai demandé à Jéhovah de me donner l'amour: Il a mit sur mon chemin des gens difficiles à comprendre...
      J'ai demandé à Jéhovah de me faire des faveurs: Il m'a donné des opportunitées...
      Quand nous bâtissons une relation d'amitié avec Jéhovah et Jésus Christ, nous ne recevons pas toujours ce que nous voulons et avec le temps nous apprenons à acquérir la force d'avancer, de lever la tête haute et de comprendre d'innombrable qualités à intégrer en nous. Nous devons maitriser notre vie à ses normes morales et inclurent en notre coeur émotionnel, sept qualités, qui sont primordiales à atteindre pour gagner L'AMOUR de JÉHOVAH Le Très HAUT, le fruit de toute Espérance.
      Gal 5 :19 à 23, 25
      La patience et la douceur sont maintenant une primordialité à notre ESPÉRANCE en cette période difficile en tant que serviteur de notre Dieu Jéhovah le Très Haut .
      Le défis de notre vie et de notre espérance au fond de notre coeur joyeux à le servir...( un cerveau émotionnel  (Coeur) accordé comme une harpe à la gloire de Dieu) Psaumes 3:8
      Signification de ce COEUR spirituel 

      · 0 replies
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