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Survey of Russians shows popular agreement with Supreme Court's decision


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by Andrei Dubrovsky

Novaya Gazeta, 13 July 2017


A survey by the Levada Center showed that 79% of Russians support the introduction into Russia of a ban on the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, which was ruled by the Supreme Court to be extremist, RBK reports.


The sociologists explained that 51% of respondents "definitely" support and 28% "likely" support the prohibition of the activity of the organization in Russia. At the same time, half of the respondents had heard nothing at all about the ban of the Jehovah's Witnesses.


Almost half of Russians, as it turned out in the course of the survey, consider Jehovah's Witnesses to be a "Christian sect," 15% of respondents call the organization a "separate religious confession," 5% consider it an offshoot of protestantism, and 2% chose a variant of "ordinary" Christians.


The survey was conducted 23-26 June among 1,600 persons, aged 18 and older, in 137 population centers in 48 regions of Russia.


On 20 April, the Supreme Court ruled the religious organization "Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses" to be extremist and banned its activity in Russia.


Thereby the Supreme Court granted the lawsuit of the Ministry of Justice, which had asked for the liquidation of the organization.


The European Service of Foreign Affairs condemned the Russian Supreme Court's decision. [see European sympathy for Russian Jehovah's Witnesses]

We recall that on 23 March, the Ministry of Justice found the religious organization to be extremist on the basis of the results of an inspection from 8 to 27 February 2017. At the time it was explained that the activity of the Jehovah's Witnesses violates "a number of charter goals and purposes" and it also violates the law "On combating extremist activity." (tr. by PDS, posted 13 July 2017)

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