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New World Translation: Here is a reaction of a respectable international human rights organization

Guest Kurt

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August 18 2017

World Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses (17.08.2017) – On August 17, 2017, the Vyborg City Court in Russia ruled to ban the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT), a Bible published by JehovahÂ’s Witnesses. RussiaÂ’s Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity, signed by President Putin himself in November 2015, explicitly prohibits declaring sacred texts, such as the Bible, to be extremist. In an unconscionable move to circumvent the law, the court relied on a so-called expert study alleging that the NWT is not a Bible, opening the way for it to be banned.

Commenting on the ruling shortly after it was issued, David A. Semonian, international spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses at their world headquarters in New York, states: “It’s impossible to comprehend how a court can justify the decision to ban the Bible. It’s absurd that a court would outlaw the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, a Bible respected by scholars around the world, which has not only been distributed in hundreds of millions of copies but also has been translated into over 150 languages. Just how far will Russia’s resistance to religious freedom go? We certainly hope that respect for sacred texts will prevail when we pursue this case on appeal.”

Scores of religious experts following the situation in Russia have not been shy in speaking out in opposition to the case, such as Daniel Mark, chairman of the United States Commission on Religious Freedom, who states: “The conclusion by the court-by any court-that the NWT translation is not a Bible is nonsense.” Likewise, Dr. Mathew N. Schmalz, associate professor of religious studies at the College of the Holy Cross, declares: “the claim that the NWT is not ‘a Bible’ is absurd.”

Many point to the Center for Sociocultural Expert Studies in Moscow, the group responsible for the “expert study,” as the source of the absurdity. Scholars have roundly denounced the group. For instance, Roman Lunkin, the Head of the Center for Problems of Religion and Society at the Russian Academy of Science’s Institute of Europe in Moscow, has labeled these experts as “fake,” revealing that “not one of [them] has a degree in religious studies.” Countering the claims of the “expert study,” Professor Gerhard Besier, director of the Sigmund Neumann Institute for the Research on Freedom and Democracy (Germany), succinctly defends the NWT, stating: “The New World Translation has received high-praise worldwide from Bible scholars representing diverse religious communities.”

With the decision to ban the NWT, the Russian Federation has assumed a hostile posture that should concern more than just the Witnesses. According to Willy Fautré, director and co-founder of Belgium-based Human Rights Without Frontiers: “Any translation of any other historical sacred book – the Koran of the Muslims, the Tanakh of the Jews, and the Kangyur of the Buddhists – can now be declared illegal in Russia, and any sacred book of any other religion is now vulnerable to state censorship in Russia.”

source HRWF<<click

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@Kurt Thanks for highlighting this particular site, HRWF. The focus is on religious intolerance, and I must say I was surprised at the hundreds of incidents around the world that are so similar to our

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Court's ban of Bible defies logic and common sense


Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, 18 August 2017 <<<source click
Late in the evening of 17 August 2017, the Vyborg city court announced a decision: to recognize as extremist material the translation of the Bible into modern Russian, which was seized from Jehovah's Witnesses at customs. All of the seized batch should be confiscated with the goal of subsequent destruction. This decision has not taken legal effect and will be appealed in the Leningrad provincial court.
Russia became the first European country to officially prohibit a translation of the Bible. The historic decision was issued by Judge Dmitry Grishin on a declaration of the prosecutor's office. During the many hours of sessions, Grishin was presented adequate opportunity to be persuaded that it is the Bible that is the object of the judicial investigation, a book which by law cannot be ruled to be extremist material. In the sessions, dozens of fragments were read from it, whole reams of various editions of the Bible were presented, and comparisons and contrasts of texts were conducted. Judge Grishin directly read dozens of texts from the Bible. The most authoritative specialists in the area of linguistics and religious studies where summoned to the trial from Moscow, who answered all questions of the sides and judge. Representatives of the prosecutor's office, who sought the ban of the Bible, were not able to identify a single biblical quotation that, in their opinion, could be considered extremist. Nevertheless, to universal amazement, the court made the decision to recognize the Bible as extremist material.
At the base of this lawsuit lies the expert conclusion of Natalia Kriukova, who did not introduce a single quotation from the text of the Bible but nevertheless came to the conclusion that this book is extremist material. The logic of this expert conclusion consists in the fact that this Bible is extremist material because it is used by Jehovah's Witnesses. The court ignored other scientific conclusions, expert analyses, and reviews existing in the case, which prove conclusively that Kriukova's conclusion is unscientific and contradictory, and that the Bible, which is the object of the lawsuit, really is the Bible. It is noteworthy that mathematics teacher Natalia Kriukova does not have education giving her the right to conduct this investigation.
Judge Dmitry Grishin is a kandidat of jurisprudence. When lawyers pointed out to him that this translation of the Bible is included in the catalogue of translations of the Bible published by the American Library of Congress, Grishin told the sides that he has engaged in his own scientific research for many days in the Library of Congress. Nevertheless, on 17 August 2017 Grishin issued a decision to prohibit the Bible, a decision which contradicts science, the law, and common sense.

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