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Nicole

Authorities investigate attempted arson at Kingdom Hall in Yelm

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2 hours ago, Space Merchant said:

I was being very brief, but yes, in the EU, mainly the UK, hate crimes have been on an all time high and it is mostly directed by people of a specific race and or religious belief

Thanks. I understand much better what you were saying now. I agree with more of it this time around. 😊

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    • By Nicole
      A bomb squad responded to a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Thurston County after finding a suspicious device Wednesday morning.
      Detectives responding to a fire found a suspicious item that “had the appearance of being an explosive device,” according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.
      The fire itself is believed to be the work of an arsonist targeting Jehovah’s Witness buildings across the county.
      Detectives found smoldering logs stacked up on an outside wall of the Kingdom Hall. The logs were dowsed with water. There was minimal damage done to the building.
      The same Hall was shot up in May. Three others were set on fire. One Hall in Olympia was completely destroyed.

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    • By Jack Ryan
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    • By Nicole
      Many of the children described conditions at US Customs and Border Protection facilities, where they were taken and processed during the first days after crossing the border. In the reports they were only identified by their first names. Timofei, 15, from Russia, who sought asylum on the border with his parents for his beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses, said they were crowded night and day in the closed and crowded room, detained along with other boys. He said there was only one window that opened onto an empty hallway and that they did not have soap in the bathroom, and that only sometimes, they gave him a toothbrush for individual use. He also said that he was offered a shower when he arrived at the facilities in San Ysidro, California, but he did not and the second or third day there did not allow him to do so.
      https://www.clarin.com/mundo/trataron-chicos-separados-padres-frontera-relatan-dias-detenidos-unidos_0_SJh7dyam7.html
    • By TrueTomHarley
      Today Presidents Trump and Putin meet for summit, and the New York Times tells of an exiled Jehovah's Witness who proposes Trump ask Putin a simple question: "Why are Russians who pay their taxes, follow the law and embrace the Christian values promoted by the Kremlin being forced to flee their country?"
      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/16/world/europe/putin-trump-russia-jehovahs-witness.html
      A simple [and single] question. To propose that Trump do this is exactly the non-confrontational style of Jehovah's Witnesses, and is proof in itself that they are not extremist. Moreover, because the goal is so modest, it is not impossible that it could happen. Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia is not everywhere, but where it is, it is draconian, with police dressed in riot gear breaking down doors to arrest them.
      Meanwhile (and irrelevant), I did a google search of "New York Times Jehovah's Witnesses." The second hit is an article from 1958, telling of (I think) the largest Christian assembly in history.
      Remember, Google is personalized. Your results may vary.
      http://www.tomsheepandgoats.com/2018/07/ill-take-it-fake-news-or-not.html
    • By Nicole
      (Moscow) – Law enforcement authorities across Russia have carried out a sweeping campaign against Jehovah’s Witnesses in recent months, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have carried out dozens of home searches, raids, interrogations, and other acts of harassment and persecution.
      The authorities are holding 18 men in pretrial detention on charges of organizing, participating in, or financing the activities of an “extremist organization” solely for their religious activities. Several others are facing the same charges and are under house arrest or subject to travel restrictions. The charges carry a maximum 10-year prison sentence. Russian authorities should release those in detention immediately, drop the charges, and halt the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      “The Jehovah’s Witnesses are simply peacefully exercising their right to freedom of religion,” said Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The Jehovah’s Witness faith is not an extremist organization, and authorities should stop this religious persecution of its worshipers now.”
      Human Rights Watch interviewed four lawyers defending Jehovah’s Witnesses in five regions and a representative of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Human Rights Watch also reviewed court documents, media reports, Russian government statements, and Federal Security Service (FSB) photos and videos purporting to show the raids.
      The raids and arrests stem from an April 2017 Russian Supreme Courtruling that banned all Jehovah’s Witnesses organizations throughout Russia. The ruling declared the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center, the head office for 395 Jehovah’s Witnesses branches throughout Russia, an extremist organization and ruled that all 395 be shut down. The ruling, which affects more than 100,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses across Russia, blatantly violates Russia’s obligations to respect and protect religious freedom and freedom of association.
      Russian authorities should reverse the ban on the organization’s activities and remove the “extremist” designation, Human Rights Watch said. Meanwhile, they should leave Jehovah’s Witnesses free to practice their faith.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia and other former USSR countries have faced persecution in the past. During the Soviet era, they were arrested and imprisoned in labor camps, including in Siberia. Within the past decade, worshipers across Russia have faced persecution, intrusive home searches, and arrests, and have been denied rights to freedom of assembly, association, and religion.
      In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ruled against Russia for closing the Moscow branch of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and refusing to allow the group to re-register. The court found violations of articles 9 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protect freedom of religion and association, respectively. In addition to awarding monetary damages, the court said that Russia should review the domestic decisions that led to the violations. Russia has refused to carry out the judgments in that case and several others brought by members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. On the contrary, Russia has continued to persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses, seeking the group’s complete dissolution in Russia.
      From April to June 2018, law enforcement raids targeted Jehovah’s Witness communities in at least 11 regions throughout Russia, from Saratov region in southwestern Russia to Primorsky Krai in Russia’s far east. Police carried out the raids, often accompanied by a combination of FSB officials wearing masks, armed personnel of the Interior Ministry Special Task Police Force or National Guard, and representatives from the Investigative Committee, Russia’s criminal investigation service.  
      The authorities, who obtained search warrants or entry permits in most cases, confiscated personal computers, mobile phones, bank cards, passports, religious literature, and, in some cases, housing deeds. Dozens of Jehovah’s Witnesses, including at least one child, were taken to local investigative offices for questioning. Others were detained and later charged.
      A lawyer representing a Jehovah’s Witness who is in pretrial detention in Murmansk Region told Human Rights Watch that the authorities’ actions contradict religious freedom guarantees in the Russian Constitution. “The [Russian] constitution says that you can practice your faith together with others, but as it turns out, that’s a crime,” said Yegiazar Chernikov, of the Sverdlovsk Lawyers’ Association.
      In at least two regions, armed officers threatened the worshipers with firearms, in one case pointing a gun at a person’s head, a lawyer familiar with the incident told Human Rights Watch.
      A Jehovah’s Witnesses representative told Human Rights Watch that approximately 160 Jehovah’s Witnesses have fled Russia to seek refuge abroad.
      On June 20, Russia’s Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights announced that it had asked the prosecutor general’s office to verify the legality of criminal prosecutions against Jehovah’s Witnesses practicing their faith. A week earlier, several of the spouses of the men in pretrial detention had sent a letter to the chair of the council, Mikhail Fedotov, urging him to ask President Vladimir Putin to end the raids and arrests and to restore freedom of religion in Russia.
      Over 150 Russian activists, journalists, and academics – including several members of Memorial, Russia’s foremost human rights group – signed and published an open letter urging the authorities to immediately release those in detention and to reverse the Supreme Court’s decision to liquidate the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ organization.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia – like all people in Russia – should be able to peacefully exercise their rights to freedom of religion and association, Human Rights Watch said. Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Russian Constitution as well as the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Russia is a party.
      Under international law, freedom of religion includes the freedom to practice one’s religion or belief both individually and in community with others, in public or in private, and through worship, practice, and teaching. Russia already has many rulings against it for its failure to respect the freedom of religion of faith communities and minority religious groups, such as the Church of Scientology, the Salvation Army, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses
      “Russia should do right by its national and international obligations to respect freedom of religion,” Denber said. “Russian leadership should make sure that law enforcement is honoring and protecting that right, not trampling on it.”
      Raids Aimed at Intimidation
      The Jehovah’s Witnesses are a peaceful religious community. The consistent show of force in raids in many locations in Russia was disproportionate and seemed aimed at sending a strong message of intimidation, Human Rights Watch said. 
      In most regions, the authorities arrested people they singled out as leaders and organizers of the local Jehovah’s Witnesses community for such actions as recruiting new members and distributing religious literature that the authorities label “extremist.”
      On May 16 in the Orenburg Region, in southwest Russia, law enforcement personnel searched 18 homes in four cities and charged nine people. Two are in pretrial custody and another is under house arrest.
      On May 17 in Birobidzhan, in southeast Russia, representatives of the Jehovah’s Witnesses reported that about 150 law enforcement personnel raided the homes of at least nine Jehovah’s Witnesses, confiscating photos, bank cards, money, and computers. An official reportedly saidthat the operation was code-named “Judgment Day.” One person was arrested and charged with organizing activities of an “extremist organization” but was released from pretrial detention eight days later.
      On April 18 in the town of Polyarny in the Murmansk Region, in northwest Russia, armed law enforcement agents raided at least seven homes and arrested two men. They took several others into custody for questioning and later released them. Police also took a 16-year-old girl into custody and questioned her at the local investigative unit for several hours. A video posted on the Murmansk Investigative Committee’s website shows men wearing camouflage uniforms and helmets forcing open a door to an apartment.
      The arrest and raid campaign took place as the trial of a Jehovah’s Witness who is a Danish citizen, Dennis Christensen, continues in Orel, a city in western Russia. Christensen, who was arrested in May 2017, is being tried on charges of organizing activities of an “extremist organization” and faces a maximum 10-year prison sentence if convicted. He has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rightsalleging, among other things, that his arrest constituted unlawful interference with his right to freedom of religion.
      Another Jehovah’s Witness in Orel, 55-year-old Sergei Skrynnikov, was charged on May 8, 2018, with participating in the activities of an “extremist organization.”
      A lawyer who is defending three Jehovah’s Witnesses in two regions said that throughout the past eight months, FSB agents in the Orenburg Region and the Republic of Bashkortostan conducted wiretapping, videotaping, and other surveillance of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ activities – for which they said they had warrants – as part of the investigation. In some cases, the lawyer said, authorities placed recording devices in Jehovah’s Witnesses’ homes.
      Earlier in 2018, police raided more than two dozen Jehovah’s Witnesses’ homes in Belgorod and Kemerovo. Two Jehovah’s Witnesses in Belgorod are facing extremism charges.
      Saratov and Shirokoe, Saratov Region
      On June 12, authorities in Saratov Region, southwestern Russia, raided at least seven homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the city of Saratov and village of Shirokoe. According to the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, special forces officers broke down doors and confiscated computers, books, notebooks, photographs, bankbooks, and passports. The authorities took at least 10 people to FSB offices for questioning.
      Three were detained and charged with organizing activities of an “extremist organization.” They are: 43-year-old Konstantin Bazhenov, 35-year-old Aleksei Budenchuk, and 33-year-old Felix Makhammadiyev. On June 14, the Frunzensky District Court placed all three in pretrial detention until August 12.
      Tomsk, Tomsk Region
      Law enforcement raided several homes and cars belonging to Jehovah’s Witnesses in Tomsk between 10 a.m. on June 3 and about 2 a.m. the next day, the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia reported. Officers confiscated Bibles, mobile phones, tablets, computers, photographs, money, bank cards, and other personal possessions. They took about 30 people to the police anti-extremism center for questioning.
      According to a statement by the Tomsk Investigative Committee, the searches were part of a joint FSB and Internal Affairs Ministry investigation into meetings of Jehovah’s Witness residents in Tomsk. Investigative authorities allege that worshipers studied prohibited, “extremist” religious materials and carried out organized religious activities in violation of the Supreme Court’s ruling against the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center.
      Representatives of the Jehovah’s Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that 48-year-old Sergei Klimov was detained after a search of his home on June 3, was charged with organizing activities of an “extremist organization,” and will remain in pretrial detention until August 4.
      Magadan, Magadan Region
      The Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia reported that on May 30, FSB and law enforcement officers arrested Konstantin Petrov, 31; Yevgeny Zyablov, 41; and Sergei Yerkin, 61, after searching their homes in the city of Magadan (Magadan Region). On the same day, authorities in Khabarovsk (Khabarovsky Krai) detained Ivan Puyda, 39, based on a court order from Magadan. All four are accused of organizing activities of an “extremist organization” and will remain in pretrial detention until July 29.
      Naberezhnye Chelny, Republic of Tatarstan
      Police and FSB officials searched the homes of 10 Jehovah’s Witnesses in the city of Naberezhnye Chelny, in south-central Russia, on the evening of May 27. The Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia reported that the searches lasted “well into the night.”
      Investigators arrested Ilham Karimov, 37; Vladimir Myakushin, 30; Konstantin Matrashov, 25;   Aydar Yulmetyev, 24, on suspicion of organizing and participating in the activities of an “extremist organization” and placed them in pretrial detention until July 25. The Naberezhnye Chelny City Court displays records of all four hearings. According to the religious freedom monitoring group Forum 18, Karimov, Myakushin, and Matrashov have appealed their pretrial detention.
      Perm, Perm Krai
      The Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia reported that on the evening of May 22, Aleksandr Solovyev, 48, and his wife, Anna, were detained at the railway station in Perm, in the Ural Mountains region, after returning from a trip abroad. Law enforcement then searched the couple’s home and reportedly seized property deeds, photographs, several Bibles, and a Wi-Fi router.
      Anna was released, but her husband was held for two days. He was released on May 24, and the Sverdlovsk District Court ordered him confined to house arrest. According to Forum 18, he is being investigated on charges of participating in the activities of an “extremist organization.”
      Before the 2017 Supreme Court ruling banning the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center, Solovyov chaired the Perm Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation, according to the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia website.
      Birobidzhan, Jewish Autonomous Region
      On May 17 in Birobidzhan, southeast Russia, police raided the homes of at least nine Jehovah’s Witnesses. The raids were carried out by approximately 150 law enforcement officers. An official reportedly saidthat the operation was code-named “Judgment Day.”
      On May 18, 55-year-old Alam Aliev was placed in pretrial detention until July 13 under suspicion of organizing activities of an “extremist organization.” The FSB stated that its request to detain Aliev “was motivated by the fact that the crime is classified as grave” and because “[t]he suspect may impede the criminal proceedings, put pressure on witnesses, and also evade investigative and judicial authorities.” Following an appeal by Aliev’s lawyer, Aliev was released from detention on May 25 but still faces charges.
      Orenburg, Orenburg Region
      On May 16 in Orenburg Region, Investigative Committee authorities, FSB officials, and armed National Guard officers searched 18 homes in four cities. Vitaly Svintsov, a lawyer representing two Jehovah’s Witnesses in the region, told Human Rights Watch that nine people were charged with organizing or participating in the activities of an “extremist organization.” Two of them, Aleksandr Suvorov and Vladimir Kochnev, both 38, remain in pretrial custody until July 14. Twenty-six-year-old Vladislav Kolbanov remains under house arrest. The other six remain under travel restrictions while the investigation is ongoing, Svintsov said.
      Photographs of some of the raids posted on the Orenburg Investigative Committee website show FSB officials and riot police in bulletproof vests and masks approaching Jehovah’s Witnesses’ residences.
      A statement by the Orenburg Investigative Committee said that investigative operations were “carefully planned and organized” by law enforcement with the aim of “seizing documents and items relevant to the criminal case, as well as identifying other persons involved in unlawful activities.” Investigators allege that the suspects “organized activities of a subdivision of Jehovah’s Witnesses [Administrative Center] by calling and holding meetings, organizing the recruitment of new members, and communicating the contents of religious literature to meeting participants.”
      Shuya, Ivanovo Region
      Forum 18 reported that law enforcement raided four homes in the town of Shuya, western Russia, early on the morning of April 20.
      Dmitry Mikhailov, 33, was arrested on May 29, over a month after his home was searched and placed in pretrial custody until July 19. He is being accused of “financing extremist activities.”  
      On April 20, the Ivanovo Region Investigative Committee released a statement about the home searches, alleging that since the beginning of 2018, Jehovah’s Witnesses in Shuya had been studying literature “containing statements degrading human dignity . . . and elements of propaganda of the exclusivity of one religion over another.”
      Vladivostok, Primorsky Krai
      Several homes belonging to Jehovah’s Witnesses were reportedly raidedon April 19 in the far-east city of Vladivostok.
      Human Rights Watch was able to confirm that on April 23 Valentin Osadchuk, 42, was placed under arrest by Frunzensky District Court on charges of participation in the activities of an “extremist organization” after authorities searched his home and confiscated computers, notebooks, and other devices. He remains in pretrial detention until September 20. Representatives of the Jehovah’s Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that five others face the same charges but remain at liberty subject to travel restrictions.
      Polyarny, Murmansk Region
      On the evening of April 18 in the town of Polyarny in the Murmansk region, armed law enforcement raided at least seven homes and arrested two Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roman Markin, 44, and Viktor Tifimov, 61. Others whose homes were searched were taken to the local investigative unit for questioning and later released without charge.
      The Murmansk Region Investigative Committee stated on its websitethat National Guard officers and FSB officials who led the home searches confiscated computer drives and religious literature. A video posted to the website shows men wearing camouflage uniforms and helmets forcing open a door with a pry bar. The Investigative Committee said that beginning in April 2017, the suspects had allegedly “organized activities of the religious organization [Jehovah’s Witnesses] by convening and holding meetings, organizing the recruitment of new members, and leading studies of religious texts at meetings.”
      Markin’s lawyer, Arli Chimirov, told Human Rights Watch that armed officers broke down Markin’s door and told him and his 16-year-old daughter, who was at home with him, to lie on the floor while law enforcement threatened them with firearms and searched the apartment. Markin’s daughter was escorted to the investigative unit and was questioned for several hours along with her mother, who arrived some time later.
      On April 23, 2018, the Polyarny District Court placed Markin in pretrial custody until June 11. Markin’s lawyer unsuccessfully appealed the decision. According to court documents on file with Human Rights Watch, investigative authorities requested that Markin be placed in pretrial detention because of the risk that he “may continue criminal activities, threaten participants in the legal proceedings, hide or destroy evidence, and also fail to attend preliminary court hearings.” On June 4, Markin’s pretrial detention was extended to October 11.
      Tifimov’s lawyer, Yegiazar Chernikov, told Human Rights Watch that beginning in October 2017, investigators had been collecting as evidence audio and video recordings of conversations among Jehovah’s Witnesses. Chernikov said that on several occasions, a woman involved in the investigation invited Tifimov to her home, where audio and video recording devices were in place, and asked him questions given to her by investigative authorities and designed to incriminate him.
      Tifimov was originally detained until June 12, 2018, but his pretrial detention was extended until October 11.
      Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan
      The religious freedom group Forum 18 reported that approximately 60 law enforcement officers, some of them armed, raided eight homes in the city of Ufa, south-central Russia, on the morning of April 10. Investigators confiscated personal belongings, books, and photographs. The lawyer representing one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who was detained said that authorities threatened worshipers with weapons, in one case holding an automatic weapon to a person’s head.
      At least 20 people were reportedly taken to the Lenin District Investigative Department for questioning and fingerprinting but were later released. One girl was called for questioning, but when she showed up for the meeting with her mother and the director of her school, the investigator failed to appear.
      On April 12, Anatoly Vilikevich, 32, was arrested on suspicion of organizing activities of an “extremist organization,” and placed in pretrial detention. Vilikevich’s lawyer, Vitaly Svintsov, who appealed the order, told Human Rights Watch that on June 21 the Supreme Court of Bashkortostan overturned the lower court’s decision and placed him under house arrest.
      A statement by the Bashkortostan Republic Investigative Committeealleged that Vilikevich had organized a local chapter of the banned Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center. Investigators who searched his home confiscated “prohibited literature,” the statement said.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Since 2007, dozens of pieces of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ literature have been banned and placed on the federal registry of banned extremist materials. Pictured here, stacks of booklets distributed by a local leader of a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation in the Siberian town of Gorno-Altaysk are seen during a court session on December 16, 2010.
       ©2010 Reuters/Alexandr Tyryshkin
    • By The Librarian
      Kingdom Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland / Some dude went crazy and set chairs on fire / One arrested

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    • By Nicole
      Officials from the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization say Russian law-enforcement officers have carried out “mass searches” on members’ homes in the Urals region of Orenburg and in the Far Eastern city of Birobidzhan.
      Jarrod Lopes, a spokesman for the World Headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses in New York, on May 17 said 150 law-enforcement personnel raided more than 20 adherents’ homes in Birobidzhan, the capital of Russia’s Jewish Autonomous Region.
      The raids came after searches had been carried out on May 16 in the Orenburg region near the border with Kazakhstan in which 18 Jehovah’s Witnesses were questioned and three were taken into custody, Lopes said.
      The spokesman said a criminal case had been initiated against an adherent of the Christian sect, Alam Aliyev, and that a trial was expected on May 18.
      Russia’s Supreme Court in July 2017 upheld a ruling that the Jehovah’s Witnesses should be considered an extremist organization, effectively banning the denomination from the country.
      The original ruling, issued in April 2017, was the first time an entire registered religious organization had been prohibited under Russian law.
      Long viewed with suspicion in Russia for their positions on military service, voting, and government authority in general, the Jehovah’s Witnesses -- which claim some 170,000 adherents in Russia and 8 million worldwide -- are among several denominations that have come under increasing pressure in recent years.
      The sect began operating in Russia and across the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s.
      Russia's treatment of Jehovah’s Witnesses has raised concerns from governments and religious organizations in the West.
      “The treatment of the Jehovah’s Witnesses reflects the Russian government’s tendency to view all independent religious activity as a threat to its control and the country’s political stability,” the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom said after the Supreme Court ruling last year.

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    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      FSB starts detaining Jehovah’s Witnesses on Kola, dozens flee to Finland
      Criminal cases are initiated after FSB and Rosgvardia raided six addresses in the closed navy town of Polyarny.
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      April 20, 2018
      Last April, a ruling by Russia’s Supreme Court banned all Jehovah’s Witnesses organizations throughout the country, arguing the religious group to be extremist.
      On Friday, Murmansk regional authorities’ newspaper Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. reports about raids made by FSB and the National Guard of Russia (Rosgvardia) in Polyarny on the Kola Peninsula.
       
      Two local residents were detained under suspicions of being members of the administrative centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, organizing teaching and meetings where reading of banned religious literature took place. Searches were carried out at six addresses in Polyarny.  
       
      The town is home to a naval yard and several of the diesel-powered submarines and other warships of the Northern Fleet have Polyarny as homeport.
       
      The extremist law banning Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia provides for a maximum sentences of 6 to 10 years in jail.
      Meanwhile, a wave of practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses are fleeing Russia. More than a thousand people are now seeking asylum in several European countries, including Finland, the newspaper Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. reported earlier this winter.
       
      It all started last summer, and that’s when the first Witnesses sought asylum in Finland, spokesperson Veikko Leininen with the organization’s Finnish branch told the newspaper.  Many dozens at least are still to come, he said.
      Press adviser Therese Bergwitz-Larsen with the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) can’t go into details about particular reasons for asylum seekers coming to Norway.
      Unfortunately, we can’t say anything in general on the background for reasons to apply for asylum, since the number [from Russia] is so small, Bergwitz-Larsen tells the Barents Observer.
      Statistics from UDI show that 15 persons came from Russia the Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. this year. In Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , 58 Russian asylum seekers came to Norway.
      In Russia, the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses are estimated to about 175,000. That be, before the organization was declared extremist. Viewed with skepticism for denying military service, voting and refusal to take blood, the members are seen as both a threat to themselves, their children and public safety.
      Also during Soviet times, the Witnesses were persecuted.   
      Human Right Watch recently called on Russian authorities to drop charges against Danish citizen Dennis Christensen adherent for practicing his faith. Christensen has been in pretrial custody for 11 months in the town of Orel. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. argues that Russia is a member of Council of Europe and  a party to the European Convention on Human Rights, and therefore is obligated to protect the rights to freedom of religion and association.
      My note: Russia passed a law in 2015 that basically stated that any CE or ECHR resolution or ruling they disagreed with could be ignored. I think it is a very good idea when governments start rounding up people for gas chambers, concentration or slave labor camps, or prison ... just be somewhere else.
      You may have to abandon everything you and your family ever worked for, with the clothes on your back, but at least when they upholster the living room furniture you left behind ... it won't be with YOUR SKIN.
       
       
       
    • By Bible Speaks
      U.S
      CONTAINS AGRESSOR'S VIDEO FIRING A KINGDOM HALL
      Alleged arson damages the Kingdom Halls in Olympia and Tumwater on Monday morning
      Fires at two Kingdom Halls of Jehovah's Witnesses in Olympia and Tumwater are being treated as a crime after a person was seen pouring a liquid around one of the buildings and setting it on fire on Monday morning.
      Olympia Fire Chief Rob Bradley said he reviewed security camera images that showed a person "clearly spilling a liquid on the outside of the church." On the site, it smelled like a petroleum-based substance.
      Olympia fire investigators will help the Olympia police in the investigation, he said. Bradley also said that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is sending agents to Olympia and Tumwater.
      The Olympia fire started sometime before 8:20 a.m. Monday at the Kingdom Hall at 2225 Cain Road SE. Firefighters shot down the fire quickly and then the crews began rebuilding and rescue efforts, Bradley said. He estimated the cost of fire damage at $ 50,000.
      No injuries were reported
      In Tumwater, firefighters were sent to the Kingdom Hall at 1199 N. Ninth Ave. SO at approximately 9 a.m. M
      Members of the congregation were to enter the room when they noticed smoke coming from the north side of the building, said Tumwater Fire Chief Scott LaVielle. At first they used a garden hose to fight the fire, then they called 911, he said.
      LaVielle said firefighters and police determined there were two fires on the north side of the building. They also found the "glow and smell of some kind of accelerant," he said.
      "We take samples," LaVielle said.
      No one was injured, he said. Although the Kingdom Hall in Olympia had security cameras, the location of Tumwater did not, LaVielle said. 
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    • By Nicole
      THURSTON COUNTY, Wash. - Two worship centers operated by the Jehovah's Witnesses were damaged by fire Monday morning, and arson is suspected in both blazes, fire officials said.
      Olympia firefighters responded to the first blaze, a Kingdom Hall in the 225 Cain Road Southeast about 8:20 a.m.
      A fire was breaching an interior wall in the building, which was unoccupied.
      Firefighters quickly put out the blaze and determined that it started outside the building. There was a strong smell of petroleum similar to gasoline and other items that suggested arson, the Olympia Fire Department said.
      About a half-hour later, another fire was then reported at a second Kingdom Hall in Tumwater. Crews from the Tumwater Fire Department responded to that scene and found smoke and fire inside and outside the building. They were able to extinguish the flames.
      The Tumwater fire is likely related to the Olympia fire, officials said.
      Officials from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to both fires
      In the Olympia fire, video surveillance footage shows a person pouring a liquid on the exterior of the worship hall and lighting it on fire early in the morning before dawn, said Assistant Chief Rob Bradley of the Olympia Fire Department.
      He said it appears the fire smoldered some time before it began spreading through the walls and was noticed.
      In the Tumwater fire, evidence indicates two possible ignition points on the north side of the building, said Tumwater Fire Chief Scott LaVielle. It appears that an accelerant was used, he said.
      ATF officials are now checking on similarities between the two fires.

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    • By Nicole
      WASHINGTON (AP) — El subdirector del FBI Andrew McCabe, quien fuera un blanco frecuente de críticas por parte del presidente Donald Trump, renunció abruptamente el lunes antes de su jubilación ya cercana.
       
      McCabe, veterano de 22 años en el FBI, fue criticado públicamente repetidas veces el año pasado por Trump, quien lo ha acusado de parcialidad por las conexiones políticas de su esposa y por una investigación del FBI de la cual no surgió ningún cargo penal contra Hillary Clinton.
      McCabe, que desempeñó varios puestos de liderazgo y estuvo muy involucrado en investigaciones de crímenes importantes _incluido el atentado en el Maratón de Boston de 2013_, cumpliría en cuestión de semanas los requisitos para jubilarse. El personal del FBI se enteró el lunes que McCabe dejaba el segundo cargo más importante de la agencia de forma inmediata, según personas familiarizadas con la situación que pidieron permanecer anónimas debido a que no podían hablar públicamente sobre una decisión interna relativa al personal.
      El tercer funcionario en rango del FBI, David Bowdich, fue nombrado subdirector interino.
      Se tiene previsto que McCabe se retire con todos los beneficios de la jubilación.
      Su salida se da en el marco de los cambios implementados por el director del FBI Christopher Wray en su equipo de liderazgo. Otros dos funcionarios importantes fueron remplazados la semana pasada. Tales cambios no son inusuales cuando un nuevo director toma las riendas de la agencia, pero son notorios debido a la presión de Trump sobre Wray para que despidiera a los funcionarios que eran cercanos al ex director James Comey.
      En un mensaje el lunes a los empleados de la agencia, Wray les dijo que McCabe se retirará el 18 de marzo y rechazó que la medida se deba a presión política.

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    • By The Librarian
      Sinutko Charles - Bearing Up Under Persecution.mp3
       
       
    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      Lawmaker To Remove $26 Million Dollars From Evergreen College After Racist Students Takeover Campus

      World News
    • By Gone Away
      Cant see this under Russian news yet:

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    • By ARchiv@L
      Many NGOs have denounced worldwide the severe persecution of the Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses that is taking place in Russia.
      This issue was also discussed in Italy in two important conferences held in the Chamber of Deputies, respectively organized by  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. on October 26, 2016, and by  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  on March 22, 2017.
      The current situation of this religious organization in Russia is heavily effected by the approval and entry into force of the controversial “Yarovaya law” that struck indiscriminately all churches other than the Russian Orthodox Church. An international chorus of voices was raised in recent months in defence of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.
      Five Members of the Italian Parliament decided to add their voices to this chorus denouncing the serious violations of religious freedom of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia,  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , at  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. session n. 772).
      On. Rostellato, Lacquaniti, Paola Boldrini, Oliviero and Tieri reminded that
      "The Constitution of the Russian Federation -Art. 28- guarantees freedom of religion, including the right to profess a faith individually, collectively or to not profess any, to freely choose, have and to disseminate religious beliefs. The Constitution - Art. 30 - provides that everyone has the right to freely associate".
      Moreover, Jehovah's Witnesses are legally recognized in over 220 countries of the world, their religious activities are peaceful and respectful of other people's freedom and of the law, according to the European Court of Human Rights, in more than 47 judgments.
      Therefore, in light of the above, Deputies ask
      "Whether the Italian Government is aware of the facts outlined in the introduction and if it intends to take diplomatic initiatives to raise awareness in the Russian Government to respect the professions of faith in the Russian territory".

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    • By JayDubya
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    • By Nicole
      The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., is now home to some of Ethiopia’s most important religious manuscripts after they were recently donated to the university by Chicago-based collectors Gerald and Barbara Weiner. The couple gave out the handmade leather manuscripts with the hope of allowing Ethiopians in the U.S. to use them for prayers and study, according to Catholic News Agency.
      Dr. Aaron M. Butts, a professor of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literature at the university, put up a statement saying the collection “provides unparalleled primary sources for the study of Eastern Christianity.”
      What’s In the Collection?
      In total, the collection is comprised of 125 Christian manuscripts, including liturgical books, hagiographies, psalters, and 215 Islamic manuscripts, including the Quran and commentaries on Quran.

      According to the Catholic News Agency, it’s the largest collection of Ethiopian Islamic manuscripts outside of Ethiopia.
      More than 600 manuscripts were handmade using hides from calves, sheep, and goats, and are estimated to date back to the 18th and 19th century.
      In the collection, there are over 350 “magic” scrolls, which are traditional Christian prayer talismans, and each was handwritten by a “debtera,” or a cleric in the Ethiopian church, and includes the name of the person it was written for.
      Pieces of the manuscripts were worn around the neck for purposes of helping people with different kinds of ailments, including headaches, painful menstruation, and complicated childbirth.
      Butts suggests that some of these scrolls, which were predominantly worn by women, may have been passed down through many generations, mainly from mother to daughter.
      He added that the prayer jewels haven’t been studied much due to the personal nature of their use.
      Washington, D.C., hosts one of the largest Ethiopian communities outside Ethiopia, and has several Ethiopian Orthodox and Catholic churches and cultural centers, making it the best location to donate the manuscripts.
      Ethiopian Religion
      Ethiopia is predominantly a Christian country, with the majority of Christians belonging to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
      However, there are other small religious communities in the country, including Muslims, Judaists, and Pagans. There is also a minority section of Christians who are Roman Catholics or Protestants.
      Many Ethiopians still use the prayer scrolls for protection and healing. They are often inscribed with prayers, spells, and charms to offer protection to their specific owner.
      The text on these “magic” scrolls is often derived from the bible, which is why the majority of churches in the country tolerate despite their connection to magic.

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    • By TheWorldNewsOrg
      via
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. World News
    • By Queen Esther
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. NEWS FROM RUSSIA.....
      THE MENTIONED FIRE OF THE HOUSE OF WITNESSES IN MOSCOW, RUSSIA BY A FIRE PUMP.....
      A villager from the Moscow area threw a Molotov cocktail (incendiary bomb) at the home of Jehovah's Witnesses. Two houses and cars burned. The villager says he did it because he does not like the beliefs of his neighbors.
      That same day a guy broke the window of a kingdom hall. The brothers were gathered and told to stop doing that and the cry that will continue to do so until the whole room is destroyed.
      It has unleashed a witch hunt against the witnesses and people feel supported by the government.
      THINKING & PRAYING  to  all  our  Brothers ❤
       
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    • I would say, dig deeper into the news source. Now, I’m not suggesting to have cryptic messages within your fellow writers, since there is no critique in grammar for other participants in this forum. Just saying. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. With the old owner, sensationalism without verification was the norm.
    • Stephen Lett  is mentioned as important figure in this situation. That was the reason why  i putted. :))   
    • I'll take a chance here. Srecko posts a Philly article damning to Jehovah's Witnesses. (though it has nothing to do with the thread - my thread) I wrote a reply to that article and sent it to the newspaper, cc to the reporter and an editor or two. I said they owed it to their readers to publish it or its equivalent as prominently as they had published theirs maligning a group of decent people. The letter of reply was not acknowledged in any way.  Let's see if the reply can remain here. Srecko's incendiary link has stayed. Let's see if the response is permitted to stay as well. It is directly relevent and does not veer off in any other direction. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. The Philly paper went on to write two follow-up articles, the reporter checking back to Reddit. I replied to each of them, and then wrote a fourth piece summarizing them all: "Three Incendiary Articles from the Philadelphia Inquirer."
        She says she was 5 when another Jehovah's Witness raped her. The religion's leaders call such accounts 'false stories' They do not. It is the spin put on them that he calls 'false stories.'
    • News  Philadelphia Media Network, PBC She says she was 5 when another Jehovah's Witness raped her. The religion's leaders call such accounts 'false stories' "For much of the last two decades, Lett has been a member of the small governing body that runs Jehovah’s Witnesses and sets the course for the denomination’s followers at more than a dozen congregations in the Philadelphia area, and thousands more around the world. Lett and the seven other men on this committee maintain quiet profiles, their voices usually absent from media coverage about the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . But in the spring of 2015, Lett unexpectedly starred in a 10-minute video that was posted on the Witnesses’ website, an appearance that coincided with  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  about abuse allegations and cover-ups published by  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. from the Center for Investigative Reporting. Dressed in a dark suit, he grew animated as he urged followers to stay united by “rejecting false stories.”" .......read more at  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
    • Let reminds population how WT magazine explain some ideas? :))) STUDY ARTICLES FOR: FEBRUARY 29–APRIL 3, 2016 The Spirit Bears Witness With Our Spirit HAVE YOU BEEN CALLED? 15 Perhaps you are wondering if you have received this wonderful invitation. If you think that you might have, ponder some important questions. Do you feel that you have more than average zeal in the ministry? Are you a keen student of God’s Word who loves to delve into “the deep things of God”? (1 Cor. 2:10) Have you seen Jehovah’s special blessing on your ministry? Do you have a burning desire to do Jehovah’s will? Do you have a deep inner feeling of responsibility to help others spiritually? Have you seen proof that Jehovah has personally intervened in your life? If you answer these questions with a resounding yes, does this mean that you now have the heavenly calling? No, it does not. Why not? Because these are not unique feelings experienced only by those who have the heavenly calling. Jehovah’s spirit works with equal force in those who have the hope of living forever on earth. In fact, if you are wondering whether you have received the heavenly calling,that would in itself indicate that you have not received it. Those called by Jehovah do not wonder whether they have been invited or not! They know!  15. What does not prove that a person has been anointed by holy spirit? WHAT ABOUT THE NUMBER OF THOSE PARTAKING AT THE MEMORIAL? 12 In recent years, we have seen an increase in the number of those partaking at the Memorial of Christ’s death. That trend contrasts with the decrease in the number of partakers that we saw for many decades. Should this increase trouble us? No. Let us consider some key factors to keep in mind. 13 “Jehovah knows those who belong to him.” (2 Tim. 2:19) Those taking the count at the Memorial cannot judge who truly have the heavenly hope. The number of partakers includes those who mistakenly think that they are anointed. Some who at one point started to partake of the emblems later stopped. Others may have mental or emotional problems that lead them to believe that they will rule with Christ in heaven. Therefore,the number of partakers does not accurately indicate the number of anointed ones left on earth. 14 Anointed ones will be present in many parts of the earth when Jesus comes to gather them to heaven. Speaking of that time, the Bible says regarding Jesus: “He will send out his angels with a great trumpet sound, and they will gather his chosen ones together from the four winds, from one extremity of the heavens to their other extremity.” (Matt. 24:31) The Scriptures do indicate that only a remnant of the anointed ones will be left on earth during the last days. (Rev. 12:17) However, the Bible does not state how many will be left at the time that the great tribulation begins. 15 Jehovah chooses when in history he will select anointed ones. (Rom. 8:28-30) Jehovah began choosing anointed ones after Jesus’ death and resurrection, and it seems that all in the first-century Christian congregation were anointed. From the first century until the beginning of the last days, the vast majority of those who claimed to follow Christ were false Christians; Jesus likened them to “weeds.” Even so, Jehovah continued to anoint some faithful ones throughout that time, and they proved to be like the “wheat” Jesus described. (Matt. 13:24- 30) During the last days, Jehovah has continued to select those who will make up the 144,000.[2] If he chooses to wait until late into that period to select some for that privilege, who are we to question his wisdom? (Isa. 45:9; Dan. 4:35; read Romans 9:11, 16.)[3] We must be careful not to react like the disgruntled workers who complained about the way their master dealt with the 11th-hour workers.—Read Matthew 20:8-15. 12, 13. Why should we not worry about the number of those who eat the bread and drink the wine at the Memorial? Well, after reading those significant sentences in article and this one again; "The number of partakers includes those who mistakenly think that they are anointed. Some who at one point started to partake of the emblems later stopped. Others may have mental or emotional problems that lead them to believe that they will rule with Christ in heaven." ................. it is not strange that some can ask himself, "What sort of anointed are leaders in GB for all JW members?"   
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