Author Topic: U.S. Calls On Russia To Release All Jailed Jehovah's Witnesses  (Read 246 times)

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Online Elderberry

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U.S. Calls On Russia To Release All Jailed Jehovah's Witnesses
« on: November 10, 2019, 05:42:00 PM »
Radio Free Europe 11/8/2019

The U.S. State Department has called on Russia to release all jailed Jehovah's Witnesses in the country, saying "they pose no threat" and that Russian authorities should "respect their right to worship in peace."

The religious group said in September that 251 of its members faced criminal charges. Of those, 41 were either in pretrial detention or prison, 23 were under house arrest, and more than 100 had their freedom restricted.

The Moscow-based Memorial Human Rights Center has recognized 29 Jehovah's Witnesses charged with or convicted of extremism as political prisoners.

More: https://www.rferl.org/a/u-s-calls-on-russia-to-release-all-jailed-jehovah-s-witnesses/30260633.html
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Offline PeteS in CA

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Re: U.S. Calls On Russia To Release All Jailed Jehovah's Witnesses
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2019, 06:34:34 PM »
What in heaven's name did the witnesses do to earn the Russian government's ire?
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Offline PeteS in CA

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Re: U.S. Calls On Russia To Release All Jailed Jehovah's Witnesses
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2019, 06:37:35 PM »
[Sarcasm] The Watchtower Society headquarters are in Brooklyn, so Donald Trump must be a closet Jehovah's witness! [/Sarcasm]
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Think of the Press as Democratic Operatives with Bylines and it All Makes Sense - Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit blog

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Online berdie

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Re: U.S. Calls On Russia To Release All Jailed Jehovah's Witnesses
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2019, 06:56:13 PM »
What in heaven's name did the witnesses do to earn the Russian government's ire?


I'm curious about that as well.  I read an article a year or so ago...but it never really made a good case for "why".

Online Elderberry

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Re: U.S. Calls On Russia To Release All Jailed Jehovah's Witnesses
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2019, 07:41:46 PM »
Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses
From Wikipedia,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Jehovah%27s_Witnesses

Quote
Russian Federation

Russian anti-extremism laws were extended to non-violent groups in 2007 and Jehovah's Witnesses have been officially banned from the port city of Taganrog since 2009, after a local court ruled the organization guilty of inciting religious hatred by "propagating the exclusivity and supremacy" of their religious beliefs.[73]

On December 8, 2009 the Supreme Court of Russia upheld the ruling of the lower courts which pronounced 34 pieces of Jehovah's Witness literature extremist, including their magazine The Watchtower, in the Russian language. Jehovah's Witnesses claim that this ruling affirms a misapplication of a federal law on anti-extremism. The ruling upheld the confiscation of property of Jehovah's Witnesses in Taganrog, and may set a precedent for similar cases in other areas of Russia, as well as placing literature of Jehovah's Witnesses on a list of literature unacceptable throughout Russia. The chairman of the presiding committee of the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, Vasily Kalin, said: "I am very concerned that this decision will open a new era of opposition against Jehovah's Witnesses, whose right to meet in peace, to access religious literature and to share the Christian hope contained in the Gospels, is more and more limited."[74][75][76] On December 1, 2015 a Rostov Regional Court convicted 16 Jehovah's Witnesses of practising extremism in Taganrog, with five given ​5 1⁄2-year suspended sentences and the remainder issued fines they were not required to pay.[73]

On May 5, 2015, customs authorities in Russia seized a shipment of religious literature containing Ossetian-language Bibles published by Jehovah's Witnesses. Russian customs officials in the city of Vyborg held up a shipment of 2,013 Russian-language copies of Bibles on July 13, 2015. Customs authorities confiscated three of the Bibles, sent them to an "expert" to study the Bibles to determine whether they contained "extremist" language, and impounded the rest of the shipment.[77]

On July 21, 2015, the Russian Federation Ministry of Justice added Jehovah's Witnesses' official website to the Federal List of Extremist Materials thereby making it a criminal offense to promote the website from within the country and requiring internet providers throughout Russia to block access to the site.[78][79]

On March 23, 2017, the Russian News Agency TASS reported that Russia's Justice Ministry had suspended the activities of the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia due to extremist activities.[80] On April 4, 2017 UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression David Kaye, UN Special Rapporteur on Freedoms of Peaceful Assembly and Association Maina Kiai, and UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief Ahmed Shaheed condemned Russia's desire to ban Jehovah's Witnesses.[81]

On April 20, 2017, The Supreme Court of Russia issued a verdict upholding the claim from the country's Justice Ministry that Jehovah's Witnesses' activity violated laws on "extremism." The ruling liquidates the group's Russian headquarters in St. Petersburg and all of its 395 local religious organizations. Thus banning their activity, and ordering their property to be seized by the state. This is the first time that a court has ruled that a registered national centralized religious organisation is "extremist" and banned.[82][83] Many countries and international organizations have spoken out against Russia's religious abuses of Jehovah's Witnesses.[84][85][86] Leaders of various denominations have also spoken out against Russia's decision to ban Jehovah's Witnesses.[87][88][89][90] An article in Newsweek stated, "Russia's decision to ban Jehovah's Witnesses in the country shows the 'paranoia' of Vladimir Putin's government, according to the chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)."[91] The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum also expressed deep concern over Russia's treatment of Jehovah's Witnesses.[92]

On May 2017, armed Federal Security Services (FSB) officers arrested Dennis Christensen, a 46 year old Danish citizen, at a hall in Oryol on charges related to extremism.[93][94] On February 6, 2019, he was found guilty and sentenced to six years in prison.[95]
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Offline The_Reader_David

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Re: U.S. Calls On Russia To Release All Jailed Jehovah's Witnesses
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2019, 10:10:57 PM »
What in heaven's name did the witnesses do to earn the Russian government's ire?

They are Arian heretics -- they deny the Divinity of the Son and Word of God, Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ -- and are both pushy and deceptive in their proselytizing.  We Orthodox Christians take a very dim view of the Arian heresy.
And when they behead your own people in the wars which are to come, then you will know what this was all about.

Offline Texas Yellow Rose

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Re: U.S. Calls On Russia To Release All Jailed Jehovah's Witnesses
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2019, 11:10:29 PM »
They are Arian heretics -- they deny the Divinity of the Son and Word of God, Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ -- and are both pushy and deceptive in their proselytizing.  We Orthodox Christians take a very dim view of the Arian heresy.

I only have one thing to say. To your way of thinking they may be "deceptive in their "proselytizing" but not to theirs.  They truly believe what they are saying.  In no circumstances are Jehovah's Witnesses "guilty of inciting religious hatred" as claimed by the Russians.

Offline roamer_1

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Re: U.S. Calls On Russia To Release All Jailed Jehovah's Witnesses
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2019, 01:32:11 AM »
I only have one thing to say. To your way of thinking they may be "deceptive in their "proselytizing" but not to theirs.  They truly believe what they are saying.  In no circumstances are Jehovah's Witnesses "guilty of inciting religious hatred" as claimed by the Russians.

As one who would certainly be branded an heretic, it sure seems to be the other way around...
And a good reason not to allow state sponsored religion.

Offline mountaineer

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Re: U.S. Calls On Russia To Release All Jailed Jehovah's Witnesses
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2019, 09:00:15 AM »
The Nazis threw them in prison camps, too. They really must annoy totalitarian governments.
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Online thackney

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Re: U.S. Calls On Russia To Release All Jailed Jehovah's Witnesses
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2019, 09:06:34 AM »
I only have one thing to say. To your way of thinking they may be "deceptive in their "proselytizing" but not to theirs.  They truly believe what they are saying.  In no circumstances are Jehovah's Witnesses "guilty of inciting religious hatred" as claimed by the Russians.

A lot of folks do hate them. 
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Offline The Ghost

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Re: U.S. Calls On Russia To Release All Jailed Jehovah's Witnesses
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2019, 09:17:39 AM »
Looks like they are not part of a protected class like "some people who did something".
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Offline PeteS in CA

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Re: U.S. Calls On Russia To Release All Jailed Jehovah's Witnesses
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2019, 01:06:07 PM »
They are Arian heretics -- they deny the Divinity of the Son and Word of God, Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ -- and are both pushy and deceptive in their proselytizing.  We Orthodox Christians take a very dim view of the Arian heresy.

That the witnesses are Arians was news to me five decades ago. However there is a vast gulf between discussing/debating with witnesses and throwing them in jail. I've done the discussing/debating with witnesses quite a bit, learning about them to the degree that I have an almost complete collection of their hardback books from Russell to the late 1970s. Christianity has been a missionary-evangelizing faith ever since the giving of the Spirit on Pentecost. That the witnesses are heretical I agree, but their outreach is not unusual in the context of Christian history.
Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving. - David Burge, Iowahawkblog

Think of the Press as Democratic Operatives with Bylines and it All Makes Sense - Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit blog

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Offline PeteS in CA

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Re: U.S. Calls On Russia To Release All Jailed Jehovah's Witnesses
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2019, 01:11:59 PM »
The Nazis threw them in prison camps, too. They really must annoy totalitarian governments.

Totalitarian states need total utter loyalty. So Hitler attacked a group that had a different loyalty. Much as Lenin and Stalin attacked Orthodox Christians, much as the later USSR went after Baptists and Pentecostals. It looks like modern Russia is trying to be something like a totalitarian state by having a narrow range of what is tolerated and persecuting those outside of that range of belief/thought.
Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving. - David Burge, Iowahawkblog

Think of the Press as Democratic Operatives with Bylines and it All Makes Sense - Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit blog

Modern journalism is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn't know because they might reflect badly on Democrats. - Jim Treacher


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