Jehovah’s Witness laments Russia’s five-year ban
Jehovah’s Witness has decried Russia’s five-year ban.
A statement said the systemic persecution, which hit five years on April 20, 2022, has seen about 400 of the Witnesses’ legal entities, including houses of worship, shut down and more than 1,740 homes raided.
Despite a persistent international outcry from human rights bodies, Russia has imprisoned over 320 Witnesses, with over 80 still in custody. Other adherents, consisting 40 men and women over the age of 70, have been charged criminally.
The statement noted that during the 2017 Supreme Court hearing, the Russian government claimed that although it was liquidating the legal entities of Jehovah’s Witnesses, worshippers would be free to practise their faith.
However, the government’s claim of allowing freedom to worship has been inconsistent with its actions.
Former British Ambassador to Russia, Andrew Wood, said of the Witnesses in a statement: “Their arrest, ill treatment and confinement are a breach of elementary human rights together with the infringement of the freedom of all souls to seek their path to the truths of religion as best they may. The targeting of particularly vulnerable people of whatever gender or age adds to the injustice.”