Russia suspends Jehovah’s Witnesses over extremism

The Russian Ministry of Justice has suspended the activities of the religious organization calling itself Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses “due to its extremist activities”.

Citing the Ministry’s website, the news agency TASS reports that the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses has been put on the list of non-governmental and religious organizations whose activity has been suspended for extremism.

Russia’s Supreme Court on April 5 will consider the Justice Ministry’s request for declaring Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization and banning and terminating its activities in the country. In its suit the Justice Ministry mentions a variety of violations of Russian legislation, including the federal law On Resistance to Extremist Activities.

In 2016, a Moscow court issued a warning to the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia over extremist activities. Under the Russian legislation if a religious organization fails to eliminate the exposed violations or if new evidence of extremist activities is exposed, the organization is to be closed down. The Moscow City Court on January 16 upheld the warning.



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