Jehovah's Witnesses organization banned in Russia as extremist
MOSCOW, August 17 (RAPSI) – The Administrative Centre of Jehovah's Witnesses has been added to the list of organizations banned as extremist, the Russian Justice Ministry announced on its website on Thursday.
In spring, the Supreme Court of Russia ordered liquidation of the Jehovah's Witnesses managing organization and all its 395 local branches. The ruling has become effective.
According to the Justice Ministry, violations of the law “On Combatting Extremism” were revealed during inspection conducted in the organization. The Prosecutor General’s Office’s notice concerning inadmissibility of carrying out extremist activities by Jehovah's Witnesses has taken effect, the Ministry said earlier.
The Justice Ministry’s representatives said in court that the Administrative Centre’s activities endanger observance of rights and legal interests of people as well as peacekeeping and security protection.
The Centre’s representatives earlier claimed in court that the organization had not received a letter from the Justice Ministry and said that if it is going to be found extremist, consequences for the religious freedom in Russia would be extremely negative.
Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization has had many legal problems in Russia. Since 2009, 95 materials distributed by the organization in the country have been declared extremist and 8 Jehovah's Witnesses’ branches have been liquidated, according to the Justice Ministry.
Jehovah's Witnesses is an international religious organization based in Brooklyn, New York. Since 2004 several branches and chapters of the organization were banned and shut down in various regions of Russia.