Alleged organizer of banned religious organization arrested in Russia’s Penza
MOSCOW, October 15 (RAPSI) – An alleged organizer of a cell of Jehovah’s Witnesses, a religious organization banned in Russia, has been arrested in Russia’s Penza, the Investigative Committee’s press service reports.
According to the investigation, the chair of the Nikolsk town religious cell of Jehovah’s Witnesses led the organization, shared duties between its members, controlled and ordered them to distribute corresponding literature and involve new members from their relatives, acquaintances and local residents.
Investigators claim that the resident of Nikolsk born 1960 organized the religious group’s operation in September 2017, where its members propagated Jehovah’s Witnesses doctrine, called for refusal of medical intervention and denial of state authorities.
An extremism case is opened.
In April 2017, the Supreme Court of Russia ordered liquidation of the Jehovah's Witnesses managing organization and all its 395 local branches. In August, the Administrative Centre of Jehovah's Witnesses was added to the list of banned extremist organizations.
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.