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On September 4, 2019, during the trial of six Jehovah’s Witnesses in Saratov, a well-known religious scholar and state advisor to the Russian Federation, Sergey Igorevich Ivanenko, was invited to testify under oath on behalf of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Dr. Ivanenko is the author of two scholarly works on Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia. The following excerpts were taken from the testimony he gave under oath:
The religious life and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses. “One thing makes Jehovah’s Witnesses unique: They do not rely on strict rules or the authority of any particular leader, instead, they try to help adherents develop a Bible-trained conscience so that each individual can personally and voluntarily make decisions guided by the Bible.
Jehovah’s Witnesses and blood transfusions. “The Bible says that ‘life is in the blood’; therefore, blood should never be used. The context is a dietary prohibition, but they interpret it more broadly. They believe that blood should not be used in any form, not in food (they do not eat blood sausage) nor as a blood transfusion. They do, however, accept minor blood fractions. It is up to each believer . . . By refusing a blood transfusion they are not choosing to die, instead, they want quality treatment and first-rate medical assistance. Blood transfusions, in their view and from various medical standpoints, come with a risk because a person can contract AIDS or something else. Bloodless surgeries provide a higher guarantee, and I see from examining the statistics that wealthy people often prefer to forgo blood transfusions because this guarantees better protection from infections and complications.”
Russian authorities have stepped up a campaign of terror and arrested and imprisoned more of Jehovah’s Witnesses under the guise of fighting extremism. Police forces raided private homes in Birobidzhan, Khabarovsk, Magadan, Orenburg, Naberezhnye Chelny, Perm, Pskov, Saratov, and Tomsk. They arrested 15 more Witness men, bringing the total to 20 Witnesses in pretrial detention. Two others are under house arrest. At least 15 Witnesses, including some in their 70’s and 80’s, have been required to sign an agreement not to leave the area where they live. As of June 14, 2018, authorities in Russia have brought criminal charges against over 40 Witnesses. If convicted, they face prison terms of up to ten years.
The Russian government has directly violated its guarantee made in open court that the ban on the legal entities of Jehovah’s Witnesses would not affect the right of individual Witnesses to practice their faith. Russia has completely disregarded this guarantee and is misapplying Article 282 of the Criminal Code in order to charge the Witnesses with participating in, organizing, or financing an “extremist” organization. In reality, rather than fighting extremism, Russia is persecuting its own citizens for their peaceful worship.
Will International Censure Have Effect?
Both the European Union (EU) and the United States have issued official statements condemning Russia’s disregard for fundamental freedoms. The EU called on Russia “to respect its international commitments on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.” The United States additionally urged Russia “to immediately release all those imprisoned simply for exercising their freedom of religion or belief.”
Philip Brumley, General Counsel for Jehovah’s Witnesses, stated: “Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world are greatly disturbed by the harsh persecution of their fellow believers in Russia. Jehovah’s Witnesses are confronting the same type of repression today as they suffered under the Communist regime. By its actions and ongoing oppression, Russia is flagrantly disregarding its own guarantees to uphold fundamental human rights.”
originally posted by: EdgeofParadise
To preface the following news release: as you may or may not know in the recent past the Russian Federation liquidated the legal entity of Jehovah' Witnesses under false pretenses, using lies, slander, and corruption.
Some posters on this website have recently expressed their rejoicing over the persecution of God's people in another thread of mine, and said he cannot wait until religious freedoms are also suppressed in the Western World. In fact it is alarming how many people are relishing for the end to human rights, the stripping of a person's right to freedom of speech, assembly, and religion. People on this board have expressed these sentiments to me on a number of occasions
originally posted by: EdgeofParadise
Some posters on this website have recently expressed their rejoicing over the persecution of God's people in another thread of mine, and said he cannot wait until religious freedoms are also suppressed in the Western World. In fact it is alarming how many people are relishing for the end to human rights, the stripping of a person's right to freedom of speech, assembly, and religion.