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  • » 07/08/2011, 00.00

    RUSSIA

    Orthodox nationalists attempt to prevent Jehovah's Witnesses congress

    Nina Achmatova

    The event should take place this weekend, but the organization 'Council of the People' asks the attorney general to verify its legality: "The JWs are a dangerous cult and violate the law."
    Moscow (AsiaNews) - The Orthodox activists of the nationalist movement 'Council of the People' are trying to prevent a large national convention of Jehovah's Witnesses (JW), scheduled from July 8 to 10 in Moscow. As announced by Russian agencies, the organization - which in Russian is called 'Narodny Sobor' - has asked judicial authorities to verify the legality of the event and prevent "violations of federal law," as it said in a statement addressed to the Attorney General and published by Interfax.

    The convention of Jehovah's Witnesses, according to a report in the daily Gazeta Nezavizimaya, should be held this weekend at the Crocus Expo, a large arena for mass events just outside the Russian capital and is expected to host more than 9 thousand faithful. According to the nationalist Orthodox, the Jehovah's Witnesses "have not asked for permission to organize and hold a public religious ceremony ... thus violating the law on freedom of conscience and religious associations," the statement continues.

    The Narodny Sobor - whose accusations in the past have led to the conviction of the organizers of the exhibition considered blasphemous 'Forbidden Art-2006' - stresses that the JWs are "one of the most dangerous sects in Russia" who have several criminal and civilians cases hanging over them. Often in Russia religious confessions and denominations that can not be classified among the traditional religions or are unacceptable to the political and Orthodox authorities are often defined as sects or destructive cults. Since 2004, the Jehovah's Witnesses have been particularly targeted, becoming the subject of a real persecution, which the leaders of the community compared to that suffered under Stalin. Several Russian courts have banned many of their publications and outlawed their activities. Assaults and vandalism against the community are becoming more frequent. The organization is also accused of "the violation of the rights of non-believers" through "attempts to enter their homes to pray and aggressive forms of evangelization."

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    See also

    21/03/2011 RUSSIA
    Arkhangelsk, Orthodox Church against sects, including yoga
    Local authorities write to eparchy to invite them to keep "destructive cults" such as Jehovah's Witnesses away from schools. But yoga also presents problem for religious leaders, a practice that relies on "recruitment" in public spaces.

    21/11/2013 RUSSIA
    Russia, attacks on Jehovah's Witnesses and Pentecostals increase under anti-extremism law
    Experts from the Sova center denounce the escalation of attacks against religious minorities. On November 25 Tagarong trial opens against 16 Jehovah's Witnesses accused of extremism for continuing to pray and read the Bible together, after the ban on the community decided by the Russian Supreme Court in 2009.

    09/04/2013 RUSSIA
    Taganrog, new charges against Jehovah's Witnesses
    The prosecutor formally indicts 16 JW for having re-started the organization's activities, prohibited since 2009 after a conviction for "extremism." Human Rights Defenders: now we have come to a stage of outright persecution.

    29/07/2011 RUSSIA
    Protests in Rostov against Jehovah's Witnesses
    After accusations, trials and physical attacks, street protests now target the JW. Slogans and banners stigmatize the community as an extremist sect.

    14/09/2010 RUSSIA
    Moscow’s measures against "extremist sects"
    An initiative of the Department of Labour and social security in the region of Khanty-Mansiisk: establishing a militia of volunteers and checkpoints to ensure that members of "totalitarian" sects such as Jehovah's Witnesses, Protestants, Scientologists, can not carry out their activities.



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    VATICAN – CHINA
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    Bernardo Cervellera

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