Moscow Jehovah’s Witnesses Raided

A couple of days ago I noted the response of the Papal Nuncio in Russia to a question about religious freedom in the country. Antonio Mennini told Interfax-Religion that:

Unfortunately, I am not aware of any specific facts prompting the US Congress to make this kind of reproaches.

He went on to praise Russia for allowing Roman Catholicism in the country to “exist normally”, and to back Moscow’s ban on a proposed gay rights parade.

Alas, Mennini’s toadying comments appear to have been unfortunately timed. Moscow News now reports:

Police have broken up a Moscow prayer meeting attended by about 200 Jehovah’s Witnesses and detained about 20 worshippers, a representative of the religious group told the Associated Press Thursday.

Vasily Kanin, a member of the small Russian community of Jehovah’s Witnesses, said police in 10 squad cars arrived Wednesday at a public hall which the group had rented over the past few months and forced the worshippers to end their service.

…Kanin said police told the worshippers they were enforcing a ban on the group. But Kanin said a recent court ruling had prohibited only a legal status for the denomination and the accompanying rights to hold bank accounts and property.

…A June 2004 ruling by the Moscow City Court upheld a lower court decision earlier that year that prohibited Jehovah’s Witnesses from engaging in religious activity in the Russian capital…Prosecutors claimed the group was destroying families and endangering followers’ health by forbidding medical procedures such as blood transfusions. They also said Jehovah’s Witnesses were violating privacy by distributing religious pamphlets on the street and by mail.

(Hat tip Cult News Network)

4 Responses

  1. The Russian authorities charge the Jehovah’s Witnesses cult as “family destroyers” this is true.
    Their ‘prayer meetings’ are in reality a cult recruitment and sales promotion rally for the Watchtower corporation.

    Up close and personal Jehovah’s Witnesses can be wolves in sheep’s clothing. I have Jehovah’s Witnesses family in the USA who practice the Watchtower JW enforced ritual shunning that i have not seen or heard from in 15 years.

    The central CORE dogma of the Watchtower is Jesus second coming (invisibly) in 1914 and is a lie.Jehovah’s Witnesses are a spin-off of the man made Millerite movement of 1840.

    A destructive cult of false teachings, that frequently result in spiritual and psychological abuse, as well as needless deaths (bogus blood transfusion ban).

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are often a mouth that prays a hand that kills.The Watchtower is a truly Orwellian world. –


    Danny Haszard,Jehovah’s Witness X 33 years and 3rd generation

  2. I’m not a particular fan of the JW’s either (although I note that in Russia they refused to go along with Stalin while much of the Orthodox church was in cahoots with the KGB). The issue is one of religious freedom. I’m sorry that you’re cut off from your family, but in a democracy it shouldn’t the job of the authorities to go around raiding religious meetings composed of consenting adults and their families.

  3. The JW’s practiced neutrality which Stalin felt was a threat to Russian power. What is interesting is that Putin seems to be reasserting Russian power but unlike Stalin, he is willing to use and appease the Orthodox Church? Under Stalin JW’s were exiled or interned in gulags but under Hitler it was worse. Many JW’s were put in concentration camps or executed for their neutral stand. It will be interesting to see if Russia reverts back to some form of totalitarianism under Putin.

  4. While some posters here would praise Russia for its crushing of the right for peaceful, law abiding citzens to meet together in prayer and bible study, others feel the cold hand of totalitarianism closing in on freedom of religion.

    A worrying trend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.