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World Supreme Court bans Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia

22:02  20 april  2017
22:02  20 april  2017 Source:   ap.org

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Russia ’s Supreme Court has banned the Jehovah ’ s Witnesses , declaring it an “extremist organization” and ordering to hand over its property to the state. The Christian group says it is planning to appeal the decision.

Russia ’s Supreme Court on Thursday issued a ruling banning Jehovah ’ s Witnesses after the justice ministry called on it to dissolve the “extremist organisation”. Russia ’s Jehovah Witnesses have had several run-ins with law enforcement in recent years.

MOSCOW — Russia's Supreme Court has banned the Jehovah's Witnesses from operating in the country, accepting a request from the justice ministry that the religious organization be considered an extremist group.

The court ordered the closure of the group's Russia headquarters and its 395 local chapters, as well as the seizure of its property.

The Interfax news agency on Thursday quoted Justice Ministry attorney Svetlana Borisova in court as saying that the Jehovah's Witnesses "pose a threat to the rights of the citizens, public order and public security."

The Jehovah's Witnesses claim more than 170,000 adherents in Russia. The group has come under increasing pressure over the past year, including a ban on distributing literature deemed to violate Russia's anti-extremism laws.

Jehovah's Witnesses Already Feeling Russian Ban Impact .
Russian police are targeting Jehovah's Witnesses during faith meetings.Russian authorities have already begun breaking up Jehovah’s Witnesses services and collecting members’ identities following a Supreme Court decision to uphold a ban on the religious organization, a spokesman for the faith said Tuesday.

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