Russia’s Supreme Court on Thursday banned Jehovah’s Witnesses from operating anywhere in the country, accepting a request from the justice ministry that the religious organisation be considered an extremist group.

The court ordered the closure of the group’s Russian 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 Jehovah’s Witnesses pose a threat to Russians.

“They pose a threat to the rights of citizens, public order and public security,” she told the court.

Borisova also said Jehovah’s Witnesses’ opposition to blood transfusions violates Russian health care laws.

Yaroslav Sivulsky, a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, said in a statement they are “greatly disappointed by this development and deeply concerned about how this will affect our religious activity.”

Jehovah’s Witnesses said they would appeal the ruling.

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.

Human Rights Watch criticised yesterday’s decision as an impediment to religious freedom in Russia.

“The Supreme Court’s ruling to shut down the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia is a terrible blow to freedom of religion and association in Russia,” said Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

The rights group also expressed concern that if the ruling takes effect, Jehovah’s Witnesses could face criminal prosecution and punishment ranging from fines to prison time.


  1. Free up the ppl dem yuh too damn disgusting Putin!!How big a sin is being annoying and if it was truly a crime;nuff a we would be serving life sentences. .so lef di ppl dem mek them bear witness yo kmft!

    1. Bare witness to what? Me qoukd a ban dem too. They are one self centered bunch of religious zealots.

      Dem don’t participate in government, but dem benefit from it. They don’t contribute to institutions or social causes outside of their sect, but they profit from consumers far remove from them.

      1. Dem have dem ways yes PP that’s why me cut lef dem when me was 14 n hide dem out fi another 19yrs straight till one move cross the road from me smh.

        However I know for a fact you support freedom of association and religion. .even if you nuh agree with it!! Jehovah Witnesses a sprat ting dat fi catch n fry nuh true PP..stay focused on those bigger bullhead/hammerhead fishes/sharks trump n putin zeen!

  2. the coming of the Lord is near. When u see God’s people are getting attacked like this. just watch for the armageddon

    1. Is over 2000 yrs now the end a come and no reach. The watch tower lot did say it 3xs…lol

      A no today Russia a marginalize dem. Africa did a slaughter dem no too long ago.

  3. Jehovah’s witnesses are more like a cult group. .very selfish people and shun their loved ones if they decide to leave the group..that is not Christian like to me.

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