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JehovahsWitness
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:20 am  Russian Ban of Jehovah's Witnesses Reply with quote

Jehovah's Witneses in Russia a facing an imminent ban which would criminalize all of Jehovah's Witnessses in the country as "extremists". Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide are presently conducting a letter writing campaign to protest this injustice.

What is your opinion of this move? Should Jehovah's Witnesses be banned from meeting to pray, read their bibles and sing spiritual songs together?

Do you think such a move could be envisioned elsewhere?

If you are non-religious, would you welcome such measures as a move to ultimately eliminate organized religion?



https://www.jw.org/en/news/releases/by-region/russia/jw-mobilize-global-response...


Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 11: Thu Apr 06, 2017 7:26 am
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[Replying to post 10 by DanieltheDragon]

I agree, we are indeed being used as a "test case". We will just have to see how this all plays out.

JW

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 12: Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:19 pm
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JehovahsWitness wrote:

[Replying to post 1 by JehovahsWitness]

Some extracts from a recent article on the subject
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/04/world/europe/russia-moves-to-ban-jehovahs-wit...

Time Report
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecMTCdHB3fw





Do you not view Jehovah's Witnesses as extremists?

ex·trem·ist
ikˈstrēməst/
noun
a person who holds extreme or fanatical political or religious views (A guy was given golden plates and magic glasses by a god), especially one who resorts to or advocates extreme action (discouraging some medical practices, not allowed to celebrate birthdays/holidays, being disfellowshipped, dictated who you can hang out with and who you cannot, setting off fireworks on the 4th of July is siding with your country over your god, presumptuously disqualifying someone as a “bad associate” for no other reason than not being JW, limiting marriages to other JW's, teaching that only 144,000 individuals will actually go to heaven with Christ, teaching this wicked world was soon to end at Armageddon, etc...).

These views seem extreme to me anyway.
Again, should we be allowed to have such beliefs? Sure, but I certainly don't want them encouraged.

Put yourself in others shoes for a bit. Imagine if this wasn't in regards to JW's, but let's say Heaven's Gate, or those pushing for an Islamic State Caliphate.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 13: Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:06 am
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Clownboat wrote:


Do you not view Jehovah's Witnesses as extremists?


No I do not.




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Last edited by JehovahsWitness on Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:29 am; edited 3 times in total

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 14: Fri Apr 07, 2017 7:24 am
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[Replying to post 11 by JehovahsWitness]



Note: For a live stream of the case visit https://jw-russia.org/news/17040510-129.html
(Google chrome can translate the page)

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 15: Fri Apr 07, 2017 10:27 am
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[Replying to post 12 by Clownboat]



Court statement by Vasily Kalin (respectfully reproduced from the translation by Anton Chivchalov) :

MOJ = Ministry of Justice
AC = Jehovah's Witness Russian HQ
LROs= Local congregations of JWs

I am not a lawyer, so I will try to speak as simply as possible for you, your honor, and for the MOJ. The MOJ filed a motion to declare the AC extremist and liquidate all LROs in Russia. There are 395 LROS. Is this lawful? I don’t think so. The AC disagrees with this. For 26 years the AC has never been charged with violations of the Federal Law on Religion or the Law on Extremism. I have a question as the Chairman. If we were good for 26 years, on what date did we become extremist? What did the AC do that all of a sudden it's considered extremist?

The MOJ alleges that they intend to protect the public in the fight against terrorism. However, if the judge grants the claim we will return to the dark history of our past, rather than fight extremism. We will restrict the rights of 175,000 people. Liquidation of all LROs will be interpreted as a ban of the peaceful worship of JW, gathering together and reading the Bible.

The activity of the AC has been suspended, the bank accounts frozen. The AC cannot even pay state fees. The AC has been included by the MOJ in the list of extremist and terrorist organizations, such as Al Qaeda and ISIS. Granting the claim would be the extremist activity and return us to the dark history of our past. JW are [legally recognized] in 240 countries, including all countries of Europe. There can only be one just decision: deny the MOJ claim.

JW are not extremist and they will never be. They are peaceful citizens who follow Bible’s commands to pray and live a quiet life (Timothy 2:1,2; Romans 13:1). JW have deep respect for the authority and for the neighbor. We are not extremists. We have been active in Russia for over 100 years. We have never been charged with extremism. Rather, we often receive praise and appreciation for our good works. The Christian teachings of JW are based exclusively on the Bible and do not encourage extremist activity. Based on this situation, it is a shame that we are returning to the past.

I received a [certificate] that I was [recognized] as a victim of political repression. What does the MOJ plan on doing for people who are viewed as extremist? Therefore, I believe that the claim by the MOJ is a return to the past. We face prison time and other persecution. In the Soviet times we faced charges as “enemy of the state”, now we are being charged with "extremism". If the court returns to the path offered by the MOJ to liquidate the AC and all LROs, we will return to the dark past. I like what one official said, “You can liquidate a legal entity, but never someone’s faith." In Taganrog [our] people have already been sentenced and their families persecuted.

Our Fundamental Beliefs indicate that we treat others like we want to be treated – (Matthew 7:12). We share our faith in harmony with the Bible’s command to preach (Matthew 24:14). We want people to draw close to God and live forever on earth.

In Soviet Times JW were subject to serious persecution. Thousands of JW were exiled to Sibera, their homes were confiscated, they were viewed as anti-Soviet and persecuted in the Gulag just for being JW. My family was exiled and later rehabilitiesd. I was born in Ukraine. On 8 April when I was 4 years old, together with my family I was exiled to Siberia, to Irkutsk. It took 20 days to arrive. There were men, women, children, without toilets, without food. We were exiled in harmony with Stalin’s command to wipe out JW.

My parents and all other JW at that time could have escaped this fate. We simply could have signed a document renouncing our faith. Interestingly, a criminal would never have this ability. Thus it is clear: JW are not criminals, yet they were persecuted. The state simply was against the position of these people. Those who exiled continue to preach and share their faith with others. JW have not lost their deep convictions, they continue to be honest people who show love to all others despite their nationality and race. This is because they value the Bible’s command to love your neighbor as yourself. Yes, my childhood was full of hunger, poverty, and mockery. I asked my mother for some bread, and she would turn around so that I would not see her tears. Mom said, “Son, wait a bit, soon we will have lots of bread!" At that time I thought, “Lots of bread! We may have an entire loaf!"

(Some in the audience are in tears)

I want to remind the MOJ that the request to ban the JW would hurt those people who wish to live a peaceful, happy life. I call on the court not to return to the past and reject the MOJ’s claim

Source Russian Audio (scroll down)
https://jw-russia.org/pages/17040614-132.html#0407


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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 16: Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:42 pm
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[quote="JehovahsWitness"]
Clownboat wrote:


Do you not view Jehovah's Witnesses as extremists?


Quote:
No I do not.


Ironically, ask those ISIS members if they are extremists, and like you in regards to the JW religion, they probably don't see themselves as extremists either.

It's all perspective I guess, but from my point of view, both ISIS and JW's have extreme views (I listed some above).

Someone once said: While not being a terrorist organization, Jehovah's Witnesses simply await , in the confidence that Jehovah will do the dirty work at Armageddon.
ISIS is just more hands on, when compared to JW's in this regard, no? Same end goal, just different in how it will come.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 17: Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:45 pm
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I skimmed over post 15 and nothing stuck out that I saw you wanting me to respond to. If I missed it, please let me know.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 18: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:24 am
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Clownboat wrote:
It's all perspective I guess...


Fair enough. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. We will have to see what those that decide on laws do regarding "freedom of religion" both in Russia and in other countries such as America and those in Europe.

Thanks for sharing,

JW


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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 19: Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:04 am
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Clownboat wrote:

I skimmed over post 15 and nothing stuck out that I saw you wanting me to respond to. If I missed it, please let me know.


Feel free to comment on any part of it. I'm happy to read all comments as I think the issues raised are universal regardless of our political or religious views.

JW




Further reading: Compilation of press releases & statements
http://www2.stetson.edu/~psteeves/relnews/00currentchoices.shtml

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 20: Tue Apr 11, 2017 2:09 pm
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[Replying to JehovahsWitness]

I thought JWs were not supposed to be involved in politics? You didnt bother pointing out the mistreatment of the LGBT community which russia has been persecuting in the same or in some cases worse for some time now. Suddenly the JWs in Russia are facing the same persecution that many minority groups in Russia face and now your up in arms?

Is it ok for JWs to be political only when it affects them?

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