Russian Court Sentences Jehovah’s Witness To 6 Years In Prison 3


A Danish Jehovah’s Witness, Dennis Christensen, was sentenced to six years in prison by the Russian Court system on charges of “organizing a banned extremist group”.

Russia’s Supreme Court had banned Jehovah’s Witnesses back in April of 2017, and labeled the religious group as an extremist organization. Many human rights groups have spoken up about this issue and its disregard for religious freedom, as, to this day, around 170,000 Jehovah Witnesses are being persecuted in Russia for this very reason.

Indeed, Denmark’s Foreign Minister, Ander Samuelsen, stated on Twitter, “Deeply concerned by the sentencing of Dennis Christensen. Again, call on #Russia to respect freedom of religion. Danish MFA will continue to follow closely and assist Dennis Christensen should he decide to appeal #dkpol.” Many others have also been advocating for Christensen. Paul Gillies, a Jehovah’s Witnesses spokesman, believes Christensen had been arrested purely on the grounds of practicing his faith. To the New York Times, Gillies stated that, “This verdict reveals just how fragile religious freedom has become in Russia,” and that the Jehovah Witness Community will “continue to appeal for justice.”

And as reported in the Washington Post, Christensen himself lamented, “I do not agree with this judgment, it’s a big mistake… I’m really sad that such a thing is happening in Russia, very sad. The same thing could happen to any of us.” This statement rings true across the globe, as religious persecution can be seen in the Rohingyas treatment in Myanmar, in Christians being massacred in Nigeria, to name a few instances.

According to the New York Times, back in December, Russian President Vladimir Putin had issued a statement, declaring that, “[Russia] should treat the representatives of every religion equally,” which gave hope to many Jehovah Witnesses, although current events would deem those words moot.

Those who give voice to those suffering injustice should be applauded. Jehovah Witnesses are a sect of Christianity which had been started in the United States by Charles Taze Russell in the 1900s. Religious freedom is a basic right that every person should have, and Vladimir Putin should be urged to honour his words and remove Jehovah’s Witnesses as an extremist organization under the 2002 anti-extremist law. 

Christensen, who had been arrested while praying in the town of Oryol, has lived in Russia for two decades prior to his arrest. Although his arrest has garnered headlines, he is not alone. Many Jehovah’s Witness prayer halls have been raided, driving many to seek shelter in neighbouring nations. According to the New York Times, 22 other Jehovah’s Witnesses have been arrested in Russia, and 25 are currently under house arrest. Many hope that Christensen’s case will shed light on Jehovah’s Witnesses’ treatment in Russia. 

The goal of promoting fundamental human rights and freedoms, in this case, the freedom of religion, ought to be pursued. As James Madison once stated, “Conscience is the most sacred of all property.”


3 thoughts on “Russian Court Sentences Jehovah’s Witness To 6 Years In Prison

  • David Ensbey

    The situation with Jehovah’s Witnesses is even more puzzling because unlike other religions they reject all violence, have no part in decisive politics, which they leave entirely to others to squabble about, and are committed soley to peaceful solutions:

    “For the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but powerful by God for overturning strongly entrenched things.  For we are overturning reasonings and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are bringing every thought into captivity to make it obedient to the Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:4,5.

  • Vinny

    Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) predicted the end of the world, IN WRITING, numerous times. Not once did they come true. They truly are known for their ‘False Predictions’ the world over.

    JWs are taught that they alone are TRUE Christians and that all other people not JW will soon be destroyed. This is no exaggeration.

    JWs will allow their own children TO DIE rather than accept a life saving blood transfusion even in severe medical emergencies. It has already happened THOUSANDS of times!

    Just like this mother died unnecessarily! http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/shropshire/7078455.stm

    Two recently in Canada! http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42002996

    Or this teenager that also DIED: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/west_midlands/8690785.stm

    This pregnant JW and her baby died.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3027599/Jehovah-s-Witness-baby-die-refuses-blood-transfusion-seven-months-pregnant-cancer-80-chance-surviving-treatment.html

    JW’s NEEDLESSLY die for this sorry blood policy today.

    From the same organization that has an entire 100 + year history of similar bad and embarrasing policies.

    As a 15 year active JW (and an elder) here is my own story: http://www.bibletoday.com/archive/JW_Disassociation_letter_by_Vinny.htm#.W0E7_K2ZMVc

    JWs used to forbid Vaccinations and Organ Transplants (calling a life saving transplant “Cannibalism”) for a combined 33 years.

    This JW elder refused a kidney transplant and DIED only to have JWs say transplants are now OK 2 years later. http://ajwrb.org/debbie-shards-story

    JWs enforce extreme shunning for any JW that decides to leave their religion or who commits a sin without showing enough repentance in front of the elders.

    I have literally seen parents cut off all ties with their children solely because the kid did not want to remain a JW but went in another direction.

    Even the ex-JWs who leave the religion on their own, who are 100 percent truthful, sincere, love God, pay taxes, help others and more are still SHUNNED by all current JWs and marked as godless, proud, sinning apostates. The Awake magazine recently called them “mentally diseased”.

    And MANY contemplate suicide because the penalties of losing everything are simply TOO MUCH TO TAKE.

    But an honest question is: Why do so many JWs leave after being one time followers?

    As I eventually found out, the JW religion did say, IN WRITING, that the end would come in 1914 and then again in 1925. Was Jehovah directing all that? 1914 and 1925 came and went! They were proven false predictions. Period.

    They also said the end very likely would happen in 1975 and even commended (in the watchtower) witnesses for selling their houses and pioneering because of it.

    But 1975 came and went!

    They also said (for many decades) that the end would come before the generation born in 1914 passed away. In fact up until 1995 it was written inside each Awake magazine cover. Only they then had to change that meaning as well (including the Awake masthead) because that generation CAME AND WENT TOO.

    I was an active JW (and elder) for 15 years before leaving because of the blood and fractions policy 10 yrs ago. Today I’m shunned by all JWs simply because I left the religion.

    Most JWs simply accept everything the Watchtower teaches and says as “food from God”. Just like I did.

    Most believe God has chosen the Watchtower Society as his “channel”, which provides food from God Himself to their religion and ONLY their religion.

    But an honest look at the facts of the JW religion shows God has not chosen the WT for anything!

    Take a LOOK: https://jwfacts.com/watchtower/changed-watchtower-teachings.php

    ALL FROM THEIR OWN LITERATURE WITH DATES & PAGES TO SEE FOR YOURSELVES!!!

    Pages and pages of mistakes, embarrassments, false predictions, medical disasters, weird science, doctrinal failures and more for over 100 years now!

    Obviously ‘GOD’ would not get things wrong like this. Obviously ‘GOD’ did not provide bad food like that for their entire history.

    But most JWs have no idea about these things. They’re told to stay away from anything critical of their religion.

    For example: Was God’s spirit with JWs when they said Organ Transplants were a “conscience matter” in 1961?

    OR,

    Was God”s spirit with WT when they THEN SAID Organ Transplants are same as “Cannibalism” in 1967 and forbid them?

    OR, was God’s spirit with the WT when they THEN SAID Organ Transplants are NOT the same as cannibalism in 1980 and now allow them?

    Was God behind all those changes each time? Did ((GOD)) get all those things wrong each time? How many JWs like that elder above DIED by refusing kidney transplants, only later on to be told they’re OK to have now?

    Which is why some end up taking their lives due to losing their family or feel compelled to speak out about it, like me right here and now.

    And now because I walked away JWs are demanded to shun you for life (including your very own family).

    Examine this religion and ask as many questions as you can!

    Vinny

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