Supreme Court bans Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia

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  • 2close2call Beverly Hills, CA
    April 25, 2017 6:55 p.m.

    @BrentBot wrote "The reasons cited by the Russian Supreme Court for the Jehovah Witnesses being a "terrorist organization" are: their refusal to vote, to join the army, to be pacifist, to be governed by a foreign (U.S.) central authority, their door-to-door proselytizing, and refusal to have blood transfusions."

    Actually, I can see how this could be arguably banned based on the reasons cited as I believe others religious freedom ends where that religion is forcing their beliefs on me or others.

    1. refusing blood transfusions can put in danger other family member's lives including young children who have not reached the age to be able to personally make a decision to possibly die instead of receiving a needed blood transfusion.

    2. refusing to be governed by the government of their country could also be seen as an affront to non Jehovah's Witness' in the country.

    Other western religions should learn from the mistakes of the Jehovah's Witness' so they are not also banned. The mistake is you cannot force your beliefs in any way on people that are not in your religion.

  • goosehuntr Tooele, UT
    April 25, 2017 7:57 a.m.

    Saddened by this news. Doesn't matter what religion you espouse, this is a preview of some even more serious actions in the future. If by chance religion/s leave the country for the right to worship, it leaves the country open for serious problems..

  • rdean92 Los Angeles, CA
    April 24, 2017 1:09 p.m.

    @Patriot. Seems to me you need to go back and grab a class at school. Russia is not a communist country last I checked.

  • richard s salt lake city, utah
    April 23, 2017 11:46 a.m.

    I think it's a good idea. I wish we could do it here in the US.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    April 21, 2017 2:54 p.m.

    I'm having trouble understanding the outrage of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia,
    by the very same people who vocally cheer Donald Trump's attempts to ban Muslims in America.

    Folks -
    do not kid yourselves - the evil being done to religious freedoms is the same.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    April 21, 2017 2:25 p.m.

    "You would never see this religious ban in a non-Communist country."

    None of the countries with Sharia law are communist.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    April 21, 2017 2:01 p.m.

    @scrappy do - DRAPER, UT
    April 21, 2017 11:30 a.m.

    This is what socialists do, no surprise... They would do it here if they gained power.. But the way to knock down Christianity is more subtle here in the land of the free


    I thought this was about Trump's friends in Russia.
    I was not aware they also had this problem in :

    New Zealand
    South Korea

    Thanks for the tip...
    the Fake News - whatever the case might be.

  • Diego De La Vega South Jordan, UT
    April 21, 2017 1:55 p.m.

    Russia under Vladimir Putin seems to be returning to its communist and atheist roots. it is now persecuting and oppressing religious minorities. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have had restrictions placed on them by new laws restricting religious freedom in Russia. This ruling by Russia's Supreme Court sets an ugly precedent. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints could also be banned in Russia under similar judicial action. This would lead to severe persecution of Russian members of the LDS faith since it would have official government sanction.

  • Prometheus Platypus Orem, UT
    April 21, 2017 1:49 p.m.

    patriot - said: "We are talking about a Communist country by the way -- for all you Communist - far left - Bernie Sanders disciples.

    Seriously patriot, do you ever look past radio rhetoric?

    Bernie was born to Russian/Polish immigrant parents who were Jewish and Sanders became interested in politics at an early age: "A guy named Adolf Hitler won an election in 1932. He won an election, and 50 million people died as a result of that election in World War II, including 6 million Jews. So what I learned as a little kid is that politics is, in fact, very important.

    I understand that conservatives believe that America should be a Christian theocracy, which is what Russia would like, a single state sanctioned religion.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    April 21, 2017 12:51 p.m.

    not surprised by this at all. We are talking about a Communist country by the way -- for all you Communist - far left - Bernie Sanders disciples. You would never see this religious ban in a non-Communist country.

  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    April 21, 2017 11:30 a.m.

    This is what socialists do, no surprise... They would do it here if they gained power.. But the way to knock down Christianity is more subtle here in the land of the free

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    April 21, 2017 6:55 a.m.

    Those (justifiably) outraged at what's happened to Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia need to remember that religious freedom often entails behavior which the majority is uncomfortable with.

    If the Native American church wants to use Peyote in their ceremonies... it's *their* religious beliefs, folks, vs the majority's impulse to control.

    If devout evangelicals want to help "save" LDS youngsters by handing out pamphlets at school, can we deny them that freedom? (Who's "religious freedom" should predominate?)

    If an apocalyptic cult wants to amass insane amounts of firearms and explosives... is that their right?

    If your new neighbors want to sacrifice a lamb - just like in the Bible and Book of Mormon - don't you need to hold your tongue, as the animal wails in the night?

  • Chris from Rose Park Hartford, CT
    April 21, 2017 4:52 a.m.

    @Red Corvette

    My thirst thought is disagreement with you.

    My second thought is to understand you. Why do you applaud them? I see this as dwindling religious freedom for all. Do you see it as something else? Do you agree that JW's are extremist? What led you to that conclusion?

  • Bob67 Glenn Dale, MD
    April 21, 2017 3:32 a.m.

    Under the Edmunds – Tucker anti-polygamy Act in US history, the assets of the LDS church were seized by the US government.

    Today in Russia, the assets of the Jehovah's Witnesses will be “liquidated by the state”, by order of the Russian Supreme Court.

    The LDS church got their assets back in 1893. Will that happen for the Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia?

    An even darker parallel with US history is possible:

    " The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the state if necessary for the public peace . . . " Missouri Executive Order Number 44, Lilburn W. Boggs, 1838

    In Putin's Russia, many groups are “treated as enemies.”

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    April 20, 2017 11:47 p.m.

    The LDS Church just organized its 100th unit in Russia, adding another branch to the Moscow Russia Stake.

    I am thinking that the LDS Church will survive and continue to move forward with full time volunteers having a role.

    However I am also very distirbed by this attack on the freedom of the Jehovah's WItnesses. Religious Freedom means people have a right to believe and act on their beliefs. While I do not believe in rejecting military service, strongly believe we have a civic duty to vote, and willingly say the pledge of allegiance every day, I also think people have a total right to reject all these things on religious grounds if they so choose.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    April 20, 2017 11:44 p.m.

    The claim that "man/most religious freedom advocates in the US cast a warry eye on Islam" is pure bunk. Religious freedom conferences regularly try to and do invite and have Muslim speakers. Religious freedom advocacy groups like the Beckett Fund published literature in defense of the Ground Zero Mosque and have defended the rights of Muslim groups, as well as Sikhs and all sorts of others. I could go on, but the claim is just plain rubbish.

    April 20, 2017 11:12 p.m.

    Russia has been increasing restrictions on religious groups for several years. Putin and his cronies view religion as a way for western ideas to infiltrate Russia, which might be slightly correct. Putin is also using religious restrictions to send a message to the western world.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2017 10:09 p.m.

    This is again a show of Putin making his country bad for religious freedom. This is abhorrent. And if you don't think that the Mormons could be targeted, they already have been in some ways in Russia.

    Freedoms are being denied to religion and minorities in Russia and it has to be held up to the light of day. The new Concentration camps for LBGT people, and this vote against the JW's in Russian show us the hatred for religion and minorities.

    Senator Hatch at one time spoke up for Mormons in Russia. Hopefully he will stand up for The Jehovah Witnesses and LBGT communities too.

  • Hope & Faith give us strength Utah County, UT
    April 20, 2017 8:22 p.m.

    With God, we reap what we sow. That's true of everyone, including politicians.

    Today are the days of calamity in the world. As the world turns away from what's right, far fewer will stand ground for showing love and compassion instead of judgement and hatred for others. I don't love the JW religion, but I do believe anyone should have protected freedoms to believe and worship according to the beliefs they choose, without molestation.

    I recognize that Russia may have full or zero real representation of the people. So I won't judge the people, just as I hope that others will not judge Americans for every decision our government makes. People generally do, but I believe in encouraging a better way of thinking. That said, it's hard to encourage anything when you see a government do something so dispassionate and cruel as to enforce beliefs on people and hold the minds of people into slavery.

    I stand for freedom. We're human beings, not the borg.

  • sashabill Morgan Hill, CA
    April 20, 2017 7:35 p.m.

    Sounds like an "extremist" in Russia is anybody that the "powers that be" don't happen to like.

  • BlueMoonOden Wilmette, IL
    April 20, 2017 6:11 p.m.

    It is strictly because they are considered an American religion. It will only be a matter of time before the LDS church gets evicted. This is not a good time for an American to be in Russia. If there are LDS missionaries still in Russia, I hope the Church gets them out quickly. With the political climate what it is any American would be taking a risk going there.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    April 20, 2017 5:31 p.m.

    This is most unfortunate. It highlights the importance of a proper understanding of religious freedom in this nation, as well as the dangers of religious bigotry.

    Whatever one thinks of Jehovah Witness beliefs, doctrines, or religious practices, the honest will be hard pressed to find anything violent or subversive about them. The worst thing one might say is that they are sometimes a little too persistent in their door-to-door proselyting. The same thing has been said about LDS missionaries sometimes.

    In Russia, group of decent, peaceful, people are now denied the ability to meet together peacefully to worship God as their consciences require. This is a very sad day.

    I sincerely hope to see this unjust ruling reversed soon.

  • Rick for Truth Provo, UT
    April 20, 2017 5:15 p.m.

    Other groups, LDS for their US roots, may be next. The best way to survive is to follow their laws without protest, vote, perform military or civilian duties. Apologize to any authorities for perceived or actual transgressions and do everything you can to support the local community without proselyting. Take advantage of any natural disasters with massive turnout to help. Become a friendly asset to their country. If banned, accept without complaint, we will be back.

  • conservative scientist Lindon, UT
    April 20, 2017 4:29 p.m.

    This is a terrible day for religious liberty. I know many Jehovah's witnesses personally and they are, by and large, outstanding people. I met many more Jehovah's Witnesses on my LDS mission in Europe many years ago and they were some of the kindest people I met and I learned a lot about them at that time. Nothing I learned in my associations with them would lead me to classify them as "extremists". Yes, they have several unique doctrinal points that some may view as strange, but I suspect that if any of us tried to look at our own belief system through the eyes of a non-believer, we would see that we all have some unique beliefs that would appear strange to others. No matter what our belief system, we should all protest to the extent possible the silencing of any group bound together by certain beliefs.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    April 20, 2017 4:17 p.m.

    "Religious Freedom" is viewed differently by different people.

    It may be that the Jehovah's Witness view of the coming end of the world, and the 144,000 limit on who will be saved is seen as disruptive, provocative, in Russia. The Russians have certainly had problems with Islam, and the Muslim view that Allah will conquer all others.

    Here in the US, many/most religious freedom advocates cast a wary eye on Islam.

  • BrentBot Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2017 3:55 p.m.

    The reasons cited by the Russian Supreme Court for the Jehovah Witnesses being a "terrorist organization" are: their refusal to vote, to join the army, to be pacifist, to be governed by a foreign (U.S.) central authority, their door-to-door proselytizing, and refusal to have blood transfusions.

  • BYU_Husker Laie, HI
    April 20, 2017 3:54 p.m.

    Hopefully the missionaries/"volunteers" will be alright. I was confused for a Jehovah's Witness on the street on many occasions.

  • observator east of the snake river, ID
    April 20, 2017 3:15 p.m.

    "Your thinking is about as dangerous a threat as it gets..."

    Well, we're in agreement...

    If one group can be threatened based on belief, so can others. All rights to religious worship are in danger when some lose theirs in such an arbitrary and capricious manner.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    April 20, 2017 2:25 p.m.


    Your thinking is about as dangerous a threat as it gets.,

  • banliberals SLC, UT
    April 20, 2017 2:23 p.m.

    Is this really a surprise to anyone......we have the same outcome at just about every college campus in the USA that is controlled by pseudo Putin Communists!

  • JRL in AZ Tucson, AZ
    April 20, 2017 1:16 p.m.

    This is terrible. I wish there was a link to the decision, but even without knowing their reasoning, it is clear that this is a bad day for religious freedom in Russia.

  • Vermonter Plymouth, MI
    April 20, 2017 1:16 p.m.

    @California Steve.

    The model for the LDS Church in Russia may yet become East Germany from 1946 to 1991. As far as I know the LDS Church still has a significant number of 19-year-old "volunteers" in Russia.

    The LDS Church stands against religious persecution against any group. But, at the same time, it will do what it can to continue to have its members in Russia worship and exercise their religious beliefs as freely as possible.

  • California Steve Hanford, CA
    April 20, 2017 12:12 p.m.

    And guess who's next?

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    April 20, 2017 12:06 p.m.

    The Jehovahs Witnesses have a tough time in Fascist Nations.

    Hitler murdered them.

    But so far, Putin is just banning them . . . As far as we know.

    I wonder how long it will be before our Trumplings decide that the Jehovah’s Witnesses are un-American?

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 20, 2017 11:58 a.m.

    Nazi Germany suppressed Jehovah's Witnesses for their refusal to serve in the German Army or to support the Third Reich. Their meeting houses were closed and many were sent to jail. A few of them were sent to concentration camps and were executed. All for worshiping God in the way they believed to be the correct way.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 20, 2017 11:49 a.m.

    Wow..... and how do we define "extremist"? Obviously anti-israel positions in Russia aren't viewed as extremist. Anti-LGBT positions are considered extremist. Skin headism is tolerated. Jehovah's Witnesses are really considered extremist? There has to be more to this story. Russia is a nutty country.... but really?

  • observator east of the snake river, ID
    April 20, 2017 11:32 a.m.

    A blow to religious freedom. Who would be next on the list?

    "When the [Russians] came for the [Jehovah's Witnesses],
    I remained silent;
    I was not a [Jehovah's Witness]...

    When they came for the [Mormons],
    I remained silent;
    I wasn't a [Mormon].

    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out."

    Adapted from Martin Niemoller

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    April 20, 2017 11:23 a.m.

    More room for the truth. Our truth. His truth.