MOSCOW, March 16 (RAPSI) – Russia’s Justice Ministry has asked the Supreme Court to find the Administrative Centre of Jehovah's Witnesses an extremist organization, the court announced on Thursday.
The Administrative Centre of Jehovah's Witnesses is a head organization managing local branches of Jehovah’s Witnesses across Russia.
According to the Center, the organization has not received a letter from the Justice Ministry and claims that if it is going to be found extremist, consequences for the religious freedom in Russia would be extremely negative.
Jehovah’s Witnesses have had many legal problems in Russia.
On January 25, chairman of the Jehovah’s Witnesses branch in the town of Dzerzhinsk was fined 4,000 rubles ($67) for keeping and distributing extremist literature banned in Russia.
On October 12, 2015, a court in the Jewish Autonomous Region ruled to ban a branch of “The Jehovah’s Witnesses” in Birobidzhan because of distributing extremist literature by the organization.
On June 16, 2015, Russia’s Supreme Court declared “The Jehovah’s Witnesses of Stary Oskol” in the Belgorod Region an extremist organization and ruled to liquidate it.
On June 9, 2015, the Jehovah’s Witnesses of Belgorod was banned as extremist organization.
In March 2015, a court in Tyumen fined the organization 50,000 rubles ($792) and seized prohibited literature.
In January 2014, a court in Kurgan ruled to ban the organization’s booklets as extremist. The books talk about how to have a happy life, what you can hope for, how to develop good relations with God and what you should know about God and its meaning.
In late December 2013, the leader of the sect’s group in Tobolsk, Siberia was charged with extremism and the prevention of a blood transfusion that nearly led to the death of a female member of the group.
In 2004, a court in Moscow dissolved and banned a Jehovah’s Witnesses group on charges of recruiting children, encouraging believers to break from their families, inciting suicide and preventing believers from accepting medical assistance.
Jehovah's Witnesses is an international religious organization based in Brooklyn, New York. Since 2004 sever branches and chapters of the organization were banned and shut down in various regions of Russia.