MOSCOW, April 15 (RAPSI) – A court in the city of Ulyanovsk will consider a criminal case against six members of Jehovah’s Witnesses, a religious organization banned in Russia, the press service of the Prosecutor General’s Office reports Wednesday.
Depending on their alleged role, the defendants are charged with orgzanizing and participating in a religious community prohibited in Russia by court as extremist.
Investigators believe that a resident of Ulyanovsk has organized holding of meetings. During these meetings he has cited religious texts included in the federal list of extremist materials. Moreover, the man has collected money under the guise of donation. Other defendants took part in the meetings and propagated the Jehovah’s Witnesses doctrine, the statement reads.
In April 2017, the Supreme Court of Russia ordered liquidation of the Jehovah's Witnesses managing organization and all its 395 local branches. In August, the Administrative Centre of Jehovah's Witnesses was added to the list of banned extremist organizations.
Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization has had many legal problems in Russia. Since 2009, 95 materials distributed by the organization in the country have been declared extremist and 8 Jehovah's Witnesses’ branches have been liquidated, according to the Justice Ministry.
Jehovah's Witnesses is an international religious organization based in Brooklyn, New York. Since 2004 several branches and chapters of the organization were banned and shut down in various regions of Russia.