On Thursday, the Supreme Court in Russia deemed Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Christian denomination that does not deal with any sort of violence, as an extremist group. They have decided to ban the organization from congregating in any parts of Russia. By labeling them as an extremist group, it puts over 170,000 worshipers in the same category as the Islamic State terrorist group.
Those who follow the main faith in the Russia Orthodox Church have been trying for some time now to have Jehovah’s Witnesses removed as a heretical sect.
Jehovah’s Witnesses began in the U.S. in the 19th Century. According to Svetlana Borisova, who represents the Justice Ministry in Russia, the group has shown signs of being extremist. She also believes that their actions threaten social order and the security of the citizens of Russia.
In a statement sent out to Moscow, the Human Rights Watch said that the ruling was a big time breach of Russia’s obligations to upkeep religious freedom for their citizens.
Jehovah’s Witnesses disagree with getting into politics. There is also no record of them ever showing any hostility towards those in charge in Russia. However, ever since President Vladimir V. Putin started his third term in 2012, he made the Orthodox Church the primary focus. All while trying to make Russia’s Military a great one.
During the Soviet era, Jehovah’s Witnesses received a ton of ridicule from the KGB. Mostly because they were in opposition to the decade of peace after communism fell. It also came under harsh scrutiny again back in 2002 after a law was passed making it illegal for everyone. Except for those who follow the Orthodox church, proclaiming themselves as the true way to redemption.