Religious freedom and the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia

By March 29, 2017

Russia (MNN) — The status of religious freedom in Russia continues to balance dangerously on a crumbling fulcrum. The latest in this news involves a group of people who may have recently knocked on your door: The Jehovah’s Witnesses.

(Photo courtesy of Mikey via Flickr:

Russia’s Ministry of Justice has applied to have Jehovah’s Witnesses activity, organization, and headquarters declared that of an extremist group. This would ban further activity and liquidate the organization. The faith group has kept a detailed account of proceedings of the Russian government against them, including an inspection of the headquarters last month. A hearing on the application will take place next week, April 5th.

Open Doors USA is an organization that supports the persecuted Christian Church around the world. However, this ministry also recognizes the importance to fight for freedom of religion for all religions, including the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Emily Fuentes of Open Doors explains why:

“It’s concerning because there have not been any extremists attacks from Jehovah’s Witnesses within their area verses some of the groups where there are extremists who do attacks. Any time you’re labeling a group with an extremist ideology, it puts other faith groups at risk.”

She explains that in some areas of the world, particularly in the Middle East and Central Asia, Christianity has already been labeled an extremist religion.

“So it’s just one step away where you’re labeling another group that hasn’t been responsible for extremist actions or attacks as extremists. We need to speak up because it could very well be *Christians next.”

Under the shadow of the law

Last year, Russia adopted a new anti-terrorism law. Under the guise of thwarting terrorist attacks, the vaguely written law has had many ministries concerned. Depending on how it is applied, the law could hinder Christian functions in Russia.

Reuters says it’s another, older law which is the ground for accusations in this current case with the Jehovah’s Witnesses. This law against extremism has had changing definitions of what counts as extremist activity. You can read more about that from the Library of Congress here.

“It is concerning when this happens. It’s something to monitor, it’s something to be very mindful of for Christians in this part of the world,” Fuentes says.

Many others see how easily the restraints put upon the Jehovah’s Witness faith could be transferred to other faith groups.

Open Doors USA is keeping an eye on the situation. But no matter what happens, Fuentes suggests, the Gospel will continue to spread.

“We often see that the Church grows and thrives in the face of persecution. There’s a lot of horrible things that come with persecution, but God also brings beauty out of ashes in many of these cases. So pray for strength if persecution is going to be increasing in this region, if Christians are targeted next.”

She also asks that we pray for Christians in these areas to be wise in how they stand up for other groups who are facing oppression and mistreatment.

*Please note: in this article we differentiate between the Jehovah’s Witnesses and those Christians who believe in the Trinity, the divinity of Christ, and His death on a cross and bodily resurrection. We believe these are significant differences in faith and do not want to confuse the two.  For more information on these differences and further reading on this topic, click here.


  • edward says:

    May god help the

  • Frances says:

    I am not a Jehovah’s Witness but I have family members that are and I know a lot of them because of my family. I have never met a more group of people as dedicated to GOD as they are. The thought of them being labeled extremists is the most absurd thing I’ve ever heard. They don’t believe in any kind of violence. I consider myself a Christian but I’m embarrassed to admit that I do not practice. I try to listen to all groups and I build my faith based on everything I hear from all denominations. I feel everyone has a write to believe in GOD whatever form of religion they choose. No one has a right to dictate how we should believe as long as it does not hurt anyone.

  • Pat says:

    I was encouraged to know of loving concern for the Jehovah’s Witnesses
    by those of other beliefs. God’s love is for all, and we MUST be imitators of Him if we claim to be His.

  • Jo says:

    the actual beliefs and teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses are completely politically neutral, and do not interfere in the affairs of ANY government. They do not seek to establish any government of their own. They teach only what is in the Bible, help people to improve their lives and become law-abiding citizens of whatever country they live in, and teach subjection to governmental authority (Romans 13).

  • Ernest says:

    The Witnesses are good Christians who live and help others to also live by Bible standards. They practice love and not terrorism or extremism.

  • This comment above from Pat was beautifully stated. Let us hope Russia’s leaders allow cooler heads to prevail, and find their real trouble makers, allowing all those who worship God to do so peacefully and without causing the extremism that no Nation wants within its borders.

  • John Smith says:

    Whatever the outcome is, its all part of the proceedings leading up to “the day”

  • Catherine says:

    It is concerning when a peaceful religious group as the Jehovah’s Witnesses are being labeled as extremists. Something for all to be concerned about.

  • Your Name says:

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are Christians, and hold seriously to the Whole Bible.
    Our beliefs have never resulted in us standing against any government, we do not participate in protests nor do we incite people to political action.
    We foster good behaviopur and are regarded as model citizens – how is this extremist?

  • Robert says:

    I don’t see this as neccesary,why should they be banned,after all they are not bad people.we all know them to be peacefully people

  • CJ says:

    I just read your article.
    Thank you for the information and getting it out there. I just want to correct you on one thing. Jehovah’s Witnesses ARE Christian. Hence the reason they go door to door is in obedience and in following Jesus example of teaching others about the kingdom of God and the hope that it brings for a better future.

  • Your Name says:

    how ridiculous!

  • Jessica says:

    Thank you for keeping us informed.


  • Jehovah’s Witnesses are known for their neutral stance in politics and do not get involved in conflicts of the world. Its mind blowing how the Russian Authorities can label the activities of the Witnesses as ‘terrorist’ or ‘extremist’.

    All they have to do is take a look at the actions of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world and how well they are spoken of in their communities.

    But things like this do not entirely surprise us, we know that things will get worse before they get better. We just have to do our part to support our brothers while we all wait on Jehovah.

  • Rose says:

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are Christians but they practice true religion as in the Bible. We celebrate the death of Christ because he ask that be done. We do accept that Christ from the dead back to earth for 40 days. We do believe he rose again later to take the value of his ransom sacrifice to his father Jehovah on heaven. We JW have never been extreme in anything but the truth. Dan 2:44 states that man’s kingdom will be replaced by God’s in due time. Imagine a world in which there is no killing, death, hunger, homelessness, tears, poverty. The dead will live again because Christ died so we can live again.

  • A religion can only rightly be labeled “extremist” if they commit of foment violence or hatred. It is good to see that there are still people who recognize that the freedom of one religious group (even one that may not be popular or understood) is just as important as the freedom of so-called mainstream, orthodox or traditional religions. If citizens of the world allow one group of peaceful, law-abiding people to be singled out for persecution, restrictions and banning, they risk emboldening authorities in their own nations to start controlling the religious and personal freedoms of other groups. Whether you personally agree with the doctrines, beliefs, teachings, practices or way of life of another group of people does NOT mean you should sit idly by and let them be mistreated! You might very well be next!

  • JL says:

    Just for clarification and not meaning any disrespect, Jehovah’s Witnesses are Christians, which literally means a “follower of Christ.” They believe in Jehovah the Almighty God and Father, and the only begotten son of Almighty God, Jesus Christ, which Jesus himself said he was at John 20:31. Jesus started Christianity but he also witnessed about his Father even praying to his Father. Please read a very emotional and heartfelt prayer to his Father in Heaven just before Jesus died recorded at John 17:3-8, and 24-26. For without his Father there wouldn’t be a son, that is what only begotten means. They absolutely believe in the resurrection and that Jesus was resurrected to Heaven to sit at the right hand of God his Father at Romans 8:34, Acts 2:33, Heb. 12:2. So to say they are not Christian is inaccurate. They witness for and are followers of both the Father and the Son.

    All 8+million Witnesses worldwide are supporting their Brothers and Sisters by writing letters to 6 different entities in Russia including President Putin for a total of 6 letters each, in order to defend them as peaceable loving people who love their neighbors as themselves and that they are not extremist or criminals. They don’t return evil for evil to anyone but they are peaceable with all men, even praying for their enemies. They are lovers of the Bible and enjoy sharing what they learn with others. As imitators of Christ, they volunteer their time and resources to preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God. At Matthew 24:14 Jesus said: “And this Gospel (or Good News) of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world (or earth) for a witness unto all nations, and then the end come.” Jesus even taught us to pray at Matthew 6:10, for “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will to be done in earth as it is in Heaven.” It is important that everyone know what the Kingdom is in order to pray for it. Please accept this clarification as so many people are misinformed about Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    In spite of whatever differences there are between you and Jehovah’s Witnesses, they truly appreciate any defense they receive. Thank you for your support.

  • Sincere thanks for keeping us (Jehovah’s Witnesses) abreast of our brothers and sisters in Russia. We appreciate your keeping them in your prayers, as we all desire to spread the Good News of Jehovah’s Kingdom, with Jesus Christ reigning as King…
    Matthew 24:14
    Revelation 21:1-4
    Psalm 83:18

  • Your Name says:

    Jehovah Witnesses give freely of their time because of love for their neighbors. They live by Bible principles to promote love and peace. They respect the laws of the land and pay their taxes and share the good news with those who want to hear it. They do not force their beliefs on others. I strongly request to reconsider in not labeling them extremist or criminals. . and to give them the religious freedom they deserve.

  • Your Name says:

    Appreciate much your concern. Thank you very much.

  • Jennilee says:

    Thank you for your unbiased coverage. We do consider ourselves Christians as JW’s, and I appreciated how respectfully you said you do not consider us to be Christians because we don’t believe in the Trinity. We do believe in practicing that principled agapé love with all humans regardless of their beliefs, so it is nice to be treated the same way. Have a great day. Just wanted to say thanks!

  • Harry says:

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are peaceful and loving people who strive to reach everyone in their communities with the Kingdom good news. They help their families and friends to love Jehovah God and respect the government.

  • Ernest says:

    Nice say Pat. They love each other even non-witnesses. They never protest against anyone, that makes me love them most

  • Isaac says:

    we pray Jehova strengthens the faith of our fellows in Russia.

  • efe says:

    our God Jehovah will fight this Battle for us.

  • Ptt700p says:

    Jehovah witnesses deny freedom of religion to any member that leaves their organization and destroys their family ties with insistance on shunning even parents and teenagers that break free from this religion. So why do they expect freedom to worship. Just google this and read the horror stories if you chose to leave. I was their victim all of my life but at 62 left but lost most family and all friends. Had to get restraining order against them and they are vicious and liars in court. I won. It is their governing body not the people that is vicious. God was watching the many deaths of women and children within this religion.

  • Jenene H says:

    I sent a letter to
    Putin . I am a JW and my name is Jenene Rider

  • Jenene says:

    I pray for my bros and sisters and thier children that they will not be condemned! Please watch over them our God Jehovah !

  • Pat jehovah witnesses would say your religion was being judged by God if it was any other religion. They would pray for all other religious systems to fall and all mankind die at armageddon except those that become Jehovah witnesses. So they wouldnt fight for another religion against this government. I agree Russia is wrong they dont have the right to restrict Christians worship of God and believers in Christ. The governing body is Christ to witnesses. Google site and read more about this. I think they need to look at their extreme policies against their members of control and dying for want of a blood transfusion. No higher education and they will protect a pedophile with lawyers. Google Candace Conti to see how they treat victims of abuse. This religion needs compassion but it wont bulge. It is hard lined.

  • Maurice says:

    According to the Christian worldview, during our age, God has granted us the opportunity to use our free will either to support his sovereignty or oppose it. Christians and believers of all stripes must stand in solidarity with other believers regardless of belief so that we might actually ‘seek God, grope for him, and actually find him.’ (Acts 17:26, 27) Thus we find in Scripture a basis for freedom of religion. Grope means to “feel about or search blindly or uncertainly with the hands.” We don’t always know the way to worship God or how best to seek him. We don’t know what in our actions will provoke a response from the Divine. Thus we seek him “blindly” hoping to reach him, to feel him out, to actually find him and please him. Thus Freedom of Religion is the duty of every Christian to respect and defend! It is our God-given commission that everyone have the opportunity to worship God with full expression of faith. Ultimately, we are not the judge of what is pleasing to him. He is. And what we find objectionable, he may not (Isaiah 55:9). God sees the hearts of all men.

    The way to combat falsehood is with truth. We grow in our understanding through many mistakes. There is no need to restrict merely the beliefs and thoughts of others via governmental restrictions. If truth is not enough to combat falsehood, what is guiding us in our battle against what we perceive as falsehood? What is our motivation for opposing that which we perceive to be false if truth is not enough to combat it? Certainly in both instances the answer isn’t truth.

    God wants us to worship him with a contrite heart (Psalm 51:17). How will our hearts be contrite if we are forced to worship and believe a certain way? How will we revel in our God if our worship is suppressed?

    We may dislike the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Perhaps they wake us up in the morning, or we have strong objections to their beliefs. We don’t have to like everyone we respect, support, or honor. We honor, respect, and support political leaders who we do not like when there is a common good at stake. We do this even if they are not believers or live moral lives. Likewise, it behooves every Christian and believer a like to stand firm and resolute in that freedom of thought, conscience and expression are non-negotiable! It is an inalienable right!

    Jehovah’s Witnesses have made major contributions to religious freedom starting in the United States and expanding around the world! Most people literally have no idea the impact this has had on society and our understanding of individual rights. It goes beyond religious freedom. Respecting a person’s conscience means we respect that person and treat him with a measure of dignity and respect regardless of whether we agree with him or not. We all benefit from the Witnesses’ persistence and hard work! They have set an example for all Christians regarding morality, opposing the Nazi regime, not participating in any form of genocide, and not wavering in their beliefs even in the face of opposition. While, not at all perfect, they do provide an example of what Christians can do in the face of crisis. We should honor their example, learn from it, and imitate it. Thus we, as non-JWs, allow our light to shine brighter! We can’t allow our differences to prevent us from honoring the good. Even God sees and appreciates the tiniest of good in everyone (1 Kings 14:10-13). On our day of judgment we can only hope God will do the same with us (Matthew 7:12; Matthew 6:15)

    Let us stand resolute! Why should only Jehovah’s Witnesses be what Christianity Today calls “a bellwether for religious freedom for other minority groups.” Is this not the responsibility of all Christians and believers of all stripes? Is this not one way we can let our light shine and oppose wickedness! Doing so would send a loud message to the nations and governmental officials that people have the right to worship God in the way that is acceptable to him!

  • John says:

    No mention has been made of the letter campaign to reach six of the top leaders in Russia including President Putin. Since there are over 8 million witnesses worldwide that’s a lot of mail. It is hoped that the massive outpouring of concern will have an effect on their decision to ban the organization in Russia.

  • Persecution will always be there,and as a jehovah’s am humbled by love and encouragement from all lovers of the truth from the Bible.

  • Your Name says:

    Jehovah’s witnesses are christians.
    Jehovah’s witnesses fallow the lead of Christ Jesus.
    Matthew 24:14, Matthew 6:10,33


  • Jorge says:

    Jehovah’s witnesses are not terrorist or anti government. I do not read ever or watch news about them protesting on the streets. They do not brake the law. If there taxes to be paid they do so. They conduct themselves like humans they don’t steal you do not see them robing a bank. They teach from the Bible moral standards and love thy neighbor. So in other words those are the people that the government of Russia wants to ban and prosecute why I ask because they do the wright thing. Wow your nation should all be Jehovah’s Witnesses and you wont have any crime or violence in your country.

  • Your Name says:

    i find it alarmimg that jehovahs witnesses here are not being referred to as christian. you say pray if persecution is going to be increasing in this region, if CHRISTIANS ARE TO BE TARGETED NEXT. The witness core belief is that christ died for our sins and is now ruling as king in heaven. they devoted 2billion hours last yr telling people this good news and that soon jesus reign will result in transforming the earth into a paradise.That spells christian to me!!

  • David says:

    The persecution is being carried out on the behest of the Russian Orthodox Church. I believe said church believes in the trinity and the cross and is ‘Christian’.

  • I appreciate what Pat said… I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Many people do not understand what exactly ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses’ means. It means that we try to the best of our ability to be a ‘witness’ to the original purpose and plans, and yet to come purpose and plans of the God of the bible, whose name is ‘Jehovah’. Which was in the original bible writings but excluded for a period for whatever reason, now being put back in.
    When we talk to people, we judge ‘no one’, we also are imperfect and make mistakes in life the same as everyone else: all judging is left to Jesus and his father Jehovah God. If we come across to strong, or in a pushy way, we don’t mean to, it’s just our excitement of what we believe! Here’s a for-instance: many get upset when we try to talk with them at their door or on the street, but consider.
    True story: back in the 80’s, my cousin came home from work – he worked the late shift. When he got home, he saw smoke and fire coming from his neighbor’s house, he ran over, kicked in the door and saved his neighbors and their kids. Would it matter what religion someone was who came in and saved you from death, would you want them to lightly knock on the door just once, and leave if no answer, or would you want them to knock hard and keep trying, and even kick in the door to help save you if that was needed! In a similar vein: JW’s believe based on studies of the scriptures, that this world – sort-of-speaking, is burning down quickly, and with concern for all humankind, we are doing our utmost to do what Jesus said for his followers to do, “Go therefore and make disciples of all peoples, before the end comes”. So, we’re not there to bug you, only to enlighten you into what we have come to understand, if you choose to! Just be assured, we care about all people everywhere!

  • Frank and Lillian, it’s contradictory,no legitimate base for acusse people who are neutral in political aspects law abiding citizens , tax payers and don’t look loopholes for evade, respect and support governments etc,

  • S. Evans says:

    We appreciate your article which helps others know that persecution of Christians is not just a thing of the past. Some are aware of what happened with the witnesses during World War II. And it will continue . Jesus said His true followers would be persecuted so we are not surprised when this occurs. We understand who is really behind the efforts to stop the preaching work. Jesus said “the slave is not greater than the master ,if they persecuted ME they will persecute YOU also . John 15:18-21
    Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses will continue spreading the good news because Jehovah will support this work that must take place before Matt. 24:14 is fulfilled. Whether under ban or freedom cautious as serpents but as innocent as doves we will continue because Jesus gave His follows the command Matt. 28:19,20. In the United States we have fought many many issues and won. The right to go from door to door for one which many other now can enjoy that right. We are a peaceful people who do not engage in protest, riots or any form of civil disobedience but will use the legal systems of any country we are in to resolve the issues which has the results of benefiting all the people of that country . Lawyers in the United States are well aware of the many legal cases Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses have fought and won.
    PS. We are followers of Jesus Christ and definitely believe he is the Son of God, as the one sent by God, as the early apostles and disciples did, we closely follow Jesus teachings and do the preaching work he commanded his followers to do , Thus defines what a Christian is ; a foot step follower of Christ Jesus, the son of Jehovah God. Matt.6:9,10

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses activities are far from extremism. they are loving and are eager to share their faith in line with Christ command in Mathew 24:14.

  • Billy says:

    Contrary to the differentiation on the bottom JW’s actually do accept that Christ was divine while in heaven and also that his divinity is unique. (They understand Phil 2 to be an emptying of divinity when he became human thus lower than angels and obviously also God- Heb 2:9) Let me explain, While a trinitarian might make the statement that “Jesus is God” they do not mean to promote modalism which it generally does when someone makes this statement. To a trinitarian God really is not one person but instead the trinity (3 separate persons into one being). Thus Jesus does not equal the Trinity (which is viewed as God; God=Trinity) or the Father (sabellianism) thus a trinitarian believes that the Father and the Son share in divinity or a Godhead (called a being) but not having a consciousnesses of its own (thus not 4 parties put only 3). Though a trinitarian has no problem using the singular pronoun “he” it probably most often would apply to the Father not Jesus. To this JW’s would accept and agree. In addition, JW’s accept that Jesus can properly be given the title “theos” (John 1:1,18) or “el” (Isa. 9:6) but are quick to point out that others in Scripture share these titles too without being the Almighty God. (Psalm 8:5, Psalm 82:1,6; Hebrews 2:7; Exodus 3:2,4,6; Acts 7:31; Hosea 12:3,4, etc.) Thus they believe that Jesus is the exalted image or expression of God and the Son of the Most High that they identify as Jehovah. (Luke 1:32; 2 Cor 4:4; Heb 1:3) So JW’s believe in the unique divinity of Christ whereas trinitarians believe he shares that divinity with two other persons.

    In addition, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not believe in a dual nature of Jesus, that he was 100% human and at the same time 100% God. Trinitarians use this to explain why, for example, Jesus does not know the day or the hour when God does. Thus in essence trinitarians give Jesus two separate centers of consciousness. One that is divine and knows all things while at the same time one that is human and does not know what the divine nature knows. Jehovah’s Witnesses do not give Jesus two centers of consciousness but only one. They feel he “became flesh” not put on flesh or shares flesh. Thus they teach he was not divine while in the flesh.

  • I pray that JEHOVAH GOD will strenghten our beloved fellow brothers and brothers and dear sisters to endure the tribulation with rejoiceing in the LORD. Let us not forget the sterling EXAMPLE of KING JESUS. I pray in the Name of our GOD JEHOVAH to soften the hearts of the Russian Goverment to have mercy for our dear brothers who are doing the will of God. Over the years many peoples lives were changed because Jehovahs witnesses help them to gain accurate Bible Knowledge that leads to Everlasting Life. May the outcome be according to JEHOVAH Will through CHRIST JESUS. From Sister Sylvia In South Africa.

  • Reader says:

    Jehovah’s Witnesses​ are Christians… If you do your research, you find that those other beliefs aren’t taught in the Bible, and refinery went taught by Jesus Christ.

  • Jim says:

    There are more than 8 million Jehovah’s Witnesses in over 200 countries that are trained to only think GLOBALLY…not nationally, (since nationalism has long been a divisive force in this world ). To accomplish that ALL congregations of Witnesses around the world unitedly receive the exact lessons each week. Just think of the highly coordinated global effort needed to translate those lessons each week into hundreds of languages, however the benefit of a single global lesson for over 200 countries is that there is no place for national or ethnic divisiveness of any kind. ( Example….Israel & Palestine.)
    Additioinally, a GLOBAL perspective as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses precludes the celebrating of national holidays simply for the fact that while a holiday may have importance to one nation, it has no importance or meaning to the other 200 countries. Certainly no disrespect is meant for those holidays, but Jehovah’s Witnesses share in their own global holidays at their regional and international conventions that actively promote global peace and unity, as well as the global annual Memorial of Jesus’ Death.
    Jehovah’s Witnesses are also recognized around the world as not
    participating in the military of any nation of this world. This is not a cowardly stand as evidenced by how many Jehovah’s Witnesses have
    lost their lives because of that stance. (See Holocaust museum archives.)
    There have long been too many Christians killing Christians (Catholics & Protestants in Northern Ireland/…..In WWII German Christians prayed for victory to the exact same God that American Christians were praying to for their own victory. Then Christian met Christian on the battlefield
    and slaughtered each other by the millions /……. Sunni & Shea Muslims

  • Jehovah witnesses are peaceful nonviolent Christians . We live by the teachings of Christmas jesus.

  • Gentry M says:

    As Christians we, Jehovah’s Witnesses, appreciate your support and we pray for religious freedom. Jehovah God has given free will and it is only his to take away. Thank you.

  • Tony says:

    It’s good to see an unbiased report that mentions JW’s. Russia’s willingness to misuse its laws to target well behaved, honest members of it’s own people will only underline the west’s belief that Russia is corrupt from the top down. You should watch the CCTV capturing Russian Police planting banned literature in Kingdom Hall raids and then “finding” the literature so they can close the building and arrest its members – laughable if it was not so serious and obvious a manifestation of corruption and injustice in the Russian system. see an example here:

  • James says:

    Throughout the Old Testament God dealt exclusively with the nation of Israel which he gave his laws to. This unique arrangement was to fulfill the promise to Abraham to protect his genealogy till the coming of his future offspring…..the Savior…..the Christ ( who according to that same promise would bring blessings to all the nations of the earth. (Gen.22:18)
    Therefore, once the promised Christ arrived, then he shifted his focus from one nation….to all nations…by giving his disciples the commission to preach to “the entire inhabited earth…to all nations”.
    (Matt.24:14). At Matt.28:19 he further emphasized this by his command to “Go and make disciples of ALL the nations”. And at Acts 1:8 Jesus
    made it clear that their preaching assignment was to be to “the most
    distant part of the earth”.
    So Jesus adjusted from a national perspective to a global perspective made up of disciples that would be completely united worldwide. That’s what Jehovah’s Witnesses strive it achieve with their global perspective..

  • Greg says:

    Here’s an article that notes some of the methods used against Jehovah’s Witnesses:

  • Tats says:

    Jehovah’s witnesses, are not extremes they are known for politically neutral,avoid in wars activities,avoid protests,and law abiding people, they focus on helping other people to learn Jehovah,an have a prospect to on earth forever . They stand for what is right and live by it. In words and in deed.

  • jchisolm says:

    You are not being truthful, we are not allowed to be unevenly yoked and thats in the Bible as God word, We do not deny anyone freedom of religion. You are free to worship how you please, but we please to worship how we want also. When some one commits a serious sin against God and is a baptized witness, they are counseled to get them to see the error of their ways by referring them to the bible but you failed to mention that. Serious is like, adultery, stealing, drugs, foul language bestiality, child molestation etc. And we do not oust you. You do by not repenting of any of the sins you and again YOU are committing. So you are dis-fellowshipped. If you repent, then you are accepted back. if you don’t well , you can go to the meetings but no one will speak with you as you are a harm to the rest of the congregation. Also, newsflash, a lot of religions practice this so as not to harm the well being of the rest of the flock so again you did not mention this. Matthew 6:24.

  • Ebie says:

    This is not the first time Jehovah’s witnesses are being persecuted and will not be the last.John 15:20 has come to pass ever since Jehovah’s witnesses started teaching the truth and exposing falsehood from the churches.The so-called clergy in Russia are the ones pushing the state to persecute the witnesses.
    They’ll never succeed because they are FIGHTING JEHOVAH OUR GOD.HE WILL DO BATTLE FOR US.

  • You obviously hold Jehovah’s Witnesses responsible for consequences from your own actions, doing something forbidden by Jehovah Himself, but with which you did not agree and were therefore disfellowshipped ! As a long-time Witness myself, I have seen many come and go under similar circumstances, even in my own family and friends. We act only out of loving concern for everyone!

  • Thys says:

    USA and other countries spend billions on security in keeping extremists out. Amazing that a powerful country like Russia would fear a small group of non violent peace loving people. Even if they ban them, they know full well that there would be no threats of retaliation from these people. They do not have to spend a dime to protect themselves against this group. How absurd to view them as “extremist”. You do not need to believe in a God to know it is wrong to murder, steal etc. and that this is very wrong!

  • Terri says:

    Jehovah’s Witnesses are definitely Christian. Webster’s New World Office Dictionary defines Christian as: 1) a believer in Jesus as the Messiah prophesied in the Old Testament, or in the religion based on the teachings of Jesus. 2) of or professing the religion based on his teachings. 3) having the qualities taught by Jesus Christ, as love, kindness, humility, etc. Since Jesus was a perfect man, no human today can follow him 100% because we are imperfect. However, as the Bible says at 2 Peter 2:21: “In fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you, leaving a model for you to follow his steps closely.” What did Jesus do while on earth that they were told to imitate? He preached! To everyone he met, everywhere he went. He trained his disciples to do the same and sent them out to preach. (Matthew 10:5-7)

    Why do JW’s not go to war? Because we are not to kill anyone, no matter their religious beliefs or lack thereof. Can you picture Jesus killing or even hurting another person? Of course not. He loved people and came to the earth because he loved them and, in the end, he showed that by giving his perfect human life so that we might get back what our first father Adam, lost for us all. (1 Corinthians 15:22,45) Please consider this…many of us lost people we loved dearly in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, or in middle eastern conflicts. One thing is a guarantee: neither my loved one nor your loved one was killed by one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Are they cowards? No, and many were imprisoned or even executed for their refusal to kill others or even to bear arms, because they were following the example of Jesus, who said: “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:36-39) To allow oneself to be executed rather than kill another person, THAT is the ultimate display of love for one’s neighbor, would you not agree?

    I personally wrote several letters to the 6 officials in Russia who seem to have control over the decision to shut down Jehovah’s Witnesses. I have seen in the comments here that others thought of the same thing I wrote. If their government can disobey their own law and end JW’s right to worship freely, what is to stop them from eliminating another religion? Or even ALL other religions?

    Does it not also seem odd that a huge powerful nation like Russia would feel threatened in any way by a mere 170,000 of ANY religious group, let alone the non-violent, unarmed, peaceful, law-abiding group of Jehovah’s Witnesses?

    At this very moment one cannot help but picture the millions (yes MILLIONS) of letters coming in from all over the world, no doubt deluging the Russian postal system, coming in on big trucks rather than the usual delivery methods.

    Here is an experience from Florida. A JW was in the post office at the counter buying international stamps for 100 letters to Russia he was sending out for his congregation. The postal clerk wanted to know what was going on with all this mail going to Russia all of a sudden. The JW explained the situation in Russian to the clerk and another postal customer overheard and spoke up, saying he wanted to pay for the stamps to mail the letters. He was not a JW, but was so touched by the story that he was willing to pay out of his own pocket $115. USD to help in any way he could.

    Here’s another one: In a similar situation, a JW was explaining to a woman the situation and the woman said, “Why would anyone come after Jehovah’s Witnesses? They are the most peaceful people there are!” Another woman overheard their conversation and wanted the Russian officials names and addresses so SHE could write letters to them!

    Russia may feel that JW’s are a small insignificant group, but everyone on this earth wants the freedom to worship God as they see fit, and seem to be ready to speak up about the JW’s right to do
    so too. We leave it in Jehovah’s capable hands, and know that even the threat of shutting down JW’s in Russia has brought a lot of people who are not JW’s to their defense, knowing the kind of people they are. If JW’s are refused their freedom to worship, will that be the end of it? If they succeed with JW’s, who will be next religion to be targeted? Just an FYI…if JW’s are officially shut down, that will not stop them from serving Jehovah or believing Bible teachings they know to be true. In fact, in the past, the anti-JW legislation has often served to help those who are sitting on the fence to decide to join the JW’s, realizing that Jesus predicted his true followers would be persecuted. (John 15:20)

  • Donald says:

    “except those that become Jehovah witnesses”

    How does one reply to such a comment? This is not a matter of joining a team or club or calling oneself something. The best thing to do here is carefully read your Bible. Here are a few scriptures to consider:

    1 Peter 3:8
    Galations 5:22, 23
    Acts chapters 1 and 2

    And many more.

  • Debbie says:

    Jehovah witness love all people and they have helped and changed many people lives, they are peaceful and live honestly, I can say what a wonderful change the bible has made me to be in the name of JESUS CHRIST our savior who died for all our sins. It is only Jehovah our God and Jesus who can make things straight through the bible teachings,,i ask for mercy and to show favour in Jesus name amen.

  • KK says:

    there is no so called extremist Jehovah’s witnesses are the peaceful religion.

  • Tan says:

    Hi there. Although it might not be very appropriate to say this at the moment, I still urgently feel I need to speak the truth. Since I did not comply with a circuit overseer to sign a report to the branch office to falsely accuse one of the elders of leaking elder meeting information to others, I was removed from a position as an elder. As the matter developed, later two circuit overseers threathened me that if I did not change my attitude and accept the Branch policies, they would take a further step, implying that they could disfellowship me. I have no way to express my dilemma to anyone and if I write to the headquarter about the matter, certainly they will return the complaint letter to the Branch office. You can guess what will follow. Therefore, I hope to take this opportunity to express my WISH that the JW organisation would have done something about the internal power abuse problem first; otherwise, how can Jehovah help us to face the Russian issue?

  • Njoroge Joy says:

    Jehovah, Rem Our Brothers & Sisters In Russia.

  • The Witness says:

    51. That is the number of First Amendment suits that have been won in court by Jehovah’s Witnesses. 51 legal victories in the United States alone establishing the First Amendment rights of people of all religious backgrounds to worship in whatever way they see fit. That is more legal victories than any other religious group in the history of this country, and possibly the world, has been able to win. These court cases have set precedents and allow people of all religious faiths to go from door-to-door and to express their beliefs to whomever they wish, and enjoy many other First Amendment rights.

    To imply that Witnesses would not do for other religions is, simply, to reveal a lack of knowledge regarding the history of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the legal system. We are a group of people that make up less than 1% of the entire world’s population, and yet, we are known the world over for our preaching campaigns that are modeled after the preaching work of Jesus Christ himself and done just as Jesus commanded his disciples to do. (Matthew 28:19, 20)

    The Bible is used to teach people to show respect for others, to love their neighbors, to build strong and loving families, to show respect for governmental Authority, and to be honest, hard-working people of integrity. As per the Bible’s principles we do not engage in war. We do not become involved in politics nor pick sides in political affairs or engage in protests of any kind. Of all the wars that have ever been fought and all the people who have been killed in those wars, it is safe to say that none of them died at the hands of one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Bible teaches us to live in peace with all men and to trust the only true god, Jehovah, follow His word, the Bible, and do good to all. Regardless of religious differences we treat everyone with kindness, love, compassion, and respect.

    We look forward to a world ruled by God through his appointed King, Christ Jesus. A world in which things like war, hunger, crime, poverty, suffering and death will be things of the past. These are things that no human governments, despite their best intentions, have never been able to achieve. How can any of these things be labeled extremist? How can a group of people that are known for peace, have never been engaged in war, have never protested, and do their very best to be model citizens and help others, be extremist? How can a group of people that have no racial, social, economic, or prejudices of any kind and who treat each other like brothers and sisters the world over be extremists?

    Jehovah’s Witnesses, by their nature, are the very opposite of extremist. We deserve to be left in peace-to worship Our God in peace- and to share our faith with others in peace. Is that not what everyone wants? To live in peace?

    It is our sincerest hope and prayer that the decision makers in Russia will consider these facts before passing a judgement on Jehovah’s Witnesses that is a clear violation of their own constitutional tenants and a violation of Human Rights.

  • hos says:

    Acts 5:33-39 says:
    33 When they heard that, they were cut to the heart, and took counsel to slay them. 34 Then stood there up one in the council, a Pharisee, named Gamaliel, a doctor of the law, had in reputation among all the people, and commanded to put the apostles forth a little space; 35 And said unto them, Ye men of Israel, take heed to yourselves what ye intend to do as touching these men. 36 For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought. 37 After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. 38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: 39 But if it be of God, ye cannot* overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

  • its like using a basket to fetch water in the river , it cannot holds water obviously that’s what russian government are doing , even in africa where we grow , the best religion group around our visinity are JEHOVAH WITNESS, i can remember when a storm destroy our communities, when Jehovah witness came to restore their brothers home , to my astonishment they repaired even whom that are not their member even before government aid came it was 6 months after . thank JEHOVAH for JEHOVAH WITNESS.

  • Lety says:

    Jacqueline it seems like you know a lot about Jehovah witnesses and you sound resentful, Were you a Jehovah witness that got expelled from the congregation for a sin that you committed and didn’t repent? Otherwise why would you called their policies against their members extreme. From what I know, Jehovah witnesses not only study the bible but they also try to put in practice what they learned. they have to keep the congregation clean just like Jesus said. you’re right about one thing they will not fight for another religion because they don’t even fight to save themselves simply because they don’t believe in violence. But we must give them credit because if you look at the news they have helped people in time of disaster. They don’t think that the Governing Body is Christ but they do believe that Jesus uses them to teach others. About your approach against not having a blood transfusion you need to research all the benefits of not having blood transfusions you’ll be surprised. There are many alternatives that can be taken instead of a blood transfusion and to those Jehovah witnesses don’t opposed. Higher education is not something they opposed to, since there are lawyers, doctors, engineers, teachers, etc that are Jehovah witnesses. If you really want to be informed and really get to know what they believe in and their practices instead of following information on the internet go to their website there you will find a brochure about blood transfusions and about who they really are and what they believe in. That way you can judge them for what they really are. But again you sound like you were either expelled or you are reading information from people that were expelled form the congregation of Jehovah’s witnesses.I can tell you this because I have a friend who was expelled and he talks just like you.

  • Wil says:

    It is a sad state of affairs that most people are informed falsely by their minister without looking up in the bible what they are being taught. Our Lord and Master, Christ Jesus gave honour to his father, the one who sits on the throne of righteousness.He knew his father was greater than he was and he did the things his father taught him.
    If Russia’s leaders and the church that supports them would only look at history. Who is the eventual victor, whom shall I go away to said Peter, you have the sayings of everlasting life. Jesus is the son, in obedience to his father, Jehovah God.
    So it behoeves all those who proclaim to be Christians, to learn from the great teacher, Jesus, to learn about his father, Jehovah.
    It tells us in the bible, all scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching……..
    Can we just try to learn from one another the truth that is taught in Gods word. He ,after all gave us His only begotten son,or Logos, to teach us many things. May you all have peace.

  • Francella says:

    Even when our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus was put to death by his enemies, he said “Father forgive them”. Let us imitate our Master and Lord not paying back evil for evil to those who hate us, but betow a blessing on them and knowing that Jehovah our father in heaven will never abandon our Russian brothers. Praise Jah

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  • Kevin says:

    The Nazi’s brought about the worst loss of life upon the Russians in world war 2. Jehovah’s witnesses refused to “heil Hitler”, refused to kill Allied soldiers and refused to work in the munitions factories that fueled their efforts. For this they were sent to concentration camps, tortured and killed. They were given a way out, simply do what Hitler required, very, very few did. They would rather die than follow that maniac. There were no Jehovah’s witnesses flying Stukas, none destroying farm houses with Tiger tanks and none killing Russian soldiers in the battle of Stalingrad.
    I would think that the Russian people should raise a monument to the Jehovah’s Witnesses, not ban them.

  • Jasmine says:

    Well said Lety! I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the USA and I have 2 daughters that have graduated from a 4 year college. They are both counselors and help children and adults with special needs. They love helping people. I was raised as one of JW’s and unfortunately slipped away for some time due to allowing myself to listen to ‘the world’. I am happy I am back, full throttle, for the past 3 years. And it has been the best decision I have made! We love all, we don’t fight since God is a god of order and not violence. We try to help people understand the bible. I was reproved for my sin in the past, but I fully understand why. For any questions or concerns about Jehovah’s Witness, I too encourage you to go to

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