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"In Stalin's time, when I was a child, the whole family was deported to Siberia only because we were Jehovah's Witnesses.
It's a shame and sad that my children and grandchildren will be faced with something like that.
In 2015, a court in Rostov convicted 16 Jehovah's Witnesses of practicing extremism in Taganrog, handing out jail sentences — later suspended — of more than 5 years for five of the defendants and stiff fines for the others.
A little good news on the doorstep can be a dangerous thing.
For that reason, no court will be able to forbid my belief,” he said.
“Moreover, they involved minors in their banned organisations.” Jehovah’s Witnesses have been officially banned from Taganrog since 2009, after a local court ruled the organisation guilty of inciting religious hatred by “propagating the exclusivity and supremacy” of their religion, something which activists say is typical of almost all religions.
Russia's justice ministry has filed a lawsuit with its supreme court to declare the national headquarters of the country's Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization.
The legal filing is noted on the court's website with no date given for legal action.
The group's administrative center in Russia is located about 25 miles northwest of St. The press office for the Russian branch of the religion says on its website that such a declaration, if successful, would “entail disastrous consequences for freedom of religion in Russia" and directly affect about 175,000 followers at more than 2,000 congregations in the country."Extremism is deeply alien to the Bible-based beliefs and morality of Jehovah's Witnesses," the statement said.
"Persecution of the faithful for peaceful anti-extremism legislation is built on frank fraud, incompetent individual 'experts' and, as a result, a miscarriage of justice."The Jehovah's Witnesses first legally registered as a religious group in Russia in 1991 and re-registered in 1999, according to the organization's international website.
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“We will appeal against the decision,” said Nikolai Troysyuk, one of the four senior members of the group.