The Russian Federation and Jehovah’s Witnesses

Even though I’ve been microblogging about it, I think a more comprehensive post on this is useful. Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia have long dealt with oppression—both from the USSR and Russian Federation. On 15 March 2017, the Russian Ministry of Justice moved to ban Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia. The Supreme Court of the Russian Federation is expected to rule on this tomorrow, 5 April 2017.

15 March 2017

Russian Ministry of Justice moves to ban Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia..

21 March 2017

Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world are engaged in a letter-writing campaign, appealing directly to high officials of the Russian Federation for relief.

28 March 2017

The Helsinki Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, condemns pending legal action against Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.

4 April 2017

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights releases a statement urging Russia to drop the lawsuit.

News organizations including TIME Magazine release articles on the situation.


A website called Russia Religion News, maintained by a professor emeritus of Stetson University, has a well-documented list of news articles from around the world concerning this situation (they can currently be found under “Recent 2017 News Items”).

I’m interested to hear the Supreme Court’s decision as it affects not only 175,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses, but the religious freedom of all Russians.