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Jehovah’s Witnesses website, books declared “extremist” in Russia

December 5 2014, 15:02

Russia’s Supreme Court has declared the website and three books of the Jehovah’s Witnesses extremist, the court’s press service told RAPSI on Wednesday.

Jehovah’s Witnesses have had many legal problems in Russia. In January, a court in Kurgan in the Urals ruled to ban the organization’s booklets as extremist. The books talk about how to have a happy life, what you can hope for, how to develop good relations with God and what you should know about God and its meaning.

In late December 2013, the leader of the sect’s group in Tobolsk, Siberia was charged with extremism and the prevention of a blood transfusion that nearly led to the death of a female member of the group.x

Prosecutors in Russia's Tver region filed a claim last year saying that the ideas promoted by Jehovah's Witnesses incite hatred and division, rferl.org reports.

Three of the religious organization's main books, "What Does The Bible Teach Us About," "Get Closer To Jehovah," and "Come And Follow Me" were also found by the court to be extremist.

In 2004, a court in Moscow dissolved and banned a Jehovah’s Witnesses group on charges of recruiting children, encouraging believers to break from their families, inciting suicide and preventing believers from accepting medical assistance.

In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights overturned that court ruling and ruled that Russia should pay 70,000 euros to the defendants.

Jehovah's Witnesses is an international religious organization that began operating in Russia and across the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s.

The Christian sect has some 8 million members worldwide. 

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