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Russia orders seizure of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ headquarters and places of worship

Russia’s Supreme Court—despite a shameful lack of proof—condemns as criminal ‘extremists’ all 175,000 adherents known for their peaceable neutrality.
Thursday, April 20, 2017, the Russian Federation turned against organized religion within its borders, starting with Jehovah’s Witnesses. In a case that affects all Russian citizens and residents, the nation’s Supreme Court in Moscow, ruled to liquidate the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses, near Saint Petersburg, and all its 395 title-holding Local Religious Organizations, effective immediately. The judgment gives Russia’s Ministry of Justice full authority to seize and confiscate Jehovah’s Witnesses’ national headquarters and all its places of worship. Justice Yuri Ivanenko—the sole Supreme Court judge—pronounced, “These become the property of the Russian Federation.” Remarkably, it took him just one hour to deliberate alone, reviewing six trial days, 43 volumes of relevant documents, and the testimony of expert and lay witnesses, to convict Jehovah’s Witnesses as an extremist organization and to reach his ruling. Jehovah’s Witnesses extremists?...