Russia borrows political moves from Hitler in recent attack on Jehovah’s Witnesses
By: Joseph Bonner
Russia (LEGEND) According to a recent report by Newsweek, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been subjected to relentless religious persecution following the Russian Supreme Court decision to label Jehovah’s Witnesses as extremist.
While Jehovah’s Witnesses are working on their appeal to that decision, the group has received documentation that its ownership of many of its almost 400 local chapters, has been removed from legal documents. Something that was not supposed to take place until after the appeal is heard.
With over 175,000 members in Russia, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been subjected to bank freezes on their accounts, arson attacks on homes and places of worship. All this while police have done next to nothing to stop it.
Similar to Adolf Hitler, who targeted the jews but extended his percussion and concentration camps to religious minorities among other, other denominations of Christians in Russia also fear that labeling the non-violent Christian religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses as extremist is a dangerous precedent to set and have engaged in protest that Jehovah’s Witnesses did not take part in.
Notice the unsettling similarities to Russia's treatment of Jehovah's Witnesses compared to Hitler's.
RUSSIA & HITLER TIMELINE
On December 8, 2009 - The Supreme Court of Russia upheld the ruling of the lower courts which pronounced 34 pieces of Jehovah's Witness literature extremist, including their magazine The Watchtower, in the Russian language. Jehovah's Witnesses claim that this ruling affirms a misapplication of a federal law on anti-extremism.
May 5, 2015 - Customs authorities in Russia seized a shipment of religious literature containing Ossetian-language Bibles published by Jehovah's Witnesses.
July 21, 2015 - The Russian Federation Ministry of Justice added Jehovah's Witnesses' official website to the Federal List of Extremist Materials thereby making it a criminal offense to promote the website from within the country and requiring internet providers throughout Russia to block access to the site.
March 2, 2016 - Russia Threatens to liquidate the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia for alleged “extremist activity.”
March 2016 - The Republic of Tatarstan, police raided a Kingdom Hall and several homes of the Witnesses. They seized computer equipment, personal electronic tablets, and religious literature.
March 2016 - Russia caught planting the Witnesses’ banned literature in Kingdom Halls in attempts to fabricate evidence against them.
April 2016 - Russian Authorities Move Toward Shutdown of Witnesses’ National Headquarters
March 2017 - Jehovah’s Witness launch international letter campaign to appeal to Russian authorities
APRIL 20, 2017 — Russian Federation Supreme Court rules to criminalize the activity of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.
May 2017 - Russia seeks to draft age qualifying Jehovah’s Witnesses in the military. Those who refuse face arrest and imprisonment.
May 2017- Some Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia lose property and get bank assets frozen illegally before Supreme Court appeal hearing.
June 1333 - Jehovah's Witnesses banned in practically every state in Russia.
Witnesses defied Nazi prohibitions by continuing to meet and distribute their literature often covertly. Copies were made from booklets smuggled in mainly from Switzerland.
1934 - Jehovah’s Witnesses send letters to Germany explaining their religious beliefs and political neutrality.
1934 - Jehovah’s Witnesses lose their jobs as civil servants or employees in private industry and their unemployment, social welfare, and pension benefits.
April 1, 1935 - Jehovah’s Witnesses banned nationally by law.
1935 - Germany reintroduced compulsory military service. Those refusing to be drafted faced arrest and incarcerated in prisons and concentration camps.
The same year, Germany reintroduced compulsory military service. For refusing to be drafted or perform war-related work, and continuing to meet, Jehovah’s Witnesses were arrested and incarcerated in prisons and concentration camps.
1935 - Some 400 Jehovah’s Witnesses were imprisoned at Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
1939 - An estimated 6,000 Witnesses (including those from incorporated Austria and Czechoslovakia) were detained in prisons or camps. Some Witnesses were tortured by police in attempts to make them sign a declaration / renouncing their faith, but few capitulated.
Will the international community stand up for Jehovah's Witnesses to prevent the dark history of religious persecution from repeating itself? Only time will tell.