NEWSWATCH: “Is it a crime to worship God? According to Russia, yes.” – Washington Post

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

“… Dennis Christensen … of Denmark, has been held [in Russia] in pretrial detention for 11 months … about to be tried on charges of organizing … activities of an ‘extremist organization,’ the Jehovah’s Witnesses. … [potentially] fac[ing] 10 years in prison. … the Russian Supreme Court declared the group ‘extremist’ and banned it from operating [in Russia]; there were 170,000 members in 395 branches …. The Justice Ministry … called the group ‘a threat to the rights of citizens, public order and public security.’ … Jehovah’s Witnesses eschew subservience to the state … refuse military service, do not vote and view God as the only true leader. Members … suffered decades of persecution and stigmatization in the Soviet Union. …”

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