Support The Moscow Times!

Jehovah's Witnesses Added to Russia's Extremism Registry

Steve Sadowski / Flickr

Russia’s Justice Ministry on Thursday added the Jehovah’s Witnesses to a registry of banned organizations after the group was labeled extremist by the country’s Supreme Court.

Any activities by the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center in Russia as well as 395 local branches are now banned, in a move that puts the Jehovah’s Witnesses on a par with groups like Islamic State, another organization banned in Russia.

Russian state media reported news of the group’s inclusion on the registry by referring to the Jehovah’s Witnesses as an “extremist group,” likely to comply with Russian extremism laws.

A U.S. State Department report released this week labeled Russia “a country of concern” for religious minorities such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses. 

It said the group’s “right to religious freedom is being eliminated thoroughly, and yet ‘legally’ under Russian law."

Russia’s Supreme Court in July rejected an appeal to lift the ban.

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more