Russia’s justice ministry has asked the country’s Supreme Court to declare the Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist group.
"It's rather ironic because we’re the farthest from extreme," exclaimed Rochester Elder Daniel Naples. "We are family oriented, focused on law-abiding, peaceful, non-political. We abhor wickedness crime and warfare."
The new reality meant that more than 170,000 Witnesses in Russia could see their Kingdom Halls seized, or even face arrest. "Our brothers could be criminally prosecuted for meeting together for worship, for sharing their faith with others, or even for reading the Bible together," warned Mark Sanderson of the Jehovah’s Witnesses governing body in a video message on the JW.org website.
"It is puzzling, why Russia would be focusing on Jehovah's Witnesses at this point," Naples said. "Maybe it's just the lack of knowing enough who we are. And that's why there's been this global campaign since this past week to send letters."