Russia’s Supreme Court bans Jehovah’ s Witnesses in nation
MOSCOW — Russia’s Supreme Court on Thursday banned Jehovah’s Witnesses from operating anywhere in the country, accepting a request from the Justice Ministry that the religious organization be considered an extremist group.
The court ordered the closing of the group’s Russian headquarters and its 395 local chapters, as well as the seizure of property.
The Interfax news agency on Thursday quoted Justice Ministry attorney Svetlana Borisova in court as saying that Jehovah’s Witnesses pose a threat to Russians.
Borisova also said Jehovah’s Witnesses’ opposition to blood transfusions violates Russian health care laws.
Jehovah’s Witnesses said they would appeal the ruling. The group claims more than 170,000 adherents in Russia.