How Did Jehovah’s Witnesses Come to Be Labelled as ‘Extremists’ in Russia? (Four-Minute Video)

Four-minute condensed English version of a video about the main stages of the elaborate plan of Russian authorities, who over nine years were able to turn law-abiding believers into “extremists”. To see a full seven-minute video click here.

December 2009

The Russian Supreme Court declared 34 publications of Jehovah’s Witnesses “extremist”

The Local Religious Organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses “Taganrog” was liquidated

August 2011

A criminal case against 16 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Taganrog was initiated under an article of the law on extremism

April 2013

Searches at the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia

February 2014

Beginning of systematic planting of “extremist” materials of Jehovah’s Witnesses with subsequent searches

April 2015

Jehovah’s Witnesses are prohibited from importing religious publications into Russia

Millions of magazines are detained by Russian Customs

March 2016

Guilty verdicts for all 16 Witnesses in Taganrog

Their sentence: conditional imprisonment for up to five and a half years

July 2016

A Special Forces armed raid on believers in Karelia

The authorities begin to put pressure on believers in different parts of Russia

20 April 2017

The Russian Supreme Court liquidates all 396 organizations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, alleging “extremism”

25 May 2017

The first believer, Dennis Christensen, is sent to a detention center in the city of Oryol

7 December 2017

A St. Petersburg court legalizes the seizure of property where the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia was located

The property belongs to a foreign owner – Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

20 December 2017

The Leningrad Regional Court declared the Russian translation of the Bible distributed by Jehovah’s Witnesses as “extremist material”

10 April 2018

In the city of Ufa searches are conducted, Anatoly Vilitkevich is sent to a detention center

During the following months dozens of similar searches and arrests took place in Russia. Currently 25 believers are imprisoned.