On July 2, 2019, a court in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, ruled to release Brother Andrey Stupnikov from house arrest. Although he is no longer under house arrest, his criminal case remains open.
On July 3, 2018, the Stupnikovs were checking in for an early morning flight at the Krasnoyarsk International Airport. Two Federal Security Service agents approached and arrested Brother Stupnikov. He then spent eight months in pretrial detention before being moved to house arrest at the end of February 2019.
According to Brother Stupnikov, he has learned much about himself and his relationship with Jehovah over the past year. He states: “[Olga and I] have been Witnesses for many years, but we have never had such a close relationship with Jehovah! In the most difficult of times, I have felt, and continue to feel, the presence and support of our Father. It amazes me just how close he has been to me and how quickly he has answered my prayers!”
Brother Stupnikov concludes: “More than ever before, I am convinced that my Father knows and understands my feelings. This personal experience helps me to trust in him more fully and to not worry excessively about persecution. It is much more frightening to lose this close relationship with Jehovah. I am convinced that with him we can overcome anything.”
The growing list of criminal cases against our brothers and sisters in Russia has reached 217 as of July 1. In a few instances, Russian authorities have reduced the restrictions on some of our brothers. However, we do not put our trust in human courts or officials—our trust remains in Jehovah. We pray that Jehovah continues to strengthen and shield all of our fellow worshippers in Russia.—Psalm 28:7.