In May 2019, authorities from the Arkhangel’sk and Volgograd regions of Russia opened criminal cases against two of our elderly sisters. Sister Kaleriya Mamykina, shown above, and Sister Valentina Makhmadgaeva, 78 and 71 years old respectively, are being investigated for “extremist” activity simply for being Jehovah’s Witnesses.
In April 2018, authorities in the city of Vladivostok brought criminal charges against 84-year-old Sister Yelena Zayshchuk, along with four other Witnesses. There are now a total of ten brothers and sisters over the age of 70 facing criminal prosecution in Russia for their peaceful worship.
Although none of these older ones are in detention, the situation is no doubt extremely stressful for them. If the investigations continue and the courts find them guilty, they could face heavy fines or imprisonment.
As of June 17, 2019, the number of our brothers facing unjustified criminal charges has reached 215. That figure is still increasing. May we keep all of our brothers and sisters in Russia in our prayers, at times specifically mentioning them by name. We are confident that Jehovah will continue to strengthen them “with all power according to his glorious might” so that they “may endure fully with patience and joy.”—Colossians 1:11.