JUNE 2, 2021
An association founded by survivors of the Dachau concentration camp, the Lagergemeinschaft Dachau, is calling on Russian authorities to stop persecuting Jehovah’s Witnesses. The association condemned Russia’s systematic campaign of oppression against our brothers in an open letter addressed to President Vladimir Putin on May 16, 2021.
“Not a day passes on which there is no report of state repression against Jehovah’s Witnesses,” the letter explains. “The homes of members of the religious denomination are searched and ravaged by the Russian secret service, FSB, and the police. Violent assaults and mistreatment occur. Women and men are condemned to long-term prison sentences. Requests to ease detention conditions or for parole are regularly refused.”
The letter concludes: “We urge you to grant every resident of the Russian Federation the constitutional right to free exercise of religion. Please end this injustice!”
As of May 2021, there are 61 Witnesses imprisoned for their faith in Russia. This includes elderly ones, such as Sister Valentina Baranovskaya, aged 70, who is currently serving a two-year sentence. She suffered a stroke in July 2020. A court denied her appeal and that of her son, Roman Baranovskiy, who is serving six years, on May 24, 2021.
We appreciate the words of fair-minded observers who publicly call for the end of the injustice our brothers and sisters are facing in Russia. Ultimately, we know that Jehovah will rescue his people.—Daniel 12:1.