MARCH 2, 2020
The Dzhankoysky District Court of the Republic of Crimea expects to announce its verdict on March 5, 2020, in the case involving Brother Sergey Filatov. The prosecution has requested that he be sentenced to seven years in a maximum-security prison. Brother Filatov is the first Witness in Crimea to be charged under Russia’s Criminal Code.
As previously reported, Brother Filatov was arrested in what was one of the largest special operations against our brothers in recent years. On October 10, 2017, friends and acquaintances gathered at Brother Filatov’s home to discuss the Bible and sing Kingdom songs. Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) operatives secretly recorded audio of that meeting. A little over a year later, on the night of November 15, 2018, some 200 officers raided eight homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the area. More than 35 law-enforcement officers searched Brother Filatov’s house, and about half of them were armed special forces soldiers. Brother Filatov was questioned and then released.
Brother Sergey Filatov and his wife, Natalya, have four children, two of whom are minors. As Brother Filatov awaits the verdict in his trial, our prayer is that he and his family continue to look to Jehovah for refuge, confident that He will help them in this time of distress.—Psalm 46:1.