SEPTEMBER 4, 2019
On September 2, 2019, the Zheleznodorozhniy District Court of Khabarovsk, Russia, sentenced Brother Valeriy Moskalenko to two years and two months of community service and another six months of probation. He will not need to spend any additional time in prison.
After the verdict was announced, Brother Moskalenko was released from custody to the delight of his family and friends. He had been in jail since August 2, 2018. Before his arrest, he worked as an assistant train conductor while caring for his sick mother. Under the terms of his probation, he cannot travel outside Khabarovsk and must report for a criminal-executive inspection every month.
In his closing statement to the court on August 30, Brother Moskalenko said in part: “It is completely unthinkable for me to go against the will of God that is clearly expressed in the Bible. And regardless of how I might be pressured or punished, even if I were sentenced to death, I declare that not even then would I abandon the almighty Creator of the universe, Jehovah God.”
Yaroslav Sivulskiy, a representative from the European Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses, states: “While we do not agree with the guilty verdict, we are glad that Valeriy can return home.”
In addition to Brother Moskalenko, seven more of our brothers in the Khabarovsk Territory are awaiting verdicts in their criminal cases.
We are thankful to Jehovah that Brother Moskalenko maintained his strong faith during his detention. We pray that He will continue to supply strength to all the brothers and sisters who are enduring persecution for their Bible-based convictions.—Isaiah 40:31.