JANUARY 8, 2020
On January 21, 2020, Judge Derevyagina, of the Nadezhdinsky District Court, is scheduled to issue a verdict in the criminal case involving Brother Grigoriy Bubnov. The prosecutor has asked the court to sentence Brother Bubnov to seven years in prison. If the request is granted, Brother Bubnov’s sentence will be the harshest imposed on one of our brothers in Russia since the 2017 Supreme Court ruling that criminalized our activity throughout the country.
Brother Bubnov was arrested on July 19, 2018, when masked police officers raided three homes of Witnesses in the village of Razdolnoye (Primorye Territory in the Russian Far East). Ten Witnesses were taken into custody, including Brother Bubnov. Subsequently, a criminal case was opened against him.
The prosecutor has falsely charged Brother Bubnov with organizing the activity of the former Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, despite the evidence that he never served there. Additionally, Brother Bubnov has never been a member of any of the legal entities of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia that were banned and liquidated by the 2017 Supreme Court ruling. Therefore, the prosecution’s claims are baseless.
Including Brother Bubnov, there are a total of 23 brothers and sisters from Primorye Territory facing criminal prosecution. Throughout Russia, nearly 300 Witnesses face criminal charges for peacefully practicing their faith.
We are not surprised by the injustices our fellow Witnesses in Russia are facing. However, we know that our heavenly Father is watching our faithful brothers and sisters and giving them the courage and endurance needed in this time of trial.—Ecclesiastes 5:8.