MARCH 18, 2021
The Pozharskiy District Court of the Primorye Territory will announce its verdict in the case involving Brothers Yuriy Belosludtsev and Sergey Sergeyev. * They each face up to 12 years in prison.
Born: 1964 (Smidovich, Jewish Autonomous Region)
Biography: Raised by his grandmother in a small village. Worked as an engineer at a power company. Enjoys fishing and skiing
Married his wife, Yelena, in 1985. Both were impressed by God’s promise to eliminate evil and suffering. Both were amazed by the fulfillment of Bible prophecies. These truths led them to accept a Bible study. Baptized in 1994
Born: 1955 (Dukhovnitskoye, Saratov Region)
Biography: Worked in a coal mine until retirement. Married his wife, Nelly, in 1991. They have two daughters and one son. The couple share a love for dogs
They began studying the Bible shortly after their wedding. They were impressed by the Bible’s accurate prophecies and practical value. Baptized in 1996
On March 17, 2019, Federal Security Service (FSB) agents conducted mass home raids in Luchegorsk, Primorye Territory. The brothers and sisters were interrogated, some for as long as seven hours. Yuriy and Sergey were detained.
Two days later, both brothers were sent to a pretrial detention center where they remained for more than six months. Following their release in September 2019, they spent nearly five months under house arrest.
Both acknowledge that prayer was essential in helping them to cope with the conditions in the detention center. Sergey states that the Bible also helped him to maintain a positive attitude. He says: “I recalled Jesus’ words: ‘If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.’ (John 15:20) I thought: ‘Wow! Everything that is happening to us happened to Jesus Christ, his disciples, and the apostles. Apparently, Jehovah believes that I can give a good witness here.’ These kinds of thoughts and Jehovah’s answers to my prayers strengthened me and put me in a good mood.”
Yuriy relates that he previously struggled with Bible reading. One of his spiritual brothers helped him to improve. This practice benefited him when he was in the detention center. He says, “I would call to mind examples from the Bible and our publications that I had studied in the past. This strengthened me and helped me to stay happy. It also helped me to avoid worrying excessively.”
We pray with full confidence that Jehovah will continue to be a “refuge and strength” for our brothers and sisters in Russia in their “times of distress.”—Psalm 46:1.
^ par. 3 Advance notice of the verdict date is not always available.