On December 6, 2017, the Leningrad Regional Court heard the Witnesses’ appeal of a lower court ruling that bans the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures in the Russian language.

The hearing began with the argument by the Witnesses’ attorneys against the Vyborg City Court’s ruling, which had relied exclusively on an “expert” study as the basis for the case. The city court did not identify a single reference from the New World Translation that the study considered to be “extremist.” Rather, the court focused on the study’s conclusion that the New World Translation is “extremist” because of its use of the divine name, Jehovah. The attorneys reminded the court that the divine name has had an impact on Russia’s rich cultural history and is found in many Bible translations. They also took issue with the study’s false statement that the New World Translation is not a Bible because it does not expressly state that it is one. In refuting this statement, they cited the foreword in the 2007 revision, which states: “This is a new translation of the Bible into Russian.”

The Leningrad Regional Court decided to call the panel of experts for cross-examination and adjourned the case until December 20, 2017, at 2:30 p.m. local time.