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APRIL 7, 2016

Authorities Threaten to Liquidate Witnesses’ National Headquarters in Russia

The Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation has issued an official warning to the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia for organizing religious activity—the same peaceful activity that Witnesses engage in throughout the world. The warning, dated March 2, 2016, and signed by Deputy Prosecutor V. Ya. Grin, characterizes the worship of Jehovah’s Witnesses as “extremist activity” and orders the Center to eliminate all “violations” within two months or face liquidation.

This attack on the Witnesses’ national headquarters is the culmination of an aggressive, government-sponsored campaign. Since 2007, Russian authorities have misapplied legislation on extremism to the worship of Jehovah’s Witnesses, liquidating several of their local religious legal entities and banning numerous religious publications.