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JULY 27, 2017

Russia Moves to Declare the Bible “Extremist”

Russia Moves to Declare the Bible “Extremist”

UPDATE: The Vyborg City Court has adjourned the case until August 9, 2017.

On July 28, 2017, the Vyborg City Court will resume hearing the case to declare “extremist” the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Russian language. The case had been adjourned since April 2016 after the judge ruled in favor of the Leningrad-Finlyandskiy Transport Prosecutor’s claim to appoint an “expert study” to declare the New World Translation to be “extremist.”

After numerous delays, the study was completed and was submitted to the court on June 22, 2017. As the Witnesses expected, the study supported declaring this Bible to be an “extremist” publication. The study claims that the New World Translation is “not a Bible.” However, this is an attempt to circumvent the Law on Counteracting Extremist Activity, which prohibits declaring sacred texts, such as the Bible, to be extremist. Additionally, the “expert study” bases its conclusion on theological grounds. Its authors object to the New World Translation’s rendering of the Tetragrammaton * as “Jehovah” and falsely claim that the text was altered to fit the Witnesses’ doctrine.

^ The Tetragrammaton is the four-letter Hebrew name of God (יהוה), transliterated as YHWH or JHVH and appearing nearly 7,000 times in the Hebrew Scriptures.