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JUNE 21, 2017

Video Published of Russian Authorities Raiding Peaceful Religious Meeting

NEW YORK—A recent video published on, a news outlet covering the Central Federal District of Russia, shows armed Russian police officers and agents of the Federal Security Service (FSB) raiding a peaceful religious meeting of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Oryol, Russia, on May 25, 2017.

Armed Russian authorities raid a peaceful worship service of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Oryol, Russia, on May 25, 2017.

Dennis Christensen, a Danish citizen, is seen in the video calmly interacting with the authorities. He was arrested during the raid and is still being held in pretrial detention.

Dennis Christensen, a Danish citizen and an elder in the congregation, is seen speaking with authorities. He has been detained by the FSB since May 25, 2017.

Spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses at their world headquarters, David A. Semonian, states: “This video clearly demonstrates the peaceful way that Jehovah’s Witnesses conduct themselves, even while authorities use fear and intimidation to disrupt their Bible discussions. These appalling intrusions on religious freedom will continue unless the Russian Supreme Court reverses its unjust ruling against Jehovah’s Witnesses. We are also deeply concerned for our fellow worshipper, Dennis Christensen, who has been denied visits and telephone calls from his wife. We hope that soon he will be released from this unjust detention.”

Media Contact:

David A. Semonian, Office of Public Information, +1-845-524-3000