DECEMBER 20, 2017
Today, the Leningrad Regional Court denied our appeal of the Vyborg City Court’s August ruling that banned the Russian-language New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (NWT), declaring it an extremist publication. Approximately 30 people attended the hearing, including representatives of the Britain, the Netherlands, the Switzerland, and the United States embassies.
Several times during the course of the hearing, the defense presented clear evidence demonstrating the bias and unqualified nature of the court-appointed expert study, which claimed the NWT is not a Bible, paving the way for it to be declared “extremist.”
The so-called experts were resolute in their claim that the NWT is not a Bible because it allegedly does not refer to itself as one. The defense, however, drew attention to page five of the 2007 Russian-language NWT, which clearly states: “This is a new translation of the Bible into Russian.” The defense criticized the so-called experts, who worked for 287 days on their review and yet missed this simple fact in the third paragraph of the NWT’s foreword.
When questioned, one of the court-appointed experts further defended her original claim by stating that the NWT cannot be considered a Bible unless it is marked “by the blessing of the patriarch” or matches word for word with such a translation. The “experts” also objected to the use of God’s personal name, Jehovah, and claimed that the text of the NWT does not support certain church dogma. The judge rejected any motion by the defense for a new unbiased expert study of the NWT.
After their appeal was rejected today, our brothers have no other remedy available within the Russian legal system and will submit the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world are confident that no human institution can succeed in wiping out God’s Word and that present attempts to prevent its spread will ultimately fail.—Isaiah 40:8.
International: David A. Semonian, Office of Public Information, +1-845-524-3000