JUNE 8, 2017
NEW YORK—On May 31, 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded the Order of “Parental Glory” to Valeriy and Tatiana Novik, Jehovah’s Witnesses from Karelia, who raised eight children, during a ceremony in Moscow at the Kremlin.
The Order of “Parental Glory” was instituted by presidential decree in May 2008. Russia awards this honor to parents who have raised at least seven children and have shown extraordinary care for their family’s health and education, as well as their physical, mental, and moral development. Families awarded the Order are considered models that strengthen the family institution.
David A. Semonian, a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses at their world headquarters, states: “We view this award as an acknowledgment that the free Bible education provided by Jehovah’s Witnesses helps parents and their children to be productive citizens not only in Russia but all over the world. We hope that this award presented by President Putin is considered on July 17, 2017, when the Russian Supreme Court reviews the decision to liquidate the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.”