I'm not sure if this has been posted, but it's worth posting again for those that haven't seen it......Again, the article is from a database so I don't have a link.......
_Copyright 2002 Interfax News Agency
March 06, 2002, Wednesday
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HEADLINE: Jehovah's Witnesses' Moscow community accused of family breakup in court
MOSCOW. March 6 (Interfax) Moscow's Golovinsky Court continues its examination of the case on closing the Moscow
community of the Jehovah's Witnesses.
Muscovite Raisa Zemlyanskaya gave testimony at a court session on March 5, in which she said that since her husband Alexander
joined the Jehovah's Witnesses, he began to estrange himself from his relatives. He ceased taking part in family holidays,
referring to his new convictions, and refused to go to their country house as usual. He began attending the religious organization's
meetings and helping other members study the Bible. Raisa was also unsatisfied with the money outflows from their family budget,
as Alexander began to make regular contributions to the religious organization.
Finally, Raisa was outraged at her husband's refusal to enter an Orthodox church on the day of her father's funeral.
Raisa, thinking that Alexander was not doing enough for the family, asked him to move into a separate room and live
separately within the same apartment.
Speaking to the court, Raisa Zemlyanskaya expressed deep regrets that "their 28-year marriage had such a sorrowful end."
Commenting on the situation, spokesman for the Jehovah's Witnesses managing center Yaroslav Sivulsky said that it is true the
religious organization's members do not celebrate holidays that are not included in the Bible.
In addition, the Jehovah's Witnesses are confident that Christmas was originally associated with the Saturnalies, when the ancient
Romans honored the God of the Sun. "When Roman traditions became connected with Christian ones, the Emperor Constantine,
in an attempt not to hurt both parties, set December 25 as the day for Christmas celebrations," he said.
The Jehovah's Witnesses are also confident that their life guidelines, which they consider acceptable for themselves and
which sometimes run counter to popular traditions, in fact do not lead to family breakups. Head of the religious organization's
center Vasily Kalin, citing data provided by the sociology faculty of Moscow State University, told the court that the divorce rate
among the Jehovah's Witnesses' Moscow community stands at 4% to 5%, compared with the Moscow average of 30% to 40%.
The lawsuit requiring the closure of the Jehovah's Witnesses' Moscow community was filed by the Moscow Prosecutor's Office.
The Prosecutor's Office cited as key motives for the closure the fact that the organization's rules lead to family breakups and
spread religious disputes.
The Moscow Golovinsky Municipal Court, on February 23, 2001, rejected a lawsuit filed by the Prosecutor's Office of the
Northern district to close the Jehovah's Witnesses' Moscow community and ban its operations.
The Prosecutor's Office for the Northern District filed an appeal in the Moscow City Court, which conducted a hearing on May
30, 2001, and sent the case for a new examination.
This ruling by the Moscow City Court was appealed in the Russian Supreme Court, which is to issue a verdict on the case. ____________________________________________________________________