Outcome - Banned in Russia - Final
I just want to point out that Russia went after an organization that they knew wouldn't fight back. And I mean by "not fight back" as physical. I wonder if they will try this with Islam? And no, I'm not equating here. I just find it interesting as why they think the JW's are so extremest and dangerous? Especially since they (the Russians) are fighting militarily against others who use religion as a guise?!? I find this very interesting.
My question is will it galvanize the brothers or will they be discouraged by the fact that Jehovah is susposed to be the hearer of prayers and did nothing.
On May 5, 2015, customs authorities in Russia seized a shipment of religious literature containing Ossetian-language Bibles published by Jehovah's Witnesses. Russian customs officials in the city of Vyborg held up a shipment of 2,013 Russian-language copies of Bibles on July 13, 2015. Customs authorities confiscated three of the Bibles, sent them to an "expert" to study the Bibles to determine whether they contained "extremist" language, and impounded the rest of the shipment.
A government that confiscates a pacifist organization's bibles is the definition of a totalitarian government.
Finkle... as a side note... do you think mein kampf or the nazi party should be banned as well? I only ask because here in the US neither the book or the party is banned. Their ideology is not taking over...not because our government has banned them but because the book is absolute shit and the ideology is fucking crazy.. and I can (and have) read the book. Our culture has deemed it extreme and has relegated it the few looney toon characters (sorry bugs bunny) that are left.
If only Russia would have chosen to not recognize the Watchtower/JW as a religion, and then take away properties/assets acquired as a religious entity, or any religious "perks" (if there are any over there). But not put the out right ban on studying all the material. I can see how they would want to ban specific harmful practices of the JW, blood ban/fractions for example, shunning for another, tossing someone aware of child abuse without reporting it to authorities, another. Inspecting the literature, banning specifics such as the claim that all other Religions are evil, would take away freedom of speech, but it wold have resulted in a better outcome overall.
They could have banned the intrusive the door to door, but not the trollys.
It would produce a much more desirable effect in my opinion. JW claim partial persecution? Sounds rather minor to me.
We know it is the money aspect that most bothers the WTBTS. The assets seized. This was the sting of the Russian takeover. The people, if the WTBTS wanted to help them they could. We will see this play out, and not in much of a positive way, for those left behind.
I just find it interesting as why they think the JW's are so extremest and dangerous?
One thing that's unique with the JWS is that they are openly visible such as you see them on the streets, you see them going to people's homes. Some religoius organizations operate quietly without drawing much attention to themselves and realistically this is also the reason why the JWS were banned before in other countries and other times, they make themselves noticed to the public's eye.
The JWS may have been pointed as extremist in their propagation of all other religions are false (Russian Orthodox )and their religion is the only true religion chosen by god.
They also have a anti government stance which tics off government officials many times.
Is there any evidence that banning a religion has a negative or positive affect on its growth?
I would guess it depends in part on how you define the words, "religion" and "ban"
Even in enlightened countries, there have been a number of religious movements whose conduct was so egregious that their premises were raided, their leaders arrested, their property seized and the members scattered. Finkelstein has mentioned one, an Australian new age group known as, "The Family" led by Anne Hamilton-Byrne, a woman who claimed to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, this is not the only example of its type. The fact that the idealists on this thread don't seem to have heard of these groups is a sterling recommendation in and of itself.
Nonjw... I think that is an excellent idea. I am generally against giving subsidies to religious organizations. Take them away from all the churches.
Td... There will always be kooky movements in the enlightened countries. The religion was not banned but its adherents were rounded up and arrested because of what they did to children. It looks like the movement is essentially dead now. JW or christian scientists who deny their children medical help should be rounded up and arrested as well.
Quite right TD, there have been very dangerous religious movement groups where the only real recourse in protecting people would be to ban, and scatter the members.
JW seem an outlier, so long term, not quite fitting into the "mold" of what we think of commonly , such as Jim Jones.
Scientology is another.
JW seem an outlier, so long term, not quite fitting into the "mold" of what we think of commonly...
I agree. My intent was not to equate the JW's with those groups because in truth, I do not think they are comparable. --At least not enough for the comparison to be fair.
But if we can agree that governments do sometimes have to act, then we at least have something to discuss. There's simply no reasoning with the idea that religious freedom should be absolute.
The current problem for the JW's in Russia has been brewing for a long, long time. The JW's were before the ECHR when Bulgaria refused to re-register them as a religious organization and they lied their faces off, claiming that there were no organizational sanctions whatsoever for noncompliance with their teachings on blood.
That was back in 1998 and some of us pointed out at the time that this put them on a collision course with countries like Russia and that the response would likely be heavy-handed.
I feel bad for the JW's. I really do. I feel bad for someone who steps off a cliff and falls to their death. How do you reason with someone who's bound and determined to do it though?