Russia v. Jehovah's Witnesses
Interesting in the sense that the views shared here are mostly about religious freedom and superficial knowledge about the WT organisation. I agree that most JW's are not extremists.
However, certain stances or directions from the WT leaders can be considered "harsh" or even close to "mental manipulation". Think about what they teach about who rules the governments, how JW's should first check what WT prescribes in various situations, regarding the "ban" on voting, blood transfusion, birthdays, other national celebrations etc. And how all governments will be wiped out once their version of Armageddon starts.
So, the WT has decided to present themselves on the outside as an open organization with spiritual freedom. However, in their magazine and inside teachings, their tone of voice is different. Look at their shunning policy!
I am not saying the Russian government or justice system is correct in this case, but I can see what their concerns are. According to Romans 13:
13 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God. 2 So the person who resists such authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will incur judgment 3 (for rulers cause no fear for good conduct but for bad). Do you desire not to fear authority? Do good and you will receive its commendation 4 because it is God’s servant for your well-being. But be afraid if you do wrong because government does not bear the sword for nothing. It is God’s servant to administer punishment on the person who does wrong. 5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of the wrath of the authorities but also because of your conscience. 6 For this reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants devoted to governing.
BOLD is mine.
If a group claims to believe in the bible, these words should have influence on them. But WT teaches another gospel (from WT magazine May 2018):
Satan exerts authority over all human governments.and:
Satan and the demons use not only governments but also false religion and the commercial system to mislead “the entire inhabited earth.”In other words, everyone, every organisation, every religion is evil as they are ruled by Satan.
Based on this, WT make their members behave accordingly. May be not extreme to all but some consider this as extreme.
Theological difference may seem extreme to those of us who believe differently, but the issue in Russia is political extremism. Witnesses are not a threat to the state. I believe that is the issue.
We know that JW's individually or as an Org in Russia are not a threat to the State. The problem the JW Org there has, is that according to the criteria set down in Russian Law as to what constitutes an " Extremist" organisation, the JW Org ticks all the boxes !
Now we know that they are NOT going to kick off and start acts of terrorism , but the Russian Law makes them an org. to watch.
As usual with badly defined Laws, it is the application of the Law, and interpretation thereof, that is often misused by those that hate a particular group of people. The Law in question needs redrafting....... perhaps.... or better still, the JW org could stop being so Extreme !
The same freedoms the speakers in the video are talking about are not extended to jw's themselves.
I don't believe the speakers in the video truly have an understanding of the milieu of jw-ism.
I do think their extreme shunning policies are something a govt may want to watch. The destruction of families can have an effect on public policies and resources.
That being said, as much as I dislike the jw's they should be allowed to believe whatever nutty thing they got going today as it will change down the road later anyway. They are not terrorists and not likely to become so.
Jehovah's Witnesses are not extremists, they're certainly not militant, and they're no active threat to anyone. That doesn't mean that some of their beliefs or practices don't cause serious harm to people, especially the Governing Body's ban on blood transfusions.
I heard an interview with Dave Mustaine ( Megadeth founder) and he said it best when asked about the banning of the JWs in Russia.
" Who cares, those fuckers stole my childhood ".
The watchtower is a parasite that needs a host that can only live in secular democracies. Till they realize it is a a pyramid scheme that is selling nothing but membership in a club , instead of personal salvation, they will always be at odds with secular authorities.
They have a way to get around the Russian issue by keeping it rather quiet. That will definitely not work since they want to keep the flock united in the struggle. They need to feed their persecution complex so that they can prove that they are true servants of the Lord