A Russian Court has again, convicted one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
On January 21, 2020, the Nadezhdinsky District Court convicted Brother Grigoriy Bubnov, issuing a six-year suspended prison sentence. While he will not go to prison at this time, he will remain on probation for the duration of the sentence.
Brother Bubnov will appeal his conviction.
Police in at least seven cities across Russia have conducted aggressive raids against Jehovah’s Witnesses.
In what appears to be a coordinated campaign, special police forces (OMON), at times wearing masks and carrying machine guns, raided Witnesses’ homes, pointed guns at them, and detained both young and old for interrogations.
Over the past years, authorities have launched dozens of criminal investigations and jailed several Witness men.
On April 20, 2017, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation banned the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses and all 395 of the Witnesses’ local legal entities.
During the Supreme Court hearing, the Russian government claimed that although it was liquidating the legal entities of Jehovah’s Witnesses, individual Witnesses would be free to practice their faith.
However, the government’s claim is inconsistent with its actions.
Now that Russian authorities have successfully liquidated the legal entities of Jehovah’s Witnesses and have begun confiscating the Witnesses’ properties, they are turning their attack and focusing on people and their worship.
It is now becoming a criminal offense for the over 175,000 of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia to practice their faith.