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  1. 72 likes
    We had a foreshortened meeting tonight. A brother and his wife from the Russian branch visited us. We have a pretty small Russian group that meets at our hall, so it was so encouraging to see that they sent a shepherd to the brothers who spoke in their native tongue. He was interviewed by 1 of our elders, and explained a lot of what we heard tonight, about the seizing and liquidation. He tells us that all the brothers and sisters at bethel were given a shepherding call individually, and congregations were sent letters of instruction prior to the announcement, of what they were going to do and where. He said that each Field Service Group were instructed to meet at a publishers home, and that many had already graciously offered up their residences. Reminds me of the video at our last convention taking place in the great tribulation. And the importance of being at our meetings! He was calm and collected about the whole thing, but I heard him begin to choke up about losing their hall, how the brothers there at bethel will be sent to branch offices in other countries and some will stay and maintain the properties (I assume until they are seized). He quickly composed himself when our speaker asked what he'll be leaving behind. He said, "my car and an empty room" and smiled. Such is the importance to keep our eye simple. It was a wonderful part and I really wanted to share.
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    First of all sorry for my English. My native language is Russian, but I will try to do my best. On the 9th of April Brother Kenneth Flodin with his wife visited Moldova on behalf of the Governing Body and an encouraging meeting for the witnesses from Transnistria was organized. 2181 witnesses from Transnistria were present. Me too, as I live in Tiraspol – the capital of Transnistria. Short information about Transnistria to give you an idea what is going on here. PMR - the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (or Transnistria) is unrecognised autonomous part of Moldova. Moldova and Transnistria have different capitals (Chisinau and Tiraspol), currency (lei and rubles), government and main language (Romanian and Russian). Bethel is located in Chisinau. Russia is backing Transnistria. Laws in PMR are based on Russian legislation. That is why we here also face certain difficulties in our ministry. There is no anti extremist law here yet, but recently a law restricting missionary activity has been adopted in Transnistria. So we can’t offer any publications in our public ministry, use carts or invite people to our meetings anymore. Russian Supreme Court Case will definitely affect witnesses in PMR. So we were very happy to know about Brother Kenneth Flodin visit to Moldova. I want to share my impressions of his visit. Brother Flodin mentioned that average number of hours we spend in ministry and number of return visits and Bible studies after restriction of our activity has risen. Of course number of publications has dropped. Brother Flodin for the first time heard how circuit overseer praised publishers for the fact they didn’t distributed Memorial Invitations. Yes, we simply can’t do this in our circumstances. As for the court case in Russia, you all know that Mark Sanderson was in the court last Wednesday. In an e-mail to brother Flodin he wrote it was one of the proudest moments in his life. As for court result brother Flodin reminded that Jehovah knows issues we can’t know, as it was with Job. So we may pray for our brothers in Russia and should respect any Jehovah’s reaction to this situation. Then a recent letter from one Russian congregation to the Governing Body was read. Russian brothers are thankful to the Governing Body and all brothers and sisters in the world for their love, prayers and active support in letter-writing campaign. They are deeply touched, even to tears, by the efforts we all made to help them. They feel our love and love of Jehovah. Especially they thank our children, many of which can’t even write well but they still participated in the campaign. The campaign is already noticed by some Media in Russia. Russian brothers feel we are very close to them. No other organization in the world can show such love, they wrote. In any case they are sure that finally Jehovah will win. Not every letter will be read by Russian officials, noticed brother Flodin after that, but they will have to open our envelopes not to miss important correspondence from other people. So this is for sure will be great witnessing. Then an inspiring Bible talk “Make your mind over” was held. But it is for another topic Visit of Brother Flodin and his wife was really a precious gift from Jehovah.
  4. 39 likes
    We all have a variety of emotions and feelings about what is happening in Russia with the Supreme Court and the Ministry of Justice. We feel very sad about the liquidation of all of our Kingdom Halls and properties and we are worried about each individual brother and sister in Russia, they are our family and we love them! Even if we have never met them! And Jehovah is glad that we are so concerned and that we have such deep feelings for our family, because we know that His feelings were also affected by this injustice against His own people. But in all of this sadness, there is a very uplifting thought that can be like a beautiful rainbow appearing in the midst of terrible hurricane. That thought is a verse in MT 10 and are the powerful words of Jesus. We may have read this scripture many times, but please notice the way the FDS wonderfully explains this verse. When you read this article, we see clearly Jehovah's wisdom for allowing such an injustice to occur against His own people. These powerful words of Jesus were repeated several times by Brother Mark Sanderson of the Governing Body in the new special video on JW Broadcasting entitled, "Russian Supreme Court Renders Unjust Decision!" These words of Jesus were really uplifting and strengthening to our lawyers in Russia during the entire trial! And these words definitely are uplifting for me and helping me to see the bigger picture! (Matthew 10:18) . . .And you will be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them and the nations. . . *** w16 September p. 16 Defending the Good News Before High Officials *** Jesus told his disciples: “You will be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a witness to them and the nations.” (Matt. 10:18) It is a privilege to represent Jesus in this way. Our efforts to defend the good news may result in legal victories. Of course, what imperfect men decide does not ‘legally establish’ the good news in a complete sense. Only God’s Kingdom will bring permanent relief from oppression and injustice.—Eccl. 8:9; Jer. 10:23. Yet, even today Jehovah’s name can be glorified when Christians make a defense of their faith. As Paul was, we should try to be calm, sincere, and convincing. Jesus told his followers that they would not have to ‘rehearse beforehand how to make their defense, for he would give them words and wisdom that all their opposers together would not be able to resist or dispute.’—Luke 21:14, 15; 2 Tim. 3:12; 1 Pet. 3:15. When Christians defend their faith before kings, governors, or other officials, they can give a witness to people whom it might otherwise have been difficult to reach with the Christian message. Some favorable court decisions have refined legal codes, thus protecting freedom of speech and of worship. But whatever the outcome of such cases, the courage God’s servants display under trial makes God rejoice.
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    Hello to all my brothers and sisters! I'm glad to be able to participate with you now as registered member. I didn't knew the existance of jwt until recent events in Russia. Since the GB asked us to send letters, I have been more anxious than ever about what is going on. Just few days ago I found this lovely place and have been reading this whole thread since page 1. I'm very happy to see everyone effort to encourage each others and pray for our brothers in Russia. I have been using the data from this thread to keep informed brothers in my congregation about what's going on. I was deeply worried with what happened on the first day, and every prayer requesting to Jehovah to help the brothers did a great job. I love how they are using Jehovah's voice to put in his place the MoJ. And Jehovah controlling everything , best example they can have the memorial without worrying to much about this trial. My humble request to everyone reading here is: don't stop praying our brothers in Russia can have their memorials in peace, without disturbs from external people. It's a especial moment and we know Jehovah will help them, but He also wants we request it. Finally, because english is not my mother language, sometimes could be difficult for me to express myself. If any of you see any mistake in my words, spelling, let me know. I'm still learning this language and would like to keep improving myself with everybody help. Warm hugs for all!
  8. 33 likes
    We are all eager for news, but maybe it's not necessary to repeat several times the same things others have already posted. Reading before posting is always a good idea. I'm not referring to anyone in particular, there have been a lot of repeated news. Regarding the police buses, don't forget that Russia is in high alarm. A couple days ago there was a terrorist attack in St. Petersburg that killed 10 people and today there was another person killed by an explosion. So it's just normal to have a lot of police wherever there is a crowd. It doesn't necessarily mean that they intend to arrest all the brothers attending the trial.
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    I had some difficulty to concentrate while conducting a Bible study today.This because it was exactly when everybody was waiting for the Supreme court to announce its decision. I had my tablet in my hands and my phone with live streaming from the trial on my knee. When I saw the judge entering the hall with the final decision, I had to pause the study and listen the final words. On the judge's face I could see that the decision was not in our favour. But I was amazed to see the silence and the decent reaction of our Brothers. I couldn't resist and I said: "And they just declared that this peaceful people are extremist". Then we finished our study and during the final prayer I prayed for my Bible study to be courageous and to strengthen her faith (I also mentioned our Brothers in Russia) because that is the only way we will be ready for the final act of this system of things. I think my study will remember this study. It has a positive impact on her.
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    I've always thought it was bad that I am Russian speaking because English is the language of the organization. But now I am glad I am Russian:-) Don't need google:-) Now you dear English speaking brothers and sisters can imagine how difficult it is for me to watch Annual meetings and other videos in English.
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    In light of the recent developments in Russia and the ban on Jehovah's people, the moderators want to remind all of us, especially our members living under ban, to not share confidential matters. It really is none of our business how our friends in banned countries are hiding the literature or what methods they are taking to be "cautious as serpents and yet innocent as doves." (Mt. 10:16) Please remember friends that this is a public board, even though we have member's only sections. While we do screen our members we all have seen how a diligent opposer can slip in among us. If you are new to living under ban it is advisable you discuss matters with your local elders to understand completely what you should and should not share on social media or any public forum. Please do not reveal on this board any methods you do not want the police or investigators to learn about you or your methods of finding and sharing spiritual food. We love you all and continue to pray in your behalf. Please remember to draw close to Jehovah and his organization. Look to the proper channel for guidance during these critical times. May we all be able to serve Jehovah together in complete freedom and peace soon.
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    Someone was interested how is that feels under ban. See what I'm currently doing - preparing for unwishing visitors. Cleaning up my PC and storing up all my precious memory in clouds... (30 GB already ) Cleaning up my home for the case of searching it through and getting ready for planting false evidenses.....
  13. 28 likes
    One of Hubby's letters..trying not to get too excited! caught the obvious error too late
  14. 27 likes
    For those of you who found the court proceedings hard to read or understand, I created a pdf document that remedies Google's rough translation, revises grammar issues, and uses everyday language to help you understand what is being said. I also developed the material by logical argument rather than strictly chronologically to help you grasp the reasoning of the lawyers. I hope this helps you to better understand how each day's proceedings played out. If you have any questions or see an error please let me know. ;-) The PDF I have attached is entitled The Watchtower Sessions. The Watchtower Sessions.pdf
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    It is good to remember that the Great Tribulation is not controlled by actions of nations or rulers (or even Satan). Jehovah has picked the exact day long before there even was a Russia. Remember the Brother Vasiliy Kalin said in the video that this all happened before in April 1951. The brothers lost their homes, possessions and freedom. They were sent to Siberia, not just for 10 years, but for life. That penalty did not bring the GT then. Nor did the previous Nazi persecution or Malawi or any of the other trials. God has a time appointed and He will not deviate from His purpose. WE pray for a good outcome and we pray for our brothers strength, faith and loyalty regardless of the outcome. But do not be quickly discouraged if the GT is not here by next week or this year.
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    I don't think I can tell you something interestig. Frankly speaking we here in RF discuss the ban less than you do. A sister today showed me the video about political refuge. Somebody told we can get it in US:-) Looks like our cong became even more active in the ministry. No panic, no fear. I think we are prepared because we had more and more restrictions and if now we'll be totally banned our life won't really change .The only thing I worry about is seizing our Bethel and kingdom halls. I hope it won't happen. Actually I hope the GT will happen soon!:-) And ALL brothers and sisters will be free!
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    Look at the reach of the campaign: the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), through their president, sent a letter to the Russian ambassador requesting that the courts review their position.
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    Let's not jump ahead of the Slave, folks. Many Witnesses are eagerly applying the situation in Russia to the time in the Bible when the King of the North will attack God's people. This isn't it. The Slave has helped us understand that before the final attack peace and security will be declared and all of false religion will be destroyed. If there is any change in this understanding, lets wait for the Slave to make the adjustment. Until then we don't need to apply any of those scriptures to what is currently happening in Russia. Please refer to this articles for more information: http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2012681 How This World Will Come to an End
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    I am sorry but I want to say to everybody you NEED NOT to write You, Your etc.because you write in English, not in Russian. It's a rule of the Russian language. It's like you write Monday, January...but in Russian we write понедельник, январь. I hope you understand. It's good you want to show respect but I am sure you can write what you would to your president.
  20. 25 likes
    I must admit I shed a few tears, not from anguish but because I hate, hate HATE injustice. Even as a child I remember thinking about others that had less than I did and thinking it wasn' t fair. We've all followed the so-called evidence in this case and again and again the MoJustice (Justice?) said he had no facts and no evidence. The decision was political because one cannot have a case without evidence. So I was for a few moments so hurt by the injustice and thinking of the very real consequences for our Russian brothers and sisters. And then I remembered Hezekiah. His hands shaking as he laid Sennacharib's letter challenging Jehovah at the temple. That it is Jehovah's name that is being challenged. That the friends in Russsia have only been doing what Jesus commanded. Jehovah will take all this very personally... we just don't know the bigger picture but no need to cry. No need to fear. No need to be surprised. Hezekiah's angel is still loyal at Jesus' side, along with the myriads of others. We just have to expect the unexpected. Jehovah will save, and he will DO IT WITH STYLE!
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    Thank you to all the brothers and sisters that make it possible to 'be there in the courtroom' with our brothers and sisters and actually understand the arguments and answers presented! It's very loving of you all to do that for us as we know it requires, time, effort and knowledge that the rest of us may not have!
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    As a result of "watching" this trial from afar, I've been awake for two days straight (with maybe 5 or 6 hours of fractured sleep) but at the end of the day, I'm pleased that our brothers and sisters will be able to gather together for the Lord's Evening Meal in relative peace. I'll continue to pray that there will be no interruption for them -- or for our friends in Crimea. May the name of Jehovah continue to be praised! A "shout-out" of deep gratitude to Brother Guri and Brother David for the regular updates/translations here on the legal proceedings for the last couple of days. And also to our dear Sister Rosie for the simplified translations of the courts legalese. (We realize that many of our brothers and sisters here may not fully comprehend legal terms, particularly if the language of their heart is not English.) What a great effort Rosie and we appreciate the love you've shown here in this regard! If I left out anyone else, please forgive me. (Starting to feel the effects of my insomnia.)
  23. 24 likes
    With my Post traumatic Stress Disorder, I see a Dr. Who happens to be a Brother. and No matter what I go through , He always tells me, that Jehovah Will always Protect us, Even when I am scared and feel so depressed that it doesn't feel like it. He gave me an example of When someone gets Disciplined, Whether it is reproved or Df'd or whatever the circumstances. Jehovah does it for protection, Not just protecting the congregation, but the person being disciplined. So why do I use that example. Well Maybe this Ban in russia Is a way for Jehovah to protect his people there. Maybe the only way to keep them safe for let's just say the Tribulation is to Let them go underground. Maybe something is going to be happening that will prove the ban was necessary, to protect Jehovah's People. Altho I am not saying that it will be easy for them, Even being Disciplined isn't easy, (and I am not saying our friends are being Disciplined.) But What Lesson is Jehovah preparing our russian brothers for, or us for that matter, with anyone who is being Protected, Sometimes we May not understand why. But just like a Parent sending their kinds to another room when a stranger walk up to the door or for any reason, Jehovah is Always Protecting us. I personally can not imagine What our friends are going through their, But I know that they serve as inspiration for me to build my faith even more. And (my Opinion) but what better way to protect His people then have them Hidden from danger if the GT is to happen soon. that way once the fall of BtG happens our friends can stand up and say we are still here. Proudly Serving our Loving God Jehovah, Sister Victoria I just want you to know that You are in my Prayers and Every one of My friends There in Russia all 170,000, And I love Each and every one of you. Just like I do all the friends on this Forum and around the world. So Please Sister Victoria, Please remember Hebrews 13: 6 So that we may be of good courage and say: “Jehovah is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? also Psalms 118:6 and Psalms 56:4. Take courage that Jehovah KNows exactly what needs to be done at exactly the right time.
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    Just watched the report -that was absolutely what I needed and I don't think I'm alone. The brothers said many of the things we have been saying on these threads, but it was heartwarming to see. I thank Jehovah for these wonderful brothers!!
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    A little perk up ... I went to the group this morning and during prayer burst into tears ... (not the perk up bit obviously) ... then took the carts to our normal place ... the other sister hadn't arrived yet and Tom went to get some parking money. As I was unpacking the carts ... a young man walked by and took a magazine and a young people ask book. He wanted to know where our kingdom hall was. I asked him his name - It was Israel.
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    Case was decided before it went to court. History repeating itself, except now the world was watching. More importantly Jehovah was watching and if he had wished, could have directed that justice be served. That may have made system look fair, but system is under satan's control and is ever closer to the finale.
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    It is so encouraging to know that our brothers are so observing of the court hearing in Russia. Our unity always makes my faith stronger! I was told by Georgian bethelite brother that governing body member brother Sanderson is attending the court hearing in Russia. He can boost brothers faith in Russia even just by being next to them in courtroom. I love our brotherhood!
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    I loved the special broadcast. My husband brought out a point of Jehovah speeding up the work. With only 175000 in Russia the news coverage may be the only way for some to hear the message with the population at 140+ million in Russia. Not to mention the rest of the world. We will wait and see what Jehovah has in mind.
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    Heb 10:31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Sent from my LG-E988 using Tapatalk
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    Our brothers are slowly dismantling the ministry of justices case. MakIng their lawyers acknowledge that they know no literature has been transported into the country in 2 years and there is no evidence that the centre of administration has distributed anything in the past 12 months. Brilliant! Soon there will be no case left. The world can see the evidence is not there, let's just hope the judges do as well.
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    Well, I went to my meeting tonight and got three blessings (ok, more than that as in just being there. The "three" is what I actually counted). But before I get to that, nooo, there was nothing mentioned about our Russian family . But I'm certain that as soon as the brothers know something for sure, they'll let the worldwide association know. Now for the blessings counted. First, money saved. Yes, as a sister's son was helping his mother in his car, I asked and he said yes. Second, a sister is Auxiliary pioneering with Regular as her goal, and I was included in her request for assistance. Third, OMG! I'M GOING TO PIONEER SCHOOL THIS COMING JULY 24-29, 2017! It'll be my third time! Yes, all of the three above would have happened coming Sunday it is true, but the fact that I was there tonight makes me more than happy I was there tonight. Yes, Jehovah truly blesses effort!!!!
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    It would not matter if they burned every letter we send them, the witness has still been given. Jeremiah also made many representations to the King and to the people, they were also rejected. But whatever happens with the court case and the ban Jehovah's name is being made known. Not just in Russia, but around the world.
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    Even IF this is happening my dear, remember this: We can't change the plot of this story, but we can change our perspective ... just remember the wonderful blessings of the outcome and we will all be there waiting for all our Russian Brothers and sisters, and others in a similar situation. Too ... we don't know when things will change for the worse for us in our own countries, your stand now is giving us faith to stand firm too. Remember Hezekiah, his hands were shaking when he approached the altar of Jehovah to ask for his help. It's okay to be afraid, but don't let that fear paralyze you ... trust in our God he's showing he's there for you and for all of us. Love you. x
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    Just sent 10 letters. 5 mine, 5 my hubby's. We could write only to 5 officials. I was harder than I anticipated! We spoiled many sheets of paper and 3 envelopes:-)
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    I remember Br. Vasiliy Kalin'a experience in the April 2015 broadcast, whose main theme was on endurance) and had the music video (still my favorite) "Never Give Up" Some screen shots from the music video:
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    Wife dropped off my letters this morning... Postal worker said to her "how many stamps for Russia?" wife asked if a lot of letters are coming through. Postal worker said "Oh yeah!"
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    Friends, the Russian thing is not a joke, it's a real ban and real persecution. And this is a public forum that anybody can read. It's probably not a good idea to discuss certain subjects here, for example how to access videos that are blocked. Please, be innocent as doves yet cautious as serpents.
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    I love how the Special JWBroadcast points out that evidence of our guilt had to be fabricated, and that evidence of our innocence was refused submission. Which proves that the entire trial, from start to unjust verdict, was both a sham and a shame. Still, a great witness was given, and the bonds of unity were strengthened in our worldwide brotherhood. What affects one member of the body truly does affect all of its other members...and Christ, its head.
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    I still can't believe it's true. I couldn't imagine a few days ago I'll be an eyewitness to such an injustice! Do you remember a drama we had a few years ago that said: "Imagine that you wake up in the morning and, while preparing your coffee, you turn your radio on to hear the latest news. Suddenly you hear an announcement: "Starting today, Jehovah's witnesses are under bann. .." I can't believe that is real. I mean I believe, but is hard to digest it. Not because I don't believe it's possible, but because I never felt so close the GT. You know what I mean?
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    SIMPLIFIED VERSION (for anyone that might be interested) ... End of the Morning - 12th April 11"12 Our 2nd Lawyer speakes: He wants to go back to a document the MoJ (Ministry of Justice) tried unsuccessfully to make the jugde accept. It was about the blood Issue. He (our Lawyer) points out the MoJ said it was an example of how we don't let people have their Human rights. - firstly, how come you have Medical confidential (secret) documents that only the patient and doctors have the right to see? - secondly, this wasn't a case of not being allowed their rights in fact its the opposite, the Witness had the RIGHT to refuse a treatment (s)he didn't want, that's the law. - Further, the Ministry of Health says blood transfusions have dangers and it is the law you must ask the patient if they want one or not. How come some religious people are allowed to say what treatement they want and some (like us) are told we cannot? 11"30 NOW THE JUDGE ASKS OUR LAWYERS QUESTIONS: - Does the Russian Branch decide on the interpretation of scripture? No, that comes from the Headquarters in America (Faithful Slave) - How does the Russian Branch "organize" the activities of the congregations? They give recommendations. For example, when it comes to building Kingdom Halls the Bethel will recommend the style but the congregations make the final decisions. - Regarding congregations that are "TC" (registered charities ??) does the Bethel decide what procedures are followed then? The Bethel will approve their guidelines so that the members are all Jehovah's Witnesses that will respect bible principles. 12"05 The Judged continues to question the brothers: - Are Presiding overseers of the Congregations ever part of the financial department of the Branch? The Brothers respond: No, they are kept seperate. - Are there any circumstances when there is a connection between the Branch Finance Dept and the Congregations? The Brothers respond: Yes, when they ask the Branch for a loan or donations for example to build a hall or to help with disaster relief. - Do the congregations ever get money from you to produce literature? The Brothers respond: No (?) the congregation do not produce the literature. - Does the Russian branch oversee the distribution of literature? The Brothers respond: No, the Branch simply produces and sends the literature to the local congregations, the congregations are responsible for its "distribution". - What about a book [unnamed in the transcript] that was declared illegal just after it was imported, but was still spread amongst your believers? The Brothers respond: Yes, but we immediately informed the congregations that it was illegal and told them not to distribute the book. - What do you DO with the banned books? The Brothers respond: Brothers respond: We do not tell the congregations what to do with the books, we tell them to obey the law [the law only says don't distrube them it doesn't say to burn them] 12"30 Now THEIR Lawyers ask our brothers questions: - What role does the Branch play in the individual charter (legal guidelines) of the congregation "founders" ? The Brothers respond: They check that congregations guidelines respect bible standards, just like a court checks that organizations respect the law. - How much influence does the Branch have on who are the founding members of congregations? [Judge intervenes that this is relevant to legal representatives of an organization] Question goes unanswered. - Who are the Travelling Overseers and Special Pioneers? They are Ministers appointed by the Branch not the congregation. 12"50 JUDGE intervenes: Do you have any proof these special full time Ministers are involved in choosing the congregation overseers or are involved in any illegal activities? Their Lawyer answers: Er... no not really. The JUDGE asks their lawyer, do you have any reason to ask us to consider the activities of these individuals? Their Lawyer responds: Yes, because the Bethel know what they do. The Judge reminds their Lawyer that knowing about something is not a crime, we are here to discuss the law so please stick to legal matters. Their Lawyer continues to try and establish that the congregations and the Branch are all one legal organization (so if they ban one they ban them all) because they sometimes give money to the congreations but .... The brothes point out that just because you give someone money doesn't mean you support them financially . Their Lawyer asks, Do you check what the congregations do with their money? The brothers answer, yes, but so does the Ministry of Justice, does that make you a branch of the Jehovah's Witnesses too? Anyway, none of our check revealed anything against (legal) guidelines.
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    How wise that years ago the Governing Body decided that in Russia(and possibly other countries) the local congregations are "legally" separate and independent from the Branch or Headquarters. This way the government cannot just lump together all of the congregations in Russia into 1 easy lawsuit. The government has to file suit against each congregation. Such wisdom years ago is going to help greatly today! "The shrewd one sees the danger and conceals himself" (Proverbs 22:3)  
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    I would like to thank you all brothers and sisters for your encouraging comments in this thread. It is very nice to see how well our brotherhood responded on the campaign. I love you all! Jude 2 — "May mercy and peace and love be increased to you."
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    Whatever the outcome, i am cofident that Jehovah will act. And he will do it in STYLE.
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