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Most of the time we expect to see negative news reports about Jehovah's Witnesses, even in the most respected journalistic sources. However, The Guardian has written a very fair article about us and the Russian ban in this article (dated 25th April 2017): https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/25/jehovahs-witnesses-russia-putin-persecution It has the title, "Why Putin’s persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses should worry us" and really appeals to the general public who think that our case in Russia has little or nothing to do with them.
What will happen if the Russian Supreme Court permits this ban & liquidation? Here are some important facts about what many of the officials and the Ministry of Justice in Russia are seeking with this ban & liquidation. This information can help us grasp the severity of what could happen to our fellow brothers and sisters in Russia. > The Ministry of Justice is seeking the most extreme of penalties > To make the worship of Jehovah God illegal in the entire land of Russia! > To confiscate all of the buildings and property of each and every Kingdom Hall in Russia, as well as the Headquarters in St.Petersburg > There are some 400 registered LRO's(Local Religious Organizations) and over 2300 congregations throughout Russia that would be outlawed! > But they are not satisfied with just liquidating the Branch and the Kingdom halls, they also want to confiscate "other property of" individual brothers/sisters! > Also, all 175,000 brothers/sisters would be subject to criminal prosecution. This would not be for 1 year in prison, not for 5 years, but for 10 years! > Families could be separated for many, many years and possibly 1000s of children would grow up without 1 or both parents! And for some children, if both parents are imprisoned, then these children may not be taught about our Father Jehovah. > The Ministry of Justice wants this ban & liquidation started "immediately"! Concerning the 175,000 individual brothers and sisters in Russia, Brother Vasiliy Kalin, a representative of the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, stated this: "it is possible that the most troubling period of their lives is starting!"
Below is a portion I copied from a new article in the JULY 2017 WT Study Edition. How very valuable and helpful this is right now for our Brother & Sisters in Russia! For those brothers/sisters here on JWtalk that are presently in Russia, may these spiritual points below give you great encouragement and strengthen your mind and heart against any propaganda or threats by the government! For those of us not in Russia, we all can still greatly benefit by preparing our minds now for possible future persecution in our area. When we read this, try imagining what it would be like if we were in Russia now. We could get overly worried as to what may happen in just a few weeks on APR 5. Due to fear of man and fear of persecution, a variety of questions could start racing through our minds like: "Will we be banned?" "If so, will the police be searching for us?" "Will we lose our possessions?" "Will we lose our home?" "Will the persecution involve torture?" "I could die!" Here is how we fight to protect our heart and minds! "Winning the Battle for Your Mind" DO NOT LET TERROR TACTICS WEAKEN YOU Keep in mind, though, that Satan’s propaganda is not always subtle. At times, he uses terror tactics—“one of the oldest of all forms of propaganda.” (Easily Led—A History of Propaganda) The Assyrians, for example, dominated their enemies with “a policy of terror coupled with one of propaganda,” wrote British Professor Philip M. Taylor. Satan will use fear of man, fear of persecution, fear of death, and any other kind of negative fear to try to dominate you and make you shrink back from serving Jehovah.—Isa. 8:12; Jer. 42:11; Heb. 2:15. Do not let Satan use fear itself to weaken your morale or break your integrity. Jesus said: “Do not fear those who kill the body and after this are not able to do anything more.” (Luke 12:4) Have complete confidence in Jehovah’s promise to watch over you, to give you “the power beyond what is normal,” and to help you withstand any attempts to frighten you into submission.—2 Cor. 4:7-9; 1 Pet. 3:14. You may, of course, encounter frightening, morale-weakening events. But keep in mind Jehovah’s words of encouragement to Joshua: “Be courageous and strong. Do not be struck with terror or fear, for Jehovah your God is with you wherever you go.” (Josh. 1:9) If anxiety strikes, go immediately to Jehovah in prayer with all your concerns. You can be sure that “the peace of God . . . will guard your hearts and your mental powers” so that you will have the strength to resist all of Satan’s propaganda.—Phil. 4:6, 7, 13. Do you remember the propaganda used by the Assyrian envoy, the Rabshakeh, against God’s people? He said, in effect, ‘Nothing can protect you from Assyria. Even your God, Jehovah, can do nothing for you.’ He boldly added: ‘Jehovah himself told us to destroy this land.’ What did Jehovah say in return? “Do not be afraid because of the words that you heard, . . . with which the attendants of the king of Assyria blasphemed me.” (2 Ki. 18:22-25; 19:6) He then sent an angel who destroyed 185,000 Assyrians in one night!—2 Ki. 19:35.
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