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Russian Customs Officials Seize Shipments of Bibles and Bible Literature


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Even though the link is to JW.org - for those who would like an incling of what the article is about:

Over the past year, Russian authorities have taken another step in restricting religious freedom by refusing to allow Bibles published by Jehovah’s Witnesses to be imported. The Witnesses were astounded to learn that the Vyborg Customs Office claimed that the Bibles may contain signs of “extremism.” This has broad implications not only for the Witnesses but also for Russian citizens who consider the Bible to be a sacred text and integral to their faith.

There is more to the article .... go there and enjoy

Edited by Qapla
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Hi My wife just flew into Ukraine last night and then has to go to Russia in a couple of weeks to see her father. She will be there for 7 weeks. We are in contact with witnesses in both countries. A couple of weeks ago pioneer deep in the Russian heartland wrote to me and gave the experience of a brave brother from Belarus going on holiday to somewhere in Russia. He smuggled with him 100's of copies of our literature and distributed it to the brothers delight. This happened frequently when under ban. Yes it is very difficult for them.

I may make a separate thread in future after my wife has updated me. Last Sunday all the Ukraine and Russian congregations were tied into a Ukraine branch talk on developments with the war in Ukraine and the banning of our literature in Russia and now Crimea. I will compile a synopsis of it as soon as my wife informs me. it may be a couple of weeks as her mother is in hospital. Don't change this channel. :o

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18 January 2016, 10:00

Jehovah's Witnesses file lawsuit against Vyborg customs that seized their holy books at border

St. Petersburg, January 18, Interfax - The 'Administrative Center for Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia has filed a lawsuit with the St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region Arbitration Court against Russia's Vyborg Customs that had blocked a number of holy books from entering the country, the religious organization's press service told.
"The books were acquired abroad and presented as a gift to Russian fellow worshippers by the religious community of German Jehovah's Witnesses. The books were refused entrance on the grounds of failure to present 'any documents to certify observation of the restrictions' set forth by the Federal Law 'On Counteracting Extremist Activity'," the press service said.
The books were seized at the border back on November 27, 2015.
According to Jehovah's Witnesses, Russian customs did not allow entry into the country with regard to a consignment of Holy Bible copies in an official Russian translation made by the Russian Orthodox Church (the 'Synodal edition'), as well as the 'Study Bible' published by the Russian Bible Society.
"The actions of Customs cause all the more confusion, considering the fact that back in November the Russian president signed a bill to protect holy books, including the Bible, from the effect of the anti-extremist laws," the press service added.
Interfax currently has no commentary available from Customs.
It was reported back in March 2015 that Russia's Northwestern Transport Prosecutors seized over one million brochures brought into Russia for the 'Administrative Center for Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia'. Experts identified some "indicators of containing arguments or justification for citizens' refusal to perform their civic duties, encouragement of non-friendly treatment of people worshipping other religions" in the brochures and then the consignment was arrested.

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