Dozens of Jehovah’s Witnesses Have Been Detained in Russia
The battle for religious freedom in Russia continues. Wives of sixteen imprisoned Jehovah’s Witnesses sent a letter to the Russian government pledging for the release of their husbands.
The women called their statement a “cry of desperation.” The Russian Supreme Court banned Jehovah’s Witnesses last year and many individuals have been imprisoned for private worship or been the victims of state-sanctioned violence.
The wives argue the ban was only for the organization as a legal entity, not for individuals privately practicing their faith.
Given the lack of any demonstration of value for the rights of Jehovah Witnesses, the chance the Russian government will agree remains slim. David A. Semonian, international spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses, at their world headquarters in New York gave a statement of support for the women: “The Russian authorities need only read the recent history of Jehovah’s Witnesses during the Soviet-era to know that a ban on their activities will not weaken their faith.”