Fines, vandalism follow Jehovah’s Witness liquidation

As Jehovah’s Witnesses challenge the Supreme Court liquidation of all their organisations as “extremist”, their Centre is closed, police have sealed some Kingdom Halls and bank accounts are frozen. Individuals continue to face fines, children face pressure, and places of worship face increased vandalism.

Pressure on children, further fines for individuals and an upsurge in incidents of vandalism against places of worship have followed the 20 April Supreme Court ruling that the Jehovah’s Witness Administrative Centre and all its local religious organisations across Russia should be liquidated as “extremist”. The Centre’s activities are suspended, police have sealed some Kingdom Halls and all bank accounts have been frozen. One early denial of a civilian alternative to military service may foreshadow future difficulties for Jehovah’s Witness conscientious objectors.