Vladimir Putin: “Jehovah's Witnesses are also Christians, for which I do not understand them too much” PDF Print E-mail
“This is complete nonsense, you need to carefully deal with this,” Vladimir Putin commented on theinclusion of Jehovah's Witnesses in the list of extremist organizations. The corresponding question was asked of him at a meeting of the Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights, which was held in Moscow on December 11, 2018. “Must at some point be much more liberal ... To treat members of all religions in the same way. [They should not] be credited to some destructive ones, not even to terrorist organizations. ”


Human rights activist Yekaterina Shulman drew attention to the problem.She pointed out that in the official List of Terrorists and Extremists , the majority are 404 organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses. "They certainly do not call for violence and do not carry it out," said the human rights activist.In response, Vladimir Putin said: “Concerning Jehovah's Witnesses.Probably, we can, and even should at some point, be much more liberal to representatives of various religious sects, but we should not forget that our society does not consist solely of religious sects. 90 percent of the citizens of the Russian Federation, or so, consider themselves Orthodox Christians.We have three more practically traditional our religions, which the state provides assistance. We should treat the representatives of all religions in the same way - this is true, but still, it is also necessary to take into account the country and the society in which we live. True, this does not mean at all that we should include representatives of religious communities in some destructive ones, not even in terrorist organizations. Of course, this is complete nonsense, you need to carefully deal with it, here I agree with you. ” A little later, the President returned to the topic of persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses: “Jehovah's Witnesses are also Christians, for which I do not really understand how to persecute them.”

In international instances, the Russian government has repeatedly stated that the decisions of the Russian courts to liquidate and ban the organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses "do not assess the doctrine of Jehovah's Witnesses, do not contain a restriction or prohibition to practice the above mentioned teaching". Meanwhile, dozens of Russian citizens are currently in prison or under house arrest just because they profess the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. - https://jw-russia.org/news/18121716-544.html