Is the Russian Orthodox Church behind the Perscution of Jehovah’s Witnesses?
August 12, 2021
The Russian Orthodox Church is delighted with the ban, but insists it was not behind it. I’m inclined to believe them. Both it and the Kremlin are manipulated by a voracious anti-cult movement.
Putin says: “I don’t understand why Jehovah’s Witnesses are persecuted” in response to a question, and then, unbidden, later in the meeting he returns to the topic. It seems to genuinely confuse him. since he observes that they “are Christians, too,”
I did a lot of research on this for the book. I think the driving factor is the anti-cult movement. Indirectly, of course, it is all the fault of Babylon the Great, for if it had represented God appropriately, there wouldn’t be such strong irreligious movements. So, indirectly, yes. Directly, no.
She is a “reactionary” political figure, as stated, but few of her proposals involve religion. They are a reaction to genuine terrorism, extending into at-home ways to prevent the masses from plotting to do mischief, assuming that most mischief comes from abroad. The intention is also to quell political unrest. Note the wiki artical says nothing of religion.
“Sects” of any sort have never been popular in Russia, so she does not exclude them, but it is not the main thrust of legislation she sponsored. It is the anti-cultists who have engineered the idea that non-mainstream religion in general, and Jehovah’s Witnesses in particular, can also be “extremist.” There is one government minister in particular, Alexander Dvorkin, who is also VP of a large French anti-cult organization [FECRIS], who pushed hard for the ban. Recall that it was France that tried to eliminate Jehovah’s Witnesses years ago by imposing a 60% tax on their activity. Anti-cultists thrives in France. The country might even be considered its birthplace.
Dvorkin’s plan is to separate Jehovah’s Witnesses from their “controlling” organization, after which he thinks they will be assimilated into regular society. (“Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will scatter” is how the Bible would put it.) The idea that the Jehovah’s Witness organization can be banned but not the religion itself is so duplicitous that ordinary people cannot get their heads around it and just figure it is open hunting season on the people themselves.
Accordingly, a certain court thinks it a fine idea to ban the JW Bible, the New World Translation, and rules to that effect. The court employs a group of mercenary experts who will issue whatever findings are desired—they are well known for this, and not just in the field of religion. The NWT doesn’t say ‘Bible’ on the cover, and the “experts” persuade the court that is significant. It also suffers from the Jehovah factor, the court frets, ignoring that the Russian synodal translation also uses the name. Genesis 19:25, the verse that God destroyed everything alive in Sodom and Gomorrah, was seized upon as evidence to the NWT’s extremism, even after it was pointed out that all Bible translations say the same thing!
This is farther than Dvorkin intended to go. The NWT is a Bible. He doesn’t like it, but it plainly is one. He thinks it a mistake to ban the NWT, for it makes his country look like a squad of ignoramuses. I say ban it for exactly that reason. See if Russians will thank him for how his policies have trashed the reputation of their country.
He is also against the SWAT team style tactics employed against our brothers. But again, it is a natural consequence of his ideas. If you declare people “extremist” and then arrest them as you would a jaywalker, you declare to all the world that they are not extremist and that you know it very well. So the violent arrests are consistently necessary..
Cops also come to see it as an easy path to promotion. What can look better on one’s resume that cracking down on a group of “extremists?” Older cops still remember the “good old days” when all “sects” were a proper target of wrath, even as was the ROC itself.
A common theme in most news reports is that nobody quite knows what is behind the excessive war on Jehovah’s Witnesses & how it got so out of hand. Journalists don’t know, human rights people don’t know, Putin doesn’t know, the ROC doesn’t know, Dvorkin himself claims not to know, nor do the Witnesses themselves. Unfortunately, when you release the hounds of hell, you find you cannot control just how or who they maul. It is why I consider the subtitle of my book well chosen: “Searching for the Why.” I end up floating the notion—I don’t dwell on in, for my intended audience is mostly secular—that when people cannot identify a human reason, they can be forgiven for thinking there may be a superhuman one.
See: I Don’t Know Why We Persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses—Searching for the Why