Russia wins court bid to ban Jehovah's Witnesses over 'extremism'

Fiona Simpson
Faith ban: A stock image of a Jehovah's Witnesses' baptism: AFP/Getty Images

Russia’s government has won a Supreme Court bid to outlaw Jehovah’s Witnesses and have the movement declared an extremist organisation.

Government lawyers argued that the Christian-based faith group had distributed pamphlets which incited hatred against other groups during a six-day legal battle, the BBC reported.

It was also argued that the country’s 175,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses’ activities "violated Russia's law on combating extremism".

Their headquarters , near St Petersburg, has already been added to a list of extremist groups by the justice ministry.

The organisation will launch an appeal against Thursday's ruling.

Yaroslav Sivulskiy, a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia said: “We are greatly disappointed by this development and deeply concerned about how this will affect our religious activity.

“We will appeal this decision.”

By using Yahoo you agree that Yahoo and partners may use Cookies for personalisation and other purposes