Should Russia ban Jehovah’s Witnesses?

The Russian Justice Ministry filed a lawsuit against Jehovah’s Witnesses with the argument that their schemes “violate Russia’s law on combating extremism”. It isn’t the first time that they’ve gotten involved in legal affairs with the Government. In fact, the Russian version of The Watchtower was labelled an extremist publication and outlawed in 2009. Later on in 2015, the organisation’s website was also been ruled extremist by a Russian court.

The latter – id est: extremist – is not the right term to use of course; simply because the Jehovah’s Witnesses do not fall into that category.  However, the initiative required a good excuse (the Russian Internet Restriction Bill forbids extremist material amongst many others) to implement the ban.

 

Should the Russian Government really go through with the injunction?

 

Very briefly, yes.

The reason why I despise JW is mainly because children downright suffer because of their parents’ absurd decision. Before you come at me with an axe, screaming “what about religious freedom”, hear me out.

 

Forget the Sunday bell ringing rituals, those are minor inconveniences. 

Back when I used to live in France, in primary school, I befriended a boy called Olivier who was the top student in our class. Fast forward to December and my seventh birthday, to which I had invited him. His mother had kindly refused the invitation because their “religion doesn’t permit it”. That was my first encounter with Jehovah’s Witnesses and possibly the first time I’ve seen my mother looking so bewildered.

The reason why I despise Jehovah’s Witnesses is mainly because children are restricted from enjoying themselves, creating a healthy social circle, etcetera, because of their parents’ absurd decision. They do not celebrate birthdays, Christmas and any other holiday except the death of Christ. They are not allowed to have a (major) blood transfusion (minor blood fractions can happen) and 137 other things, the predominance of which could be mistaken to be part of a massive joke. Anyways.

 

 

Don’t you think the State should step in especially when the health of its children are at risk?

 

After all, the state should seek to protect its children, regardless whether against their parents or the religious groups they are members of. Religious beliefs should not hinder one’s health or social well-being, particularly not children’s. If an adult chooses to be a Jehovah’s Witness then so be it, but their youth should not be affected by it. Russian prosecutors have gone as far as associating the religion to a cult and entitling as “a danger to Russian families”. Are you agreeing with me yet?


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Dora Marossy

I’m an 18-year-old, Caucasian, third culture kid and aspiring genetic engineer, currently attending Junior College. I absolutely love Peter James’ Perfect People, staying in bed as long as I can, fluffy sweaters and sushi.

Although I want to work in the medical field, I think that my words have value and deserve to be heard. My goal isn’t to change your opinion about something but rather contribute to its build up. Thus, even if it’s only a little, I know that my voice was heard.

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