Small Siberian town of Birobidzhan, located in a mosquito-infested swampland on the East the TRANS-Siberian railway. It is in such places referred to in the Soviet Union of undesirables. In April 1951 on the orders of Stalin in Siberia was sent to nine thousand followers “Jehovah’s Witnesses”. They were permitted to take 150 kg of Luggage. Everything else was confiscated by the state.
Of course, you can shyly go past the popping you on the street religious books of Jehovah’s witnesses. But in the 20th century, they were among the most severely persecuted Christians. And these persecutions did not cease to this day.
A couple of months ago, Russian police raided birobidzhanskiy the Department of “Jehovah’s Witnesses” and “discovered” there is extremist literature. The Birobidzhan Jehovah’s witnesses has described this episode as follows: “riot police in masks interrupted the religious meeting and put the books under the chair, and in the presence of the congregation.” The police ordered the closure of this place.
And after a few weeks the Russian Ministry of justice demanded that the headquarters of the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” provided information on all its 2 277 Russian communities. Quickly learned that was allegedly found by police, the Ministry concluded that the activities of “Jehovah’s Witnesses” there are signs of extremism. It closed their branches in Belgorod, Stary Oskol and Elista. The customs confiscated all their Bibles and Jehovists literature was banned. Many expect that the organization will be completely prohibited.
“Unfortunately, in Russia today is very much the desire of the authorities to limit the Russians, state-approved belief — said about what is happening, the former British Ambassador to Russia Andrew wood (Andrew Wood). — Fabrication always abhorrent, as a sign of desperation and lack of credible evidence of extremism.”
So what is so reprehensible find Russian in the activity of “Jehovah’s Witnesses”? This week I decided not to look away from a pair of Jehovah’s witnesses, who distribute literature at my metro station. Many times I ignored them, their Olympic exposure and smiling patience, angrily passing by. Reading about their history, I feel a sense of guilt because of his disrespect.
They suggested the book “What in fact the Bible teaches?” — the one that Russian authorities are often placed in the halls of the Jehovah’s witness Kingdom to have a reason for their closure. I flipped through the booklet and realized it’s not mine. The picture there is crappy. It’s a pretty ordinary Christian fundamentalism, focusing on the end of the world.
“Than “Jehovah’s Witnesses” are different from the rest?” I asked the smiling man.
“We take the Bible literally”, he replied.
“But others are doing the same. Why are you so special?”
“Take for example the commandment “thou shalt not kill,” said the man. — We do not participate in war.”
For this reason the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” was thrown into a Nazi death camp. They refused to swear allegiance to the secular state and to serve in the army. They didn’t want to say “Heil Hitler”. Therefore, soon after coming to power the Nazis began to come to the meetings to Jehovah’s witnesses, and the Gestapo was instructed to register all known “Jehovah’s Witnesses”. They took away the children, to give them a proper Patriotic education in the spirit of the great German. As a distinguishing mark they were forced to wear a purple triangle. In 1942 the Nazis in Brandenburg prison, beheaded, Cassero Wolfgang (Wolfgang Kusserow) because he refused to fight. “You must not kill, he said in court. Is it possible that the Creator wrote all this for trees, but not for you?”
“Jehovah’s witnesses” right, fearing what is happening to them again right now in Russia. All that they have seen before. We need to think about why they are persecuted today for “extremism”. This word draws its power of persuasion of those who, under the pretext of their religion sets bombs and chops off the head. Anti-terrorism laws now being used against people whose religious “extremism” lies only in the renunciation of violence. The Russians are using fear of Islamism in order to suppress any religion that refuses to bow down to Mother Russia.
“My parents were exiled to Siberia, — said the representative of the Russian “Jehovah’s Witnesses” Yaroslav Sivulsky. They kept their faith, even when I was in the camps. We also save her”. I tell you this: it’s a matter of respect.