RUSSIA: Special Bimonthly FORB Digest (01-15.01.2021)

16.01.2021 – Tatarstan bans books by Said Nursi, the Islamic theologian of dialogue

Said Nursi (1878-1960) sought a modernization of Islam through Sufism, in dialogue with science and with other religions. He also inspired Fethullah G├╝len, now despised by the Turkish political leadership. The incomprehensible charge of “extremism” used to ban his works. In the past he had proposed an alliance with the patriarch of Constantinople against atheism.

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15.01.21 – What are the Court sentences for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia?

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/about/faq/7.html

Since 2017, hundreds of Russian Jehovah’s Witnesses have been wrongfully accused of extremism. How many sentences have they received? How many believers have been sentenced to actual imprisonment, suspended sentences, and fines? This updatable article publishes up-to-date data on victims of religious persecution in Russia.

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15.01.21 – Jehovah’s Witness loses appeal in Kirov

Link to full text in Russian: https://cutt.ly/1jYzFOs

Yesterday an appeal in the case of Anatoly Tokarev was considered in Kirov oblast court.

On 14 January, the oblast court made the decision to leave in force the verdict of the court of the first instance in the case of a Jehovah’s Witness (he had been sentenced to a fine of 500,000 rubles). We note here that the organization of Jehovah’s Witnesses is forbidden in the Russian Federation.

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14.01.21 – Anti-evangelism law enforced against Orthodox cleric

Link to full text in Russian: https://credo.press/235215/

The reason for the administrative prosecution and propaganda campaign in local and federal news media against the rector of the church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul in the village of Sovetka of Rostov oblast, a cleric of the Suzdal diocese of the RPATs [Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church].

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12.01.21 – The FSB in Karachay-Cherkessia tried to find facts of involvement in the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses among three residents of a mountain village

Link to full text in Russian: https://jw-russia.org/news/2021/01/1.html

On January 9, 2021 in the village of Mednogorsky (Karachay-Cherkessia), the FSB conducted an investigation of at least three apartments of believers: A.S., 34, S.G., 42, and I.P., 55. One elderly woman who was present had high blood pressure due to stress. She required urgent medical assistance.

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11.01.21 – Russian parliament views exempting religious bodies from financial oversight

Link to full text in Russian: http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=76502

The State Duma Committee on the Financial Market supported the draft bill that grants banks, insurance companies, and other organizations that work with monetary funds the right not to identify the benefactors of religious organizations, but it warns of possible risks of the use of the proposed rules by extremist organizations and its requests additional materials.

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07.01.21 – Moscow patriarch sees divine hand in Turkey’s actions

Link to full text in Russian: http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=76492

Patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus Kirill considers the recent transformation of the cathedral of Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) into a mosque is providential. In his opinion, it was divine punishment of Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew for intensifying the schism in Ukraine.

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