Emmanuel Thomas l Saturday, September 23, 2017
MOSCOW, Russia – Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia have appealed the judgement banning the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.
In August, 17, 2017, a Russian Court had classified as extremist Jehovah’s Witnesses publications such as, “New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures” (2015) and brochures “The Bible and its Main Theme,” “Science instead of the Bible?” and “How to Improve Health, 5 Simple Rules,” and prohibited their use within the Russian Federation.
But on Friday, the Jehovah’s Witnesses sent to the Leningrad provincial court an appeal against the decision.
In the appeal, the Jehovah’s Witnesses pointed out that in making the decision regarding the ban of the Bible in the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ translation and three brochures the court relied on the expert conclusion of the “Center of Socio-Cultural Expert Analysis,” composed under the leadership of mathematics teacher Natalia Kriukova, who does not have the necessary qualifications.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses also presented to the Vyborg city court the conclusions of authoritative linguists and religious studies scholars, who refuted Kriukova’s conclusions as not having sound foundation and directly mistaken.
The court of the first instance did not take these conclusions into account while making the decision.
“We have written here in detail about the decision of the Vyborg city court and the incompetent expert conclusion, which lay at its base.
“We consider that recognizing as extremist both the Bible in the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ translation and also their other publications is incorrect and we regard such bans as a manifestation of religious discrimination.
“The attempt undertaken in this case by the prosecutor’s office and the court to get around the law that forbids recognizing sacred scriptures of world religions to be extremist is its own kind of sad precedent, which opens in the future the possibility of also banning other translations and renderings of sacred books”, they said in the appeal.