May 3, 2017

Russian Orthodox Church supports ban on Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia

May 2, 2017

Moscow, May 2, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church sees Jehovah's Witnesses as a dangerous sect and has supported the ban imposed on it in Russia.

"This is a sect, totalitarian and harmful at that. I am well aware of this because I have had an opportunity to speak to former adepts of this sect more than once," Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations, told a program shown on the Rossiya 24 (VGTRK) TV channel.

Jehovah's Witnesses members are dangerous because they approach people in the street and offer them their literature, introduce themselves as a Christian organization, while their activities are based "on manipulating consciousness, and they erode the psyche of people and the family," the metropolitan said.

In addition to that, adherents of Jehovah's Witnesses "warp the teachings of Christ and misinterpret the Gospel," he said.

"Their doctrine contains a lot of false teachings. They do not believe in Jesus Christ as the God and the Savior. They do not recognize the doctrine of the Trinity. Therefore, they cannot be called Christians," the metropolitan said.

On April 20, the Russian Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Russian Justice Ministry's lawsuit and designated Jehovah's Witnesses as an extremist organization.

Metropolitan Hilarion welcomed this court ruling and suggested that the "pernicious and harmful" influence of Jehovah's Witnesses would now start to decline. The Russian Orthodox Church did not take part in proceedings and was not asked for advice, he said.

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