NIGERIANS REACT TO RUSSIA’S BAN ON JEHOVAH’S WITNESS

Trail Reporters

With their backs turned against society and government, the Jehovah’s Witness is an extremist sect.
For the past two weeks, the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation has been deliberating over the country’s request to label Jehovah’s Witness as an ‘extremist organisation.’

After six days of hearings, the court has passed its judgment. The court has ruled against the religious organisation.


Russia’s Supreme Court bans Jehovah’s Witnesses (spokesman)

Jehovah’s Witnesses have been officially banned from the country and labelled as an “extremist” organisation.

Reacting to the court order, a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, said: “We are greatly disappointed by this development and deeply concerned about how this will affect our religious activity.

We will appeal this decision, and we hope that our legal rights and protections as a peaceful religious group will be fully restored as soon as possible.”

The Jehovah’s Witness was founded in the 1870s. The sect is known for disintegrating itself from mainstream Christianity and secular life. They view secular society to be morally corrupt and under the control of Satan.

They do not believe in blood transfusions and turn down military service. Essentially, they detach themselves from society and are anti-government. Do these things make them extremists? Yes.

An extremist is an individual who has intense views on political and religious matters. This also includes people who take illegitimate and violent actions to propagate their extreme views e.g Boko Haram.

Jehovah’s Witness is an extremist group because they have hard views on life, politics and religion that are against the society they live in. Most religions blend with the societies they find themselves in while preserving their core values.

The Jehovah’s Witness is the opposite of this. They do not involve themselves with the progress of the society and exclude themselves from national activities.

“Then Jesus said to them, “Give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” And they were amazed at him” reads Mark 12:17. This verse proves that there is nothing wrong with believers to be involved in worldly politics. Jehovah Witness begs to differ.

It should be stated that Jehovah’s Witness differs from Christianity. They do not add their two cents to the advancement of the country. It’s a closely knit community of believers that is deeply anti-secular. And that is extremism but not non-violent extremism. Any group that would not submit to governmental authority will be seen as a threat. Hence, the ban in Russia.

Some would say Deeper Life of the 90s was also an extremist Christian group as they shunned several aspects of everyday normal life. Towards the millennium, Deeper Life started leaning towards the centre such as allowing its members to watch TV and so on.


Banning extremist Christian groups might be an extreme measure itself especially if they do not pose a threat to the government and are not violent. Vladimir Putin isn’t fond of dissidents and this is most likely what made Russia ban the Jehovah’s Witness.


Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Laszlo Balogh/Reuters)

Successful religions learn to co-exist with society. Groups like Jehovah’s Witness and others are seemed as radical and crazy therefore some countries wary of rebellious factions are prone to banning.

Reactions by Nigerians on the ban has continued, since the ban was announced by the Supreme Court.

Jerry Ighovodo said;
Yes, look at the hierarchy – Bigotry, Fanaticism, Extremism, Terrorism! Russia is representing truth without bias.

Johnson Jonathan:
Simple and peaceful as their activities are, they still are blind to the realities of the real world. No military service, no nation. No security, no peace!

Sagboje Onoriode
Discussion on this issue has strain my relationship with a long time close associate. Every time you recite your country national anthem, you are renewing your allegiance to the state and it’s authority. This JW doesn’t engage in and this Vladimir Putin won’t tolerate. Not enlisting in the military is a rebellious act against the state because inasmuch there is existence of man on earth, conflicts would be inevitable and if this conflict is not properly handled, it can metamorphose into a full blown war and if there are no standby military to resist and repel aggression from external influences, the human race in that given society including their cherished religion will face extinction. Imagine if there were no standby military when BH started their campaign, they would have by now overrun the North East and spread further south. Our churches would have by now been converted to Mosque. A study of how Othman Dan Fodio jihad that started in Sokoto and spread to other part of the North with ease is a classic example. The Hausa City state has no standby military and where they have, it was a weak one. Lastly, the International headquarters of JW is in Brooklyn, US. The vestiges of the cold war era still lingers and the Russian up till this moment view anything from the US with suspicion. Moreso, the US can use any tactics to further, enhance, entrench, and advance their foreign policy objectives and interests. Stories have been told of how some Red Cross personnel turned out to be FBI agents. How a multinational agency that has link to the NSA used vaccine program to get blood samples in Pakistan leading to Osama whereabouts and captured.

International politics is not game for weaklings, it is a game for men with guts. When national interests and security is at stake, anything can be used as sacrificial lamb.

Sonny Emmanuel:
Talking about blood tansfusion: I recently lost a Jehovah witness colleague who refused blood transfusion that would have saved his life…also learnt that they dont marry people from other faiths. Its crazy, really.

Michael Adokpe:
I Do Know That In The Bible God Told The Isrealites That He Has Given The Land Of Canaan Flowing With Milk And Honey To Them, But They Must Contend With Those Already There. That Shows That God Recogoises A Peoples Military Formation. I Wonder Why A Sect Will Refuse To Allign With Its Country’s Norms. I Think Its Rebellious And Must Be Resisted Vehemently. Where Is The Place Of Patrotism. After God, It Is Government.

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