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Schermata 2017 04 09 alle 20.31.23

Many NGOs have denounced worldwide the severe persecution of the Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses that is taking place in Russia.

This issue was also discussed in Italy in two important conferences held in the Chamber of Deputies, respectively organized by AIDLR (International Association for the Defence of Religious Liberty) on October 26, 2016, and by CESNUR (Center for Studies on New Religions) on March 22, 2017.

The current situation of this religious organization in Russia is heavily effected by the approval and entry into force of the controversial “Yarovaya law” that struck indiscriminately all churches other than the Russian Orthodox Church. An international chorus of voices was raised in recent months in defence of the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses.

Five Members of the Italian Parliament decided to add their voices to this chorus denouncing the serious violations of religious freedom of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, asking questions to the Italian Parliament (Legislature 17, Question n. 2/01744 - Published on April 3, 2017, at interpellanza1session n. 772).

On. Rostellato, Lacquaniti, Paola Boldrini, Oliviero and Tieri reminded that

"The Constitution of the Russian Federation -Art. 28- guarantees freedom of religion, including the right to profess a faith individually, collectively or to not profess any, to freely choose, have and to disseminate religious beliefs. The Constitution - Art. 30 - provides that everyone has the right to freely associate".

Moreover, Jehovah's Witnesses are legally recognized in over 220 countries of the world, their religious activities are peaceful and respectful of other people's freedom and of the law, according to the European Court of Human Rights, in more than 47 judgments.

Therefore, in light of the above, Deputies ask

"Whether the Italian Government is aware of the facts outlined in the introduction and if it intends to take diplomatic initiatives to raise awareness in the Russian Government to respect the professions of faith in the Russian territory".

 

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More information:

Russia’s Decade-Long Attack on Religious Freedom Intensifies

Illegal imprisonment of Believers: Over 1500 case

Russia: Support Against the threat of banning Jehovah’s Witnesses