Jehovah’s Witnesses, fleeing Russia crackdown, seek shelter in Finland

By Andrew Higgins | The New York Times

TURKU, Finland — Sergey Avilkin, one of the hundreds of Russians now sheltering in Finland to avoid arrest as “extremists” in their home country, has no interest in politics or politicians and says that he has always followed the biblical injunction to “render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s.”

But Mr. Avilkin, a 42-year-old father of three, said before President Trump met with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Helsinki, the Finnish capital, on Monday, that he would like Mr. Trump to ask Mr. Putin a simple question: Why are Russians who pay their taxes, follow the law and embrace the Christian values promoted by the Kremlin being forced to flee their country?