Religious Persecution in Russia: a Jehovah’s Witness on Trial

By Marlo Safi | National Review

Dennis Christensen, a Dane who moved to Russia in 1995, has been in custody by the Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia for nearly two years. He faces charges for “extremism”; in Russia, being a practicing Jehovah’s Witness qualifies as extremism after a law was enacted in 2017 targeting them for being a threat to “public order and public security.” His case was initiated in May 2017, and last week was Christensen’s appeal hearing in Oryol.

According to Jarrod Lopes, spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses at the New York headquarters, May 7th was the first day of the hearing, where many came to support Christensen, including diplomats from Australia, Denmark, Sweden, as well as fellow Witnesses. On Wednesday, the court denied all petitions, including the defense’s motion to verify the “evidence” that formed the basis of the unjust verdict.