Six-year prison sentence for Jehovah’s Witness in Russia sparks outcry

By Marc Bennetts | Religion News Service

MOSCOW (RNS) — A Russian court has sentenced a Danish member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses to six years on extremism charges in a case that has rekindled memories of the Soviet-era persecution of Christians and triggered widespread international criticism.

Dennis Christensen, a 46-year-old carpenter who has lived in Russia for more than two decades, was sentenced on Wednesday by a court in Oryol, a city some 200 miles south of Moscow.

The Danish national had spent almost two years in a pre-trial detention facility after being detained by armed police and officers from the FSB security service during a raid on a Jehovah’s Witness prayer hall in Oryol in May 2017.