What the experts say about the last two days of the trial of Jehovah’s Witnesses

■ Alexander Soldatov, a religious scholar:
Alas, little is believed that the outcome of this, so to speak, the court may not be a foregone conclusion. But at any outcome, the Ministry of Justice disgraced itself on a historical scale. Either this is such a “trolling” (which is unlikely), or the regime has decayed so much that even a more or less adequate lawyer could not find a solution to the whole religious denomination …
■ Roman Lunkin, sociologist of religion:
If the meeting is still going on, and Jehovah’s Witnesses are not yet banned, I think that the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation can refuse to the Ministry of Justice in a momentary liquidation of a whole movement of believers. Appoint additional examinations and so on. There will be something reasonable in this.
I am sure that the behavior of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation was a surprise for the RF Ministry of Justice. It is significant that publishing all the news against the “sects” and the comments of Roman Silantiev, an expert of the Ministry of Justice, Interfax, Religion has lost its speech. Interfax stopped at the news that the Ministry of Justice confiscates all property of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

And now this may not happen. Everything was prepared on empty insults and demands of Orthodox activists inside the Ministry of Justice and other structures. But this has nothing to do with law.
So the case of Jehovah’s Witnesses is already turning into the Beiliss case.
■ Mikhail Roshchin, historian, orientalist:
[Representatives of the Ministry of Justice] are not able to answer the questions of the court. The prosecution can not formulate what specific actions it sees as extremism. It seems that the department is not ready for the process. I think [non-participation in the matter of religious scholars] is done so that the position of the prosecution side is not quite flimsy … Judging by reports in the press, the process looks extremely absurd.
■ Dmitry Klyachin, a religious scholar:
That unpleasant feeling, when the simple objectivity of the court is a pleasant surprise.
■ Lev Simkin, Doctor of Juridical Sciences:
In Stockholm, the extremist directed the truck to the crowd at the shopping center. It is unlikely that he belonged to Jehovah’s Witnesses. Like the one that blew up the metro in St. Petersburg. Meanwhile, in Moscow, for the third day, a case has been heard about the recognition of Jehovah’s Witnesses as extremists. You say one thing is not connected with another? As well as the fact that hundreds of Protestant religious communities are covered in the verifications of compliance with anti-extremism laws in our country? But how many forces of law enforcement officers are distracted by imitation, it is not good!
■ Lev Levinson, human rights activist:
The situation is ambiguous: it’s still good that the Ministry of Justice did not involve its religious scholars – it could become worse … The judge asks interesting questions to the representatives of the Ministry of Justice, in particular, what consequences the dissemination of printed materials (subsequently recognized as extremist) caused. However, there is a feeling that the process will end not in favor of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I am sure that if the decision is unsatisfactory for a religious organization, it will be appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, but this will not stop repressive measures.
■ Vasily Nichik, lawyer:
Thoughts on the outcome of the last week of monitoring the trial on Jehovah’s Witnesses. The trial was postponed until 12 April. Easter is the 15th of April.
A couple of thousand years ago, the day before Easter was a trial. The court made a decision regarding “the leader of an extremist sect.” This “sect” preached its superiority over the traditional religion. Insults to religious feelings of followers of traditional religion (called painted coffins, etc.), were an integral part of their “extremist sermons.” They propagated the destruction of the family (they demanded to hate, leave their father and mother), self-mutilation (tearing out their eyes, cutting off their hands), cannibalism (there is flesh and blood). They did not honor traditions. They were dangerous sectarians. Therefore, their “leader” was sentenced to death, and the followers were then persecuted for a long time, destroyed, kept in prisons, burned at fires, fed to beasts.
Soon Easter. Before Easter, you look at the court. Only it is necessary to remember that after this trial from a handful of “sectarians” in 12 people this “sect” for 2000 years has grown to more than 2 billion. The decision of the Supreme Court may very well be symbolic on the time of adoption (before Easter) and the consequences (growth).
I understand that there can be claims to my allusions, but accusations based on speculations about Jehovah’s Witnesses are very similar.
■ Ekaterina Elbakyan, religious scholar, philosopher:
Judgment by analogy. I remembered the very distant times of my youth, when in the USSR, already at its flight, a broad anti-alcohol campaign was conducted. In the New Year holidays that fell on that period for the first time they did not show Eldar Ryazanov’s film “The Irony of Fate or with a Light Steam”. After a short time, Eldar Aleksandrovich was invited to take part in some program, and among others, journalists asked the director about why (in his opinion) the New Year comedy was banned for the New Year in the New Year. Eldar Alexandrovich replied: “Apparently, the leadership felt that after watching this film, people will start to drink.It did not understand that people drink quite differently

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