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Subject: Russia Bans Jehovah's Witnesses rss

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Stuart
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The Witnesses have come under a lot of scrutiny in Russia lately, looks like things are about to escalate with a pending supreme court case:

http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2264

"Considering that the religion of the Jehovah's Witnesses is professed by hundreds of thousands of Russian citizens, [liquidation] would be a disaster for rights and freedoms in our country" - JW Administrative Centre representative Yaroslav Sivulsky


edit: had to change the title of the thread, unfortunately
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
The same is happening to Russia's independent sociological research institute, the Levada Center, and to the country's leading civil rights organisation, Memorial.
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
Salo sila wrote:
The same is happening to Russia's independent sociological research institute, the Levada Center, and to the country's leading civil rights organisation, Memorial.

... and many, many others since many, many years.
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
Sounds terrible!
 
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
If they outlawed door bells they could snag the Mormons at the same time.

Religion has been co-opted in Russian as a means of controlling the masses. Just look at the government backed and lead anti-gay movement. There was this Russian dude that spoke out against religions control of society to the extent of advocating atheism, what was his name again? If you can't actually create a better society figure out who your scapegoat du jour is and find justifications for it.
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
Putin is worried that if JW ideas gain currency, he will no longer be allowed to suck the blood of virgins, and will waste away and die...
 
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Junior McSpiffy
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
rcbevco wrote:
If they outlawed door bells they could snag the Mormons at the same time.

Religion has been co-opted in Russian as a means of controlling the masses. Just look at the government backed and lead anti-gay movement. There was this Russian dude that spoke out against religions control of society to the extent of advocating atheism, what was his name again? If you can't actually create a better society figure out who your scapegoat du jour is and find justifications for it.


Let me show you my knuckles. It's 25 years later, and you tell me if I relied on doorbells back then.
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
GameCrossing wrote:
rcbevco wrote:
If they outlawed door bells they could snag the Mormons at the same time.

Religion has been co-opted in Russian as a means of controlling the masses. Just look at the government backed and lead anti-gay movement. There was this Russian dude that spoke out against religions control of society to the extent of advocating atheism, what was his name again? If you can't actually create a better society figure out who your scapegoat du jour is and find justifications for it.


Let me show you my knuckles. It's 25 years later, and you tell me if I relied on doorbells back then.

Then there's the Broscht casseroles...
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
rcbevco wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
rcbevco wrote:
If they outlawed door bells they could snag the Mormons at the same time.

Religion has been co-opted in Russian as a means of controlling the masses. Just look at the government backed and lead anti-gay movement. There was this Russian dude that spoke out against religions control of society to the extent of advocating atheism, what was his name again? If you can't actually create a better society figure out who your scapegoat du jour is and find justifications for it.


Let me show you my knuckles. It's 25 years later, and you tell me if I relied on doorbells back then.

Then there's the Broscht casseroles...


Mmmmmm.... Borschteroles.

I'm just glad you didn't take my comment as some sort of internet tough guy threat.
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
GameCrossing wrote:
Mmmmmm.... Borschteroles.

I'm just glad you didn't take my comment as some sort of internet tough guy threat.
He did, and he distracted you the best way he could think in self-defense.
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
Salo sila wrote:
The same is happening to Russia's independent sociological research institute, the Levada Center, and to the country's leading civil rights organisation, Memorial.


Interesting - how many people would you estimate will be affected by the same measures?

anemaat wrote:
... and many, many others since many, many years.


Many religions, both Orthodox and non-Orthodox have actually enjoyed great freedom in post-soviet Russia. Religious belief is even protected in Russia's constitution, but the anti-extremism law is apparently being used to circumvent the constitution.

GameCrossing wrote:
rcbevco wrote:
If they outlawed door bells they could snag the Mormons at the same time.

Religion has been co-opted in Russian as a means of controlling the masses. Just look at the government backed and lead anti-gay movement. There was this Russian dude that spoke out against religions control of society to the extent of advocating atheism, what was his name again? If you can't actually create a better society figure out who your scapegoat du jour is and find justifications for it.


Let me show you my knuckles. It's 25 years later, and you tell me if I relied on doorbells back then.


How are the Mormons doing in Russia? I found this,

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865658292/LDS-Church-miss...

but I find it difficult to believe such measures will prevent the anti-extremism law being used against the Mormons(or any other non-Orthodox groups), too, especially if the case against the Witnesses is prosecuted successfully. Has the Book of Mormon been placed on the List of Extremist Materials?

I read in one human rights publication that to be Russian Orthodox is to be considered Russian, and that by definition, members of all other religions are considered not truly Russian, and therefore not reliably loyal to the state. It's well worth keeping an eye on this case, as it will likely be a sign of things to come, one way or the other - either the Orthodox stranglehold over the Russian people will begin to unravel, or more and more minority groups will find themselves in the crosshairs of the Russian legal system.
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
GameCrossing wrote:
rcbevco wrote:
GameCrossing wrote:
rcbevco wrote:
If they outlawed door bells they could snag the Mormons at the same time.

Religion has been co-opted in Russian as a means of controlling the masses. Just look at the government backed and lead anti-gay movement. There was this Russian dude that spoke out against religions control of society to the extent of advocating atheism, what was his name again? If you can't actually create a better society figure out who your scapegoat du jour is and find justifications for it.


Let me show you my knuckles. It's 25 years later, and you tell me if I relied on doorbells back then.

Then there's the Broscht casseroles...


Mmmmmm.... Borschteroles.

I'm just glad you didn't take my comment as some sort of internet tough guy threat.


The big question would be Tatter-tots Y or N? I'm thinking no.
 
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
gamesterinns wrote:
Salo sila wrote:
The same is happening to Russia's independent sociological research institute, the Levada Center, and to the country's leading civil rights organisation, Memorial.


Interesting - how many people would you estimate will be affected by the same measures?

anemaat wrote:
... and many, many others since many, many years.


Many religions, both Orthodox and non-Orthodox have actually enjoyed great freedom in post-soviet Russia. Religious belief is even protected in Russia's constitution, but the anti-extremism law is apparently being used to circumvent the constitution.

GameCrossing wrote:
rcbevco wrote:
If they outlawed door bells they could snag the Mormons at the same time.

Religion has been co-opted in Russian as a means of controlling the masses. Just look at the government backed and lead anti-gay movement. There was this Russian dude that spoke out against religions control of society to the extent of advocating atheism, what was his name again? If you can't actually create a better society figure out who your scapegoat du jour is and find justifications for it.


Let me show you my knuckles. It's 25 years later, and you tell me if I relied on doorbells back then.


How are the Mormons doing in Russia? I found this,

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865658292/LDS-Church-miss...

but I find it difficult to believe such measures will prevent the anti-extremism law being used against the Mormons(or any other non-Orthodox groups), too, especially if the case against the Witnesses is prosecuted successfully. Has the Book of Mormon been placed on the List of Extremist Materials?

I read in one human rights publication that to be Russian Orthodox is to be considered Russian, and that by definition, members of all other religions are considered not truly Russian, and therefore not reliably loyal to the state. It's well worth keeping an eye on this case, as it will likely be a sign of things to come, one way or the other - either the Orthodox stranglehold over the Russian people will begin to unravel, or more and more minority groups will find themselves in the crosshairs of the Russian legal system.


Thanks for the heads-up on this. I'll have to talk with my brother-in-law on this. He served there (a while ago) so he will likely be more plugged in on this than I am.
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
Atheists shouldn't feel all that safe, either, apparently:

It all began, as so much begins, with a conversation about women — specifically with a quote from the Apostle Paul: "Christ is the head of every man, and a husband the head of his wife, and God the head of Christ."

"Where's that crap from, the Domostroi?" Krasnov wrote, referring to a medieval Russian book of rules for family life, which recommend, in part, that a husband periodically beat his wife.

Not just one but two people on the forum explained to Krasnov that this was from the Bible. Krasnov got annoyed and called the Bible "a collection of Jewish fairy tales" — although to be fair, he did add, "for me, anyway." Then one of his opponents threatened to knock some sense into him, to which Krasnov replied, "There is no God!

Apparently deciding to not bother with theological proof of God's existence, Krasnov's opponents turned to the help of the police, prosecutor's office and court instead. They denounced him.


https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/atheism-on-trial-in-russ...

Fortunately, the charges were dropped last month, but by that account, if I were a certain one or two of the atheists who've posted here in RSP, I wouldn't be taking a trip to Russia any time soon...

 
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
Yes, the people who advocate for more God in Washington need look no further than Russia to see why we're so "strident and Mean" here in the good ole U.S. of A. If you think it can't happen here think again and review some history books.
 
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Stuart
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
Interesting article in the Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2017/mar/09...

“What makes the Jehovah’s Witnesses different?” I asked the smiling man.

“We take the Bible literally,” he replied.

“But so do others. What makes you distinctive?”

“Take ‘thou shalt not kill,’” he replied. “We don’t participate in war.”



That kind of "extremism" is probably a sure way to get on Putin's bad side.
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
gamesterinns wrote:
Interesting article in the Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2017/mar/09...

“What makes the Jehovah’s Witnesses different?” I asked the smiling man.

“We take the Bible literally,” he replied.

“But so do others. What makes you distinctive?”

“Take ‘thou shalt not kill,’” he replied. “We don’t participate in war.”



That kind of "extremism" is probably a sure way to get on Putin's bad side.


Historically, many governments have viewed strict pacifists quite dimly.
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It's *AlREADY* Happening Here


rcbevco wrote:
Yes, the people who advocate for more God in Washington need look no further than Russia to see why we're so "strident and Mean" here in the good ole U.S. of A. If you think it can't happen here think again, review some history books.

Reality Check: It's *already* happening here.

As I've expounded before, the Trump/Pence campaign/administration is infested with Dominionists who have accrued power positions and formed the spearhead for forming closer ties with not only Russia but also white-nationalist movements.

So, in light of what I've posted before about this topic, it should no longer be such a big surprise when you consider who constitutes the greater majority of those Putin-supporting Republicans: The Teavangelicals who now dominate the GOP as well as the Dominionists who now control the Trump/Pence administration are largely responsible for this traitorous trend of cozying up to Vladimir Putin's Russia.


> Excerpts form the September 2, 2016 Huffington Post opinion column and news analysis by Jonathan Goodman entitled:

How Dominionists Gained Control Of The Trump Campaign


Kellyanne Fitzpatrick-Conway and Stephen Bannon

Whether Donald Trump knows it or not, Dominionists are now in control of his presidential campaign. In recent weeks, Trump has appointed Stephen Bannon of the alt-right Breithbart.com to the position of campaign CEO and Kellyanne Fitzpatrick-Conway as campaign manager.



Both of these individuals are members of the Council For National Policy, a secretive Dominionist organization. In fact, Kellyanne Fitzpatrick-Conway sits on its executive committee.

Dominionists believe that America is a Christian nation and they oppose the Separation of Church and State. Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael, is a Dominionist preacher. They mix well with Christian Reconstructionists who want to impose strict Biblical laws on America, including execution for adultery, blasphemy, and homosexuality. These two fringe religious groups make up the majority of the Council’s 500 member base along with a colorful array of extreme activists on the far right. The goal of the Council For National Policy is to manipulate government agenda from within.

Nation magazine says that the Council For National Policy “networks wealthy right-wing donors together with top conservative operatives to plan long-term movement strategy.” Marc Ambinder of ABC News said: “The Council For National Policy wants to be the conservative version of the Council on Foreign Relations.” (That’s the organization Ted Cruz’s wife Heidi worked for previously.)

If you’re still not convinced that the Dominionists have taken over the Trump campaign, guess where Kellyanne Fitzpatrick-Conway used to work before making her move over to Trump?



She managed Ted Cruz’s biggest Super PAC called Keep The Promise 1, where she raised over $16,000,000.00 from just one source: New York City hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer.



Robert Mercer

Together these two ran millions of dollars in anti-Trump ads in defense of Ted Cruz. But once Trump won and Cruz dropped out, Mercer switched horses, changed the name of the Super PAC and re-focused on anti-Hillary ads for Donald Trump.


________________________________________



You can read the rest of the story by clicking on the following news-story link: How Dominionists Gained Control Of The Trump Campaign

Moreover, rightwing Christian-fundamentalist extremists of the Dominion-theology ilk have done more to throw rhetorical gasoline onto the fires of homophobia that were already burning in Russia. Indeed, the Dominionists are trying to start other such fires in other countries to create an anti-LGBT wildfire across the globe.

You can find more about this in the following report at this clickable link: The Export Of Hate: The Global Advocacy of American Anti-LGBT Extremists Exposed

Moreover, the following article elaborates about the genesis of the American involvement in Russia's anti-gay political scene.


> Excerpts from the by Hannah Levintova entitled:

How U.S. Evangelicals Helped Create Russia's Anti-Gay Movement
Meet the Fox News Producer, the Nightclub Impresario, and the Oligarchs who teamed up to write inequality into law




In November 2010, Russia's Sanctity of Motherhood organization kicked off its first-ever national conference. The theme, according to its organizers, was urgent: solving "the crisis of traditional family values" in a modernizing Russia. The day opened with a sextet leading 1,000 swaying attendees in a prayer. Some made the sign of the cross, others bowed or raised their arms to the sky before settling into the plush red and gold seats of the conference hall at Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral.



Larry Jacobs in Moscow

On the second morning of the conference, the only American in attendance, a tall, collected man, stepped up for his speech. Larry Jacobs, vice president of the Rockford, Illinois-based World Congress of Families (WCF), an umbrella organization for the U.S. religious right's heavy hitters, told the audience that American evangelicals had a 40-year track record of "defending life and family" and they hoped to be "true allies" in Russia's traditional values crusade.

The gathering marked the beginning of the family values fervor that has swept Russia in recent years. Warning that low birth rates are a threat to the long-term survival of the Russian people, politicians have been pushing to restrict abortion and encourage bigger families. Among the movement's successes is a law that passed last summer and garnered global outrage in the run-up to the Sochi Winter Olympics, banning "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations to minors," a vague term that has been seen as effectively criminalizing any public expression of same-sex relationships.

Anti-gay groups have made tormenting the LGBT community a national and organized affair: Vigilante gangs have used social media to lure hundreds of gay people to fake dates and then disseminate videos of them being beaten or sexually humiliated, garnering hundreds of thousands of followers. Arrests and beatings at gay rights demonstrations are commonplace. This month [February 2014], LGBT activists were arrested in Moscow and St. Petersburg hours before the Olympic opening ceremony and have been detained in Sochi itself.

Since Jacobs first traveled to Russia for the Sanctity of Motherhood conference, he and his World Congress of Families (WCF) colleagues have returned regularly to bolster Russia's nascent anti-gay movement — and to work with powerful Russian connections that they've acquired along the way. In 2014, the World Congress of Families will draw an international group of conservative activists together in Moscow, a celebratory convening that Jacobs foreshadowed on that first visit, when he ended his speech triumphantly: "Together, we can win!"




How The World Congress of Families Took Russia



Anatoly Antonov

The Sanctity of Motherhood conference represented a homecoming of sorts for WCF, which was conceived in Russia in 1995. Since the Soviet Union's collapse, two sociology professors at Lomonosov Moscow State University, Anatoly Antonov and Victor Medkov, had been watching with mounting concern as marriage and birth rates fell precipitously — this was not how capitalism was supposed to play out.



Victor Medkov

But they thought they knew who could help.

They turned to Allan Carlson, president of the Illinois-based Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society, a historian who made his name studying family policy, earning an appointment to President Reagan's National Commission on Children.



Allan Carlson

His 1988 book, "Family Questions: Reflections on the American Social Crisis", had set out to define and explain how a similar demographic decay — spurred by the postwar feminist and sexual revolutions — had played out in America. Medkov and Antonov read his work with enthusiasm, invited him to Moscow, and took him to meet Ivan Shevchenko — a Russian Orthodox mystic in whose Moscow apartment the World Congress of Families (WCF) was hatched.

They envisioned the World Congress as a global gathering for social conservatives dedicated to protecting their vision of the family in a changing society. They soon launched plans to host their first conference in 1997 in Prague. It proved an unexpected success, drawing more than 700 participants. That year Carlson, who had raised most of the money to host the event, helped establish and became president of the Howard Center, which adopted the World Congress of Families (WCF) as a core project.

The World Congress of Families (WCF) has since put on conferences in Europe, Mexico, and Australia that have been attended by thousands. The group has deep ties with the most powerful organizations in America's religious right, including: Concerned Women for America, Focus on the Family, and Americans United for Life. These groups and many others pay $2,500 annually to be WCF partners, and some give additional funds — Focus on the Family, the Alliance Defense Fund, and the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute each chipped in $20,000.00 to help put on the 2012 World Congress in Madrid, Spain. In Russia, they've tapped the support of the nation's Religious Right and its billionaire sponsors.

Since 2010, the World Congress of Families (WCF) has helped host at least five major gatherings in Russia where American evangelicals put their views before Russian audiences. At a 2011 demographic summit in Moscow, the event's loaded two-day schedule of panels and speeches included just one 10-minute slot without an American presenter.



Elena Mizulina

These gatherings have helped World Congress of Families' American leaders establish tight relationships with key Russian government officials, like Duma member Elena Mizulina, the country's foremost anti-gay legislator, who has met with Larry Jacobs in Moscow at least three times and is a frequent attendee at WCF events.



Brian Brown

This June [2014], National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown, who serves on the World Congress of Families' Moscow 2014 planning committee, flew to Russia two days after the lower chamber of parliament approved her gay propaganda ban to meet with Mizulina about crafting her next piece of landmark legislation, a gay-adoption ban. They were met by another 2014 planning committee member, former Fox News producer Jack Hanick, for a round table on the topic.



Jack Hanick

See the following clickable story link: Longtime Fox News Producer Testified In Support Of Russia's Anti-Gay Laws


The World Congress of Families (WCF) has lent its support to anti-gay politics elsewhere in Eastern Europe — Serbia, Lithuania, Romania — but it has had its biggest and most notable successes in Russia. Indeed, the rise of anti-gay laws in Russia has mirrored, almost perfectly, the rise of WCF's work in the country, with 13 new anti-gay laws passed since Jacobs first traveled there. When I ask Larry Jacobs if the WCF's work has contributed to this pattern, he laughs and says, "Yes, I think that is accurate."


To be sure, the country was already fertile ground for WCF's efforts: "On the issue of sexuality, its no secret that Russia is a conservative country," says Tanya Cooper, Human Rights Watch's Russia researcher.




Russians have increasingly adopted the kind of language the American Religious Right has long deployed to fight acceptance of homosexuality — terms like "natural family," "traditional values," and "protecting children," with rarely a mention of the word "gay."

"This does not seem like native Russian policy," Cooper says. "It's the rhetoric of homophobic activists in the United States."


The news story continues at the following link: How U.S. Evangelicals Helped Create Russia's Anti-Gay Movement





___________________________________________________



Also check out the related story: Did Anti-Gay Evangelicals Skirt U.S. Sanctions on Russia?


One of the scoundrels who's played both direct and indirect key roles in promoting the passage of anti-gay laws in both Uganda and Russia is anti-gay pastor Scott Lively.


> Excerpt from the October 13, 2014 Mother Jones magazine news story by Hannah Levintova entitled:

This Anti-Gay Candidate's Message Is Bigger in Moscow Than Massachusetts


Scott Lively in the new Russian propaganda film "Sodom"

Even though he's running to be the governor of Massachusetts, Scott Lively makes no secret of his extreme anti-gay views. The evangelical pastor, who's being sued by gay-rights groups for his involvement in Uganda's "Kill the Gays" bill, has gotten flack on the campaign trail for his beliefs, even encountering some raucous booing at a gubernatorial forum earlier in the year.

Lively knows that his focus on traditional values makes him an unpopular choice in the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. "The only way Scott Lively is going to become governor of Massachusetts is by a miracle of God," he told Massachusetts Live last month.

While Lively's views can't find much domestic audience, they play well in Vladimir Putin's Russia. Lively's anti-gay zeal is on display in "Sodom" (as in Sodom and Gamorrah), a new "documentary" that aired on Russian television last month, to much acclaim. The film was produced by famously anti-gay TV host Arkady Mamontov, who once implied that the Chelyabinsk meteorite explosion that occurred over Russia a few years ago had been "caused by the gay rights movement". The film aired on Rossiya-1, Russia's main government-funded TV channel.

"For American homosexuals, this man, Scott Lively, is public enemy number one," intones the film's narrator. On camera, Lively speaks about the gay "agenda," which seeks "anti-discrimination policy" in the name of ultimate "societal conquest." Lively insists that "The average American is not in favor of homosexuality. But they are afraid to speak publicly about it, because the gays have so much power and they can do harm to those people."

Lively brings the film's producers to the headquarters of the Human Rights Campaign in Washington, DC. Set against a dramatic soundtrack, Lively paces outside. "This organization, instead of focusing on the true needs of people around the world, they are trying to declare that homosexuality is a human right," Lively says. "They spend vast amounts of money to promote this agenda around the world instead of defending genuine human rights."

This is just the latest entry on Lively's anti-gay résumé, as my colleague Mariah Blake has reported. In 1995, Lively co-authored "The Pink Swastika", a book that argues that gay Nazis inspired the Holocaust because Judaism forbids homosexuality. In 2007, Lively went on a 50-city tour of Russia and other ex-Soviet republics to warn of the "homosexual agenda." In 2009, he gave a 5-hour presentation on Ugandan national television calling homosexuality a disease and claiming that gays aggressively recruit children.





It's unclear if Lively's segment in this new Russian film was shot before he declared his candidacy for governor in September 2013. Yet it's a revealing comment on the state of American (and Russian) politics that a candidate can find more traction for his extreme anti-gay views in Moscow than Mattapan.

Take a look at the English-language version of the Russian film below. The Scott Lively segment starts at 8 minutes, 17 seconds into it. His arrival at the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the Human Rights Campaign starts at the 12-minute mark.







____________________________________



And yes, this is the same anti-gay American pastor Scott Lively who takes great pride in the role he played in helping sway the Russian government to pass its anti-gay laws.






Larry Jacobs also participated in the American anti-gay propaganda film "Light Wins" produced by Janet Folger-Porter of Faith2Action who was kicked off of a conservative Christian radio network a few years ago because of her on-air advocacy of Dominion theology.


The Dominionists found the perfect patsy to help them advance their End-Times agenda to criminalize abortion and homosexuality: Donald Trump who apparently already had more than enough self-compromising ties to and with Russia than previously speculated.



Other Suggested Reading Via Clickable News-Story Links

Scott Lively Begs For Money And Calls For Passage Of Russian-Style Anti-Gay Laws Around The World

Anti-Equality Activists From Around Globe Help Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage To Launch New Anti-LGBT Group

How The Religious Right Made Life More Difficult And Dangerous For World’s LGBT People In 2016

Scott Lively Declares: "President Trump Should Apologize To The World For Obama’s Fascist LGBT Agenda"

Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage Launches New Global Anti-LGBT Group & Manifesto

Anti-Gay Pastor Scottt Lively Says Uganda Anti-Gay Bill Is "A Step In The Right Direction"

Americans' Role Seen In Uganda's Anti-Gay Push

Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage Tells Moscow Conference: "Americans Reject A New And False Vision Of The Family"

Scott Lively Defends his Anti-Gay Activism in Uganda while Denying Role in Crafting Its Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Globalizing Homophobia, Part 2: "Today the Whole World Is Looking At Russia"

Anti-Gay Pastor Scott Lively: "Russia Is A Beacon Of Freedom While The USA Is A Gay Version Of The Soviet Union"

U.S. Pro-Coup Evangelicals Ally With Vladimir Putin's Inner Circle

Vladimir Putin’s American Fans Cheer His Persecution Of Gays While Ignoring His Persecution Of Christians

Franklin Graham Praises Anti-Gay Propaganda Law And Critizes U.S. "Secularism" In Russia Visit

Guess Who's Back In Moscow?

Anti-Gay Pastor Scott Lively Declares: "Russia's Anti-Gay Law Is One Of The Proudest Achievements Of My Career"

Scott Lively Begs For Money And Calls For Passage Of Russian-Style Anti-Gay Laws Around The World

Republican Leaders Join Anti-Gay Extremists For Insane Documentary

Anti-Gay Pastor Scott Lively: "President Obama Orchestrated The Ukraine Coup To Undermine Putin's Anti-Gay Efforts"

Scott Lively Will Run For Congress To Defend Russia's Anti-Gay Persecution

Anti-Gay Pastor Scott Lively Declares: "Gay People Are Behind Anti-Gay Violence In Russia"

One Year After Passage Of Gay Propaganda Ban, American Right Continues To Look To Russia As A Guide

Scott Lively Urges Conservatives To Stand With Putin Against "New World Order"

Russian Anti-LGBT Crackdown Exporting Homophobic Violence Throughout Region, Experts Warn

Anti-Gay Pastor Scott Lively Declares: "Gays Are Foot Soldiers In Marxist/Freemason Plot To Impose New World Order"

Anti-Gay Pastor Scott Lively Blames Gays For Ukraine Crisis And Lauds Russia As "The Human Rights Leader Of The World"

Scott Lively Defends Anti-Gay Criminalization Laws, Declaring: "The Gay Movement Has Brought This On Themselves"

The Solution To Uganda's Anti-Gay Crackdown Is More Right-Wing Christianity?

Anti-Gay Pastor Scott Lively Declares: "The Human Rights Watch Video Of Anti-Gay Violence In Russia Is A Hoax"

Scott Lively's New Anti-Gay Coalition Declares: "Governments Of The World Should Suppress LGBT Propaganda"

Anti-Gay Pastor Scott Lively Declares: "Putin Will Restore Tsarism, Defeat The Marxist United States, And The Global Homosexual Agenda"


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Stuart
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
Given the information provided above, I think it's pretty safe to say the Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia are not being labeled extremists partly because of their stance on homosexuality. It's interesting, though - I would have thought that would have been one of those "enemy of my enemy" things, but maybe the Russians don't ascribe to that particular philosophy.
 
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
wifwendell wrote:
gamesterinns wrote:
Interesting article in the Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/belief/2017/mar/09...

“What makes the Jehovah’s Witnesses different?” I asked the smiling man.

“We take the Bible literally,” he replied.

“But so do others. What makes you distinctive?”

“Take ‘thou shalt not kill,’” he replied. “We don’t participate in war.”



That kind of "extremism" is probably a sure way to get on Putin's bad side.


Historically, many governments have viewed strict pacifists quite dimly.


I don't blame them for not wanting to take the chance the general populace might be infected with such ideas.
 
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James King
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?


gamesterinns wrote:
Given the information provided above, I think it's pretty safe to say the Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia are not being labeled extremists partly because of their stance on homosexuality. It's interesting, though - I would have thought that would have been one of those "enemy of my enemy" things, but maybe the Russians don't ascribe to that particular philosophy.

The Russian Orthodox Church essentially has a monopoly on Christianity in Russia and the state under Vladimir Putin has enabled that monopoly by outlawing all other Christian and allegedly-Christian sects.


 
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
ShreveportLAGamer wrote:


gamesterinns wrote:
Given the information provided above, I think it's pretty safe to say the Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia are not being labeled extremists partly because of their stance on homosexuality. It's interesting, though - I would have thought that would have been one of those "enemy of my enemy" things, but maybe the Russians don't ascribe to that particular philosophy.

The Russian Orthodox Church essentially has a monopoly on Christianity in Russia and the state under Vladimir Putin has enabled that monopoly by outlawing all other Christian and allegedly-Christian sects.


Pretty much the nail on the head, although Putin, through the anti-extremism law and other shenanigans, is more creating circumstances that make it impossible for other groups to operate within Russia as they would elsewhere.
 
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
GameCrossing wrote:
gamesterinns wrote:
Salo sila wrote:
The same is happening to Russia's independent sociological research institute, the Levada Center, and to the country's leading civil rights organisation, Memorial.


Interesting - how many people would you estimate will be affected by the same measures?

anemaat wrote:
... and many, many others since many, many years.


Many religions, both Orthodox and non-Orthodox have actually enjoyed great freedom in post-soviet Russia. Religious belief is even protected in Russia's constitution, but the anti-extremism law is apparently being used to circumvent the constitution.

GameCrossing wrote:
rcbevco wrote:
If they outlawed door bells they could snag the Mormons at the same time.

Religion has been co-opted in Russian as a means of controlling the masses. Just look at the government backed and lead anti-gay movement. There was this Russian dude that spoke out against religions control of society to the extent of advocating atheism, what was his name again? If you can't actually create a better society figure out who your scapegoat du jour is and find justifications for it.


Let me show you my knuckles. It's 25 years later, and you tell me if I relied on doorbells back then.


How are the Mormons doing in Russia? I found this,

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865658292/LDS-Church-miss...

but I find it difficult to believe such measures will prevent the anti-extremism law being used against the Mormons(or any other non-Orthodox groups), too, especially if the case against the Witnesses is prosecuted successfully. Has the Book of Mormon been placed on the List of Extremist Materials?

I read in one human rights publication that to be Russian Orthodox is to be considered Russian, and that by definition, members of all other religions are considered not truly Russian, and therefore not reliably loyal to the state. It's well worth keeping an eye on this case, as it will likely be a sign of things to come, one way or the other - either the Orthodox stranglehold over the Russian people will begin to unravel, or more and more minority groups will find themselves in the crosshairs of the Russian legal system.


Thanks for the heads-up on this. I'll have to talk with my brother-in-law on this. He served there (a while ago) so he will likely be more plugged in on this than I am.


Saw my bro-in-law yesterday, and he said he wasn't up to speed on anything new, but that for the last few years, missionaries had to refer to themselves as "service workers." Also, they were unable to teach people in their homes. They were limited to people coming to the church and being taught there. So yeah... a very restrictive culture regarding non-native faiths.
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Re: Russia to Ban Jehovah's Witnesses?
Caught this update on Forum 18 - apparently the ban is effectively already in place. The impending court case would apparently only be intended to give it legitimacy, assuming the Supreme Court plays along. It's going to be an interesting test of their constitution.

http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2265

UN Special Rapporteur Maina Kiai told Forum 18: "The Russian government is claiming that the Jehovah's Witnesses are an extremist group, but in fact it's their move to ban them outright that appears to be extreme."

 
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Is Religious Right Hero Vladimir Putin About To Ban The Jehovah’s Witnesses From Russia?


> Excerpts from the March 30, 2017 Right Wing Watch news story by Peter Montgomery entitled:

Is Religious Right Hero Vladimir Putin About To Ban The Jehovah’s Witnesses From Russia?



Next week, the Supreme Court of Russia will hear a case involving the Jehovah’s Witnesses that the church says could lead to its national headquarters near St. Petersburg being shut down, along with 400 local organizations and more than 2,300 congregations. As Right Wing Watch has reported, Vladimir Putin, revered by some American Religious Right leaders as "a hero of Christian civilization" for his anti-gay and “pro-family” policies, signed counter-terrorism legislation last year that dramatically restricts the freedom of churches other than the Russian Orthodox Church.

From a statement released earlier this month by the Jehovah’s Witnesses:

The Jehovah's Witnesses wrote:


On March 15, 2017, Russia’s Ministry of Justice filed a claim with the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation to label the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia as extremist and liquidate it. The claim also seeks to ban the activities of the Administrative Center. If the Supreme Court upholds this claim, the Witnesses’ national headquarters near St. Petersburg will be shut down. Subsequently, some 400 registered Local Religious Organizations would be liquidated, outlawing the services of over 2,300 congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia. The branch property, as well as places of worship used by Witnesses throughout the country, could be seized by the State. Additionally, individual Jehovah’s Witnesses would become subject to criminal prosecution for merely carrying out their worship activities. The Supreme Court is expected to rule on the claim on April 5.


The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom condemned the anti-terrorism law when Putin signed it:

USCIRF Chair Thomas J. Reese, S.J. wrote:


These deeply flawed anti-terrorism measures will buttress the Russian government’s war against human rights and religious freedom. They will make it easier for Russian authorities to repress religious communities, stifle peaceful dissent, and detain and imprison people. Neither these measures nor the currently existing anti-extremism law meet international human rights and religious freedom standards.


Even before the passage of that law, the Federal Law on Combating Extremist Activity was used to label some religious minorities as “extremist.” The USCIRF had already identified restrictions on religious minorities as a growing problem in Russia.

Among the key findings in its 2016 annual report:

Along with other human rights abuses, violations of religious freedom in Russia escalated in the past year.

There were numerous criminal convictions, fines, and detentions, particularly of Muslims and Jehovah’s Witnesses, under an extremism law that does not require proof of the use or advocacy of violence.

The Constitutional Court ruled that material can be banned as “extremist” for proclaiming the truth or superiority of one religion or belief system.

Other laws, including the recently-amended 1997 religion law and a growing number of harsh laws restricting civil society, limit the freedoms of religious groups and lead to abuses.




Heiner Bielefeldt

Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief Heiner Bielefeldt says in a video posted on the church’s website that the vague charge of “extremism” gives authorities “carte blanche to prosecute anyone.”

Are evangelicals rallying to defend Jehovah’s Witnesses? Not exactly. A "Christianity Today" magazine feature story reported that Russian Protestants view Jehovah’s Witnesses as “competition for souls” and “remain ambivalent over whether to defend the rights of Witnesses as a fellow non-Orthodox faith.”

More from reporter Kate Shellnutt of "Christianity Today" magazine:

Kate Shellnutt wrote:
Russian Protestants don’t consider themselves as extreme — or as annoying — as Jehovah's Witnesses, and they aren’t too eager to speak out against the recent case against them.



William Yoder

“Baptists and Lutherans are often regarded as traditional religions by Russian judicial practice and by the Russian Orthodox Church,” said William Yoder, spokesman for the Russia Evangelical Alliance. “Protestants do at times succumb to the temptation to accept the common Russian division between ‘traditional’ and ‘non-traditional’ religions if they themselves happen to be on the right side of the divide.”




Michael Cherenkov

The story quotes Michael Cherenkov, a field director for Mission Eurasia who is based in Ukraine, saying, “A ban on Jehovah’s Witnesses is just the beginning in a series of repressions. Society needs an internal enemy to which the government can point in full cooperation with the Russian Orthodox Church.” Adds Cherenkov, “The silence of Protestants with regard to repressions against Jehovah’s Witnesses will merely unleash a new wave of restrictions and repressions.”



Other Suggested Reading Via Clickable News-Story Links

Religious Right Hero Vladimir Putin Cracks Down On Religious Liberty In Russia

Religious Right Hero Vladimir Putin Okays Polygamy And Sharia Law

The Religious Right Cheers On Vladimir Putin As Anti-LGBT Violence In Russia Surges

The Religious Right’s Russian "Pro-Family" Ally May Be Helping Fund Pro-Putin Propaganda

The Religious Right Shares Trump’s Putin Crush

Trump And The Right’s Crush On Putin


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