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Banned

Russian court bans Jehovah's Witnesses as an extremist group

On Thursday, Russia's Supreme Court ruled that Jehovah's Witnesses are an "extremist" organization and banned the group from the country.

The state-run news agency Tass reports that all of the Christian denomination's assets in Russia, including its headquarters in St. Petersburg, will become state property. "We are greatly disappointed by this development and deeply concerned about how this will affect our religious activity," Yaroslav Sivulskiy, a spokesman for Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, told Reuters. "We will appeal this decision, and we hope that our legal rights and protections as a peaceful religious group will be fully restored as soon as possible."

Previously, literature passed out by the group has been banned and some members have been arrested or had their property seized, NPR reports. There are about 8 million Jehovah's Witnesses in the world, with 170,000 followers in Russia.