Let’s be honest, Jehovah’s Witnesses can really test your patience. You know how it is. It’s Saturday and you’re camped out in your living room, scarfing down a carton of ice cream, clad only in your tighty-whiteys. Then, all of a sudden, your doorbell rings and you’re met with a pair of Witnesses, trying to convince you to ditch Christmas and your birthday. As if any of us are going to part with all those presents. Well, apparently the Russians have had enough of that nonsense and banned the Witnesses from Mother Russia entirely. Yeah, for serious…
Russia’s supreme court has banned the Jehovah’s Witnesses from operating in the country, accepting a request from the justice ministry that the religious organization be considered an extremist group.
The court ordered the closure of the group’s Russia headquarters and its 395 local chapters, as well as the seizure of its property.
The Interfax news agency on Thursday quoted justice ministry attorney Svetlana Borisova in court as saying that the Jehovah’s Witnesses “pose a threat to the rights of the citizens, public order and public security”.
Borisova also said Jehovah’s Witnesses’ opposition to blood transfusions violates Russian healthcare laws.
Yaroslav Sivulsky, a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, said in a statement they are “greatly disappointed by this development and deeply concerned about how this will affect our religious activity”.
Jehovah’s Witnesses said they would appeal against the ruling.
C’mon, comrades. I know how annoying those Watchtower-pushing loons at your front door can be, but outright banning them from your country seems like a bit much. There are much easier ways to make them depart expeditiously. Try drawing a pentagram on your forehead and greeting them with a “Hail Satan!” It works for me.
I suppose we have to give our vodka-chugging pals a break though. Remember, it was only a few decades ago that they were praying to the ghost of Karl Marx and beating Apollo Creed to death. That authoritarian kink has yet to be completely worked out. Old habits die hard, y’all.
Also, were I in the business of banning religions, Jehovah’s Witnesses would hardly be the first to get the hammer. Or the sickle. I can think of a much more worthy candidate for expulsion. I be talking about that Islam. If you Russkies think an uninvited visit from Jehovah’s Witnesses is inconveniencing, try getting thrown off a roof.
Luckily, here in the land of the free, that First Amendment keeps our Witnesses of Jehovah safe from the wastebasket. Our higher-ups don’t get to regulate our beliefs, no matter how bonkers they may be, just because they disagree with them. So, for all you disenfranchised Slavic Witnesses who want to keep warning the masses about the evils of blood transfusions, there’s always America. Just stay off my porch and we won’t have any problems.
Speaking of the First Amendment…