"Portal-Credo.Ru": How do you assess the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation to ban the activities of Jehovah's Witnesses?
Pastor Yuri Sipko: If the Ministry of Justice filed a lawsuit with the Supreme Court, then the fate of the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses was a foregone conclusion. At least, I did not see any reasonable, legal basis in the actions of our government on this issue. All these actions are politicized, aimed at infringing on freedoms – both religious, and political, and civil.
This decision is obviously lawless, contrary to the constitutional norm, but fits into the general trend: the site is being cleared, the territory of freedom has been reduced to the limit, only those who fit into the framework of the Chekist worldview have the right to life.
However, very bitter. I am extremely upset, no matter what.
– What awaits the Russian Jehovah's Witnesses in the near future?
– As people of faith, they will live even in prison conditions, as has happened more than once. Officially, of course, a court decision with confiscation of property, in fact equating this organization with a terrorist organization, is a shame, it simply defies comment or explanation.
And people will continue to believe, because for them all these persecutions are not terrible, they have deep convictions. And here the Russian government only spanked itself well, discrediting the judicial and legal system. I am ashamed of the country in which such hooligans rule.
– Can mass emigration of believers begin now?
– Those who understand and who have such an opportunity, those have long been emigrating. And a mass exodus is a complicated thing. I do not see the energy in our people, so that it was enough for the outcome or for protest. There is only a long-dead legal consciousness, a long-dead civil liability, there is a state of slavish obedience. This condition is the cause of violence.
But this is only the “beginning of disease”, and there is still “great sorrow” ahead.
Interviewed by Vladimir Oyvin,