Russian courts will decide on Wednesday if Jehovah’s Witnesses can be banned from the country under the pretense of extremism. Extremism “has become a catchall charge that can be deployed against just about anyone”- anyone that poses a threat to the power of the Kremlin or the Russian Orthodox Church. From the states point of view it might be easy to be suspicious of this Christian denomination. They believe that God is the only ruler, so they don’t vote and their headquarters are in America. Because of their pacifist beliefs, it is easy to turn Jehovah’s Witnesses into a target. They seem to be an example to get the message across that it is not wise to get in the way of Putin.
It will be interesting to see if this ruling will have any effect on the LDS church in Russia. Similar to Mormon missionaries Jehovah’s Witnesses practice door-to-door proselyting, which is not allowed right now in Russia. Should the government be allowed to ban an entire religious sect on what appear to be false grounds? What could this mean for the Mormon missionaries in Russia?