Friday, March 24, 2017

An Open Letter to President Vladimir Putin

Dear President Vladimir V. Putin

   I ventured to write this letter because I believe you are a good man, however the foreign media paints you.  The Bible says “be in subjection to the superior authorities... the existing authorities stand placed in their relative positions by God.” (Romans 13:1)  As Jehovah’s Witness I believe all that is written in the Bible.  The above passage refers to you, the President of Russia.

   On March 15, 2017, the Ministry of Justice in Russia filed a claim with the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation seeking “to declare the religious organization, the Administrative Center of Jehovah’s Witnesses, extremist, ban its activity, and liquidate it.” A decision by the Supreme Court in favor of this claim will have dire consequences for all of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia.

   Russia’s “Federal Law on Extremist Activity” is being misapplied to Jehovah’s Witnesses.  We, Jehovah’s Witnesses, are not extremist in the political context of the word.  We only fall extreme in our adherence to Bible principles which preach love of God and neighbor, love for family, and respect for government.  We strive to be good citizens. We are known worldwide for our peaceful activities, and under no circumstances would we ever resort to any activity that is criminal in nature.

   In college, I read Karl Marx and he says “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world.”  I appreciate the laws of the Russian government that guarantee freedom of religion to all citizens.  I implore your intervention to stop the legal action being taken against the Jehovah’s Witnesses branch office and congregations in Russia.  We only ask that we be allowed to continue to gather peacefully for Christian meetings without interference.

   President Putin, you are a powerful man placed in your position by God.  Please return His favor by protecting his people.

   Thank you for your consideration and attention.
Sincerely yours
Lori C. Clark
(This same letter has been mailed to President Putin.)
This is how Russian congregations are coping with persecution.  JW Russian brothers and sisters after convention in Finland. Photo from JW United

From: JW United