USCIRF – Jehovah’s Witness Rights Should be Respected

Dennis Christensen is a Jehovah’s Witnesses prisoner of conscience imprisoned in Russia. As per some recent reportage on the violation of the rights of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the human rights to freedom of religion of Jehovah’s Witnesses are being violated.

Christensen was granted parole on June 23 while USCIRF, or The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (Washington, D.C.) expressed concern for the health and wellbeing of him. Prosecutor Aleksei Shatunov appealed the decision. Christian remains in prison and will stay there until the next hearing. This could take several weeks.

He – Christensen – is eligible for release in early 2021 based on pre-trial detention time served. However, his health has deteriorated while in custody, which is the reason for the reportage and the concern coming from the USCIRF. He had contracted pneumonia while his scheduled time to remain in prison is until May 25, 2022.

USCIRF Chair Gayle Manchin stated, “USCIRF urges the Russian government to show clemency. The ongoing imprisonment of Dennis Christensen is truly unconscionable. This man has already forfeited his freedom for exercising his peaceful religious beliefs; it would be an atrocity for him to forfeit his life. Russia must free Mr. Christensen immediately.”

The Jehovah’s Witnesses reported 24 are under house arrest, 24 are in pretrial detention, and 10 are imprisoned in Russia. The USCIRF in its annual report stipulated that Russia is a country of particular concern based on violations of religious freedom.

With files from The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

Photo by Alexander Smagin on Unsplash

Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Assistant Editor, News Intervention, Human Rights Activist. Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He focuses on North America for News Intervention. Jacobsen works for science and human rights, especially women’s and children’s rights. He considers the modern scientific and technological world the foundation for the provision of the basics of human life throughout the world and advancement of human rights as the universal movement among peoples everywhere. You can contact Scott via email.

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  1. I completely agree that Jehovah Witnesses should enjoy religious freedom. However, the leadership of this sect severely restricts the religious freedoms of their own JW membership by coercing their family members to permanently discontinue any contact with any JW who quits the JW sect to go join another religion. Make no mistake, this is a destructive cult… Not because of the membership but because of the severe rules imposed by their Governing Body who claim to be God’s only channel of communication and further claim that they are the stewards of the world’s ONLY true religion. Further, this Governing Body asserts that all other religions are completely FALSE and led by Satan the Devil.

    • Alfred, you clearly don’t have a balanced view but are allowing prejudice to cloud good judgment. Scripture itself is what warns about bad association. (1 Cor 15:33) If you have a problem with that take it up with God. Also if your issue is shunning then again take it up with God (1 Cor 5). Also, your name calling of a major Christian religion once again shows you certainly have no clue about the religion and are just spewing out malice. Yes Christianity itself does believe it is right. Jesus also believed he was right. You certainly do not have to believe he is right or the Bible but it is logical that his followers will continue to teach that his word and teaching are true. So it is nothing surprising if a denomination within “Christianity” also claims to be right base on their interpretation of Scripture. What do you think Orthodox means? (it doesn’t mean false) Your time would be better spent reading balanced works rather than gulping down the hatred of Jehovah’s Witnesses. How about this to start the path on opening your eyes to the light? Jehovah’s Witnesses: Continuity and Change by George D. Chryssides – Also you might wish to read 2 Cor 4:4 and 11:3,4 too. I guess you would rather one put up with ones who preach other “doctrines” and not called any of them “false” but why are you hypocritically attacking Witnesses implying they are false for having their own system of beliefs? You would do better to spend the same time digging into your own religion instead of hypocritical pointing the finger at another one. Either all religions should have the freedom to believe or not. If they do they why do you attack JW’s? If they shouldn’t then attack Christianity not just one denomination of Christianity. However you claim freedom but by your words are directly against Witnesses having freedom of speech. You crack me up!!!!

  2. A Rússia segue o mesmo ritmo de opressão e massacre vivenciado publicamente no século XX da Alemanha Nazista, da chamada santa inquisição contra os territórios muçulmanos Pela igreja na idade média, que o Deus que levanta os Mortos YHWH não se esqueça dos seus inimigos no seu dia do acerto de contas final.

  3. Jehovah’s Witnesses are not permitted to resign from the religion without the punishment of shunning by all current members including immediate family members. It would be good if human rights activists would focus on this issue for a change.

  4. They want religious freedom for themselves but for exjws, they want to shut them up and take away their religious freedom, by threatening excommunication from their loved ones. Hypocrisy or what?

    • Actually, if you read the comments above most want to shut the Witnesses up and stop them from practicing the way they do. For example the way they handle their internal issues or their personal beliefs. Talk about hypocrisy take a look in the mirror!

      • Billybob you obviously are one of Jehovahs Witnesses. I think you need to humble yourself and apply scripture personally. My family has been witnesses for over 50 years and i can tell you without a doubt this organization is ripe with deep problems. Our family had a pedophile in our congregation that molested my brother and tried to molest me many times. The elders knew this and refused to do anything. He was left in the congregation to molest another young boy. It almost tore our family apart. my mom and dad have remained steadfast and faithful. Make no mistake my brother, Jehovah will dispose of this organization when it has fulfilled his purpose. I lived thru the 70s and 80s and saw the homosexuality that ran rampant at Bethel and the pedophiles that were left in the congregations. You have no common sense and reasoning. You like to impart your spiritual wisdom on other people by citing them scriptures to read. I can cite plenty of scripture to show you where youve been under deluding influence but id rather throw common sense at you. Two years ago i went to the elders and told them about a brother who couldnt keep his hands of me when i was younger. They told me to get on with my life. This guy is an elder is South Carolina congregation. My wife and I have been sitting in the kingdom hall with a CONVICTED PEDOPHILE on the North Carolina sex registry. Why are we told to not call on houses in the territory that have convicted sex offenders but allow them to sit with us?? Why would we wait on Jehovah to take care of a problem when he has given us the ability to take care of ourselves?? Whether you like it or not , by definition, Jehovahs Witnesses are a cult. Look up the definition of a cult. It matches perfectly. Jehovah gave you reason and common sense. I just dont leave my reasoning and common sense at the door prior to entering the kingdom hall. And by the way, it is morally wrong to shun a family member because they dont believe what you say or think. Would Jesus have done that?? Dont think so.. Stop citing scriptures for people to read and grow up.

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