Russia's Supreme Court has formally banned Jehovah's Witnesses as an extremist organization and ordered the state to seize its property in Russia, the Religion News website reports today (April 22, 2017).
The court -- after six days of hearings -- ordered the closing of the group's Russia headquarters and its 395 local chapters on April 20.
The Interfax news agency in Russia quoted Justice Ministry attorney Sveltana Borisova in court as saying the Jehovah's Witnesses pose a threat to the rights of Russian citizens. She also said Jehovah's Witnesses' opposition to blood transfusions violates Russian health care laws.
Russia's King Vladimir the Great in the year 988 chose the Greek Orthodox Christian faith as the country's primary religion. Today, some 90 percent of Russians identify themselves as Orthodox Christians.