Russian President Vladimir Putin called the inclusion of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the list of extremist organizations “complete nonsense”, Putin stated at a meeting of the Council for the Development of Civil Society and Human Rights.
“There is a list of organizations, for example, that are allegedly involved in extremism and terrorism. There are 489 of them, 404 of which are Jehovah’s Witnesses. I will make an ominous pause here. There can be many claims against Jehovah’s Witnesses, for example, they don’t transfuse blood, they don’t take their children to hospitals. But they certainly don’t call for violence and do not carry out violence themselves,” Putin said.
“We probably can and must be much more liberal towards representatives of various religious sects at some point,” he said.
“We should treat the representatives of all religions equally. This is true but we still need to take into account the country we live in. Of course, this does not mean that we need to include representatives of religious communities into destructive or terrorist organizations. This is complete nonsense, of course. We need to be more careful,” Putin said.