Russian court sentences a Jehovah's Witness to six years in prison

On Wednesday, a Russian court found a Jehovah's Witness guilty of extremism and sentenced him to six years in prison, stated a representative of the Christian Denomination.

The United States and the European Union called the case of Danish citizen Dennis Christensen “a litmus test” for religious freedom in Russia and a new spiral in the intensifying confrontation with the West.

Christensen, the first Jehovah’s Witness arrested for extremism in Russia, pleaded not guilty.

“Unfortunately, this is true,” Yaroslav Sivulsky, a member of Jehovah's Witnesses, told Reuters in response to a question whether Christensen was convicted and sentenced to six years in prison.

Approximately 100 members of this organization have been charged in Russia. More than 20 of them are in pre-trial detention.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov did not comment on the verdict.

However, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Anders Samuelsen, expressed concern about the verdict and called on Russia to respect freedom of religion.

  Kremlin, Russia, Jehovah's Witnesses, Denmark, USA