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Moscow Court Asks Experts To Look At Proposed Ban On Jehovah’s Witnesses

Interfax, Russian Federation
Feb. 19, 2004 • Saturday February 21, 2004

MOSCOW. Feb 19 (Interfax) – A Moscow court is questioning experts and witnesses in litigation that has been going on periodically since 1998, when a district prosecutor’s office demanded a ban on the Moscow community of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

Jehovah’s Witnesses

Theologically, Jehovah’s Witnesses are a cult of Christianity. The oppressive organization does not represent historical, Biblical Christianity in any way. Sociologically, it is a destructive cult whose false teachings frequently result in spiritual and psychological abuse, as well as needless deaths.

The office accused the Jehovah’s Witnesses of fanning religious strife, ruining families and forcing seriously sick people to refuse medical assistance for religious reasons.

On Thursday, the Golovinsky Court heard one witness for the defense, Eileen Barker, who is a sociology professor at the London School of Economics and a student of religion, and two witnesses for the prosecution – a neighbor of one of the community members and the husband of another member, defense lawyer Artur Leontyev told Interfax.

“Barker, who is an expert on religion, exposed the anti-cult approach to the issue of religious associations,” he said.

Founder and chairperson, INFORM. Board member, CESNUR. Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics. Considered by many observers to be a cult apologist. Cult apologist Jeffrey K. Hadden‘s controversial memo was written on behalf of Eileen Barker and David Bromley

“An expert from the Russian Language Institute, who has carried out a study of Jehovah’s Witness literature, is expected to testify in court on Friday.”

A 2001 refusal by the Golovinsky Court to outlaw the community was overruled by the City Court after an appeal by the prosecutor’s office.

The City Court ordered that another investigation be conducted.

The current trial follows philological and psycholinguistic tests ordered by the Golovinsky Court.

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