Moscow, February 12, Interfax - Renowned religious expert, professor and director of a special laboratory studying destructive challenges in Moscow State Linguistic University Roman Silantyev considers the ban of Jehovah's Witnesses justified, but urges Russian judicial authorities not to give them real prison terms.
"As to judicial decisions referring to Jehovah's Witnesses I have information that this sect consciously pushes their members to crimes of such kind, in order to have a certain group of people really convicted for participating in them, to create a halo of martyrs for them and to exert pressure on Russia. So I would urge the judicial authorities to use all opportunities in order not to give them real terms," Silantyev told Interfax.
According to him, in this situation it is better to fine sectarians, to conscript them to forced labor, but minimize the number of people really imprisoned for such cases. "We should not play along with Jehovah's Witnesses", the scientist believes.
He also says that it is not true that a person in Russia could be convicted just for confessing a certain faith. "According to our law, you can even love Adolf Hitler, but a criminal responsibility begins when a person starts imposing his ardent love to such personages or extremist ideologies on others," the professor said.
Commenting the activities of Jehovah's Witnesses, he noted that "this sect promotes external and inner extremism, inciting hatred to those who think and believe in a different way and bullying their own members."
"Recognizing this sect as extremist gave a possibility to dozens of our citizens to leave this concentration camp", he said.