Jehovah’s Witnesses and Their Opponents: Russia, the West, and Beyond

Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia

On September 3, 2020 it is held a seminar organized by CESNUR (Center for Studies on New Religions), Vytautas Magnus University, Vilnius, Lithuania, and New Religions Research and Information Center, Vilnius, Lithuania.

The Seminar is conducted via Zoom.


Session 1 – 10.30 a.m. – 12 a.m.

 A Global Phenomenon

Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Atlas of Religious or Belief Minority Rights: First Data – Silvio FERRARI, University of Milan

Why Opposition to Jehovah’s Witnesses? – George CHRYSSIDES, University of Birmingham

Jehovah’s Witnesses and Their Opponents in Lithuania – Milda ALIŠAUSKIENĖ, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas


12 a.m. – 12.15 a.m.  Q&A


Session 2 – 12.15 a.m. – 1.45 p.m.

 Russia, a “Special” Case?

Opposition to Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia: Cultural Roots – Rosita ŠORYTĖ, European Federation for Freedom of Belief, Vilnius

Opposition to Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia: Legal Measures – Willy FAUTRÉ, Human Rights Without Frontiers, Brussels

Opposition to Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia: The Anti-Cult Context – Sergey IVANENKO, Scientific Council of the Guild of Experts in Religion and Law, Moscow


1.45 pm – 2.30 pm Break


Session 3 – 2.30 p.m. – 4 p.m.

 Beyond Russia

The USCIRF Report on the Anti-cult Ideology, and the NGOs Open Letter on the Situation in Russia – Alessandro AMICARELLI, attorney, London, president of the European Federation for Freedom of Belief (FOB)

The Rights of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia and Beyond: The Role of the European Court of Human Rights – James T. RICHARDSON, University of Nevada, Reno

Opposition to Jehovah’s Witnesses in the U.S. – J. Gordon MELTON, Baylor University, Waco, Texas


4 p.m. – 4.15 p.m.  Q&A


Session 4 – 4.15 p.m. – 5.45 p.m.

 Affiliation, Disaffiliation, Sexual Abuse

Affiliation to Jehovah’s Witness: A Research Note – Raffaella DI MARZIO, LIREC (Center for Studies on Freedom of Belief, Religion and Conscience), Rome, Italy.

Jehovah’s Witnesses, Relations with Ex-Members, Sexual Abuse: What Are the Issues? – Massimo INTROVIGNE (CESNUR, Center for Studies on New Religions, Torino, Italy)

Jehovah’s Witnesses and Sexual Abuse: The Dutch and Belgian Reports – Holly FOLK, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington Texas



Conclusions: Bernadette RIGAL-CELLARD, University of Bordeaux Montaigne, France

 Read the Final StatementThe Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia: An International Human Rights Concern

 Download the full Jehovah Witnesses' White Paper "The New Gnomes of Zurich"