Religions law and Jehovah’s Witnesses

Information on religions law and secularism in Europe, mainly related to the worship of Jehovah’s Witnesses

EU statement on the upheld ban of activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia
Vienna, 20 July 2017

PC.DEL/1069/17
21 July 2017
ENGLISH only
OSCE Permanent Council No 1155
Vienna, 20 July 2017 EU statement on the upheld ban of activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia
The Russian Supreme Court on 17 July upheld its previous decision to liquidate all legal entities of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, terminate their activity and confiscate their property, alleging “extremist activity”. The decision confirms the ban on the peaceful worship of Jehovah’s Witnesses throughout the country. (...)

Latest articles

  • Statement by the Spokesperson on the upheld ban of activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia
    European External Action Service, Bruxelles, 18 July 2017

    The Russian Supreme Court on 17 July upheld its previous decision to liquidate all legal entities of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, terminate their activity and confiscate their property, alleging “extremist activity”. The decision confirms the ban on the peaceful worship of Jehovah’s Witnesses (...)

  • European Court of Human Rights, Hoffmann v. Austria, 23 June 1993
    Article 8 (Respect for private and family life) - Article 14 (Discrimination)

    EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
    COURT (CHAMBER)
    CASE OF HOFFMANN v. AUSTRIA
    (Application no. 12875/87)
    JUDGMENT
    STRASBOURG
    23 June 1993
    In the case of Hoffmann v. Austria,
    The European Court of Human Rights, sitting, in accordance with Article 43 (art. 43) of the Convention for the (...)

  • European Court of Human Rights, Kokkinakis v. Greece, 25 May 1993
    Article 9 (Freedom of religion) - Article 7 (No punishment without law) - Article 10 (Freedom of expression)

    EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
    COURT (CHAMBER)
    CASE OF KOKKINAKIS v. GREECE
    (Application no. 14307/88)
    JUDGMENT
    STRASBOURG
    25 May 1993
    In the case of Kokkinakis v. Greece,
    The European Court of Human Rights, sitting, in accordance with Article 43 (art. 43) of the Convention for the (...)

  • ODIHR Director Link and OSCE Chairperson’s Personal Representative Gabriel concerned over Jehovah’s Witness ban in Russia
    Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, Warsaw, 25 April 2017

    WARSAW, 25 April 2017 – Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and Professor Ingeborg Gabriel, Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination, also focusing on Intolerance (...)

  • EU Local Statement on the Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia
    Committee of Ministers, Strasbourg, 5 April 2017

    1283rd Meeting of the Committee of Ministers (5 April 2017)
    EU Local Statement on the Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia
    The claim filed by the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation on 15 March before the Supreme Court is the latest crackdown on, and a further escalation of (...)

  • European Court of Human Rights, Kuznetsov and Others v. Russia, 11 January 2007
    Article 9 (Freedom of religion) - Article 6 (Fair hearing)

    Legal Summary Article 9 Article 9-1
    Freedom of religion
    Unlawful termination of meeting organised by Jehovah’s Witnesses: violation Article 6 Article 6-1
    Fair hearing
    Failure by domestic courts to examine an alleged Convention violation: violation Facts The applicants are 103 Russian (...)

  • Opinion of 24 March 2011 on the exercise of religion in places of deprivation of liberty
    Controller General of Places of Deprivation of Liberty , 24 March 2011

    1. The exercise of religion in places of deprivation of liberty must clearly be conceived in accordance with the secularism principle deriving from Article 1 of the Constitution. As we know, this principle means that the State does not recognise any individual religion; it also has the effect (...)

  • Recommendation 1412 : Illegal activities of sects
    Parliamentary Assembly, 22 June 1999

    Council of Europe
    Parliamentary Assembly
    Recommendation 1412 (1999)
    1. The Assembly recalls its Recommendation 1178 (1992) on sects and new religious movements, in which it considered that major legislation on sects was undesirable on the grounds that such legislation might well interfere (...)