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Finland denies asylum to many Jehovah’s Witnesses from Russia — paper

April 17, 23:21 UTC+3 HELSINKI

The requests were rejected, because the Finnish authorities "believe that Russia is a safe country" for Jehovah’s Witnesses

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The Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center in Russia

The Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center in Russia

© Alexander Demyanchuk/TASS

HELSINKI, April 17. /TASS/. Finland’s migration service has turned down the vast majority of asylum requests filed by Russian members of Jehovah’s Witnesses (outlawed in Russia), because it sees no real threat for the group’s members in their home country, the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper reported on Wednesday.

According to the paper’s sources, in 2017-2019 the Finnish authorities have received about 250 asylum requests from members of the religious organization, which Russia outlawed in 2017. To date, 90 of those requests have already been considered and only 10% received a positive response.

The requests were rejected, because the Finnish authorities "believe that Russia is a safe country" for Jehovah’s Witnesses, Helsingin Sanomat said.

Jehovah’s Witnesses is an international religious organization that supports offbeat views on the essence of the Christian faith and provides special interpretations of many commonly accepted notions.

In August 2017, the Russian Justice Ministry included the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization and its 395 local religious branches to the list of organizations that are outlawed nationwide. The Russian Supreme Court satisfied the claim of the Justice Ministry to shut down the organization on April 20, 2017.

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