Lantos Foundation condemns Russia's outrageous decision to ban Jehovah's Witnesses

"Russia's recent outrageous decision to ban the Jehovah's Witnesses from existing as a recognized faith community in Russia is a complete violation of the protections for freedom of religion and belief in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Since Russia embarked on this unlawful path of destruction against a peaceful community of believers, Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia have experienced a 7 fold increase in incidents of violence and harassment directed at their community members. People of goodwill from all faith communities as well as all those who cherish freedom of conscience rights must stand in solidarity with the Jehovah's Witnesses of Russia. The Lantos Foundation calls upon leaders in Congress and the Trump Administration to take action on behalf of this small faith community and we once again call on the Trump Administration to move forward with the appointment of an Ambassador at Large for Religious Freedom. As religious freedom abuses continue to occur around the world, it is vital that the United States government have a high level representative of our government in a position to advocate on behalf of persecuted people." - Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, President