DISINFO: There is no religious persecution in Russia
Jehova Witnesses Religion Human rights

DISINFO: There is no religious persecution in Russia


It should be reiterated that there is no religious persecution in Russia. None of the inmates currently serving time in Russia could even remotely be described as "prisoners of conscience."


Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative concerning the human rights situation in Russia.

Articles 19, 28, and 29 of the Russian Constitution explicitly state that Russian citizens shall be afforded the freedom of religion and that any "agitation instigating [...] religious hatred and strife shall not be allowed."

Despite these robust constitutional guarantees, hundreds of Russians are serving prison time due to their faith. According to the Memorial human rights centre, there are currently 342 "political prisoners [convicted] on the basis of religion."

Although most of them are Muslims, they also include a considerable number of Jehova's Witnesses - a non-violent group of some 100,000 believers outlawed in 2017 in "serious breach of Russia's obligations to respect and protect religious freedom," according to Human Rights Watch.


Related disinfo cases


Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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