As everyone is aware, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been outlawed in Russia. Some witnesses have been arrested and imprisoned as dangerous extremists. The Watchtower branch office outside of Saint Petersburg was seized by the government in December 2017.
Back in 2018, the Watchtower produced a public relations video featuring Russian attorneys and JW’s who worked on the project explaining the history of the construction of the branch facility and decrying its confiscation. Nothing like this has happened since the Soviet Union liquidated properties belonging to the Orthodox Church.
By the way, the lawyer for the Watchtower at the 25-second mark is representing the European Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses, which is an NGO set up for the purpose of influencing governments and institutions like the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe.
Around the three-minute mark, several witnesses voiced their heartbreak at seeing what they had worked together to create being taken away. In his closing remarks, the JW states that the confiscated property had been dedicated to Jehovah God and therefore God is the rightful owner. The Russian authorities have stolen from God.
The video was created as a press release for non-JWs who likely are unaware that the Watchtower routinely sells off properties that have been solemnly dedicated to Jehovah, just like the Watchtower campus in Saint Petersburg. Roughly 1,000 Kingdom Halls have been shuttered and the congregants evicted, congregants, who like their Russian brethren, worked together to purchase property and construct facilities for the sole purpose of having a place of worship. The Watchtower has also sold off branch facilities and assembly halls.
All physical structures require maintenance and upkeep. But the Kingdom Halls that have been sold or are up for sale are not unsuitable. Just the opposite. More than likely the Watchtower has hired the services of business consultants who have done an appraisal of thousands of properties and have advised the board of directors to sell the properties that can fetch the most money in the red hot real estate market. It is pure business.
Here is the problem though. Is it just the Russian government that has stolen from Jehovah? If all Kingdom Halls have been dedicated to God and therefore belong to Him is not the leadership of the Watchtower also stealing from Jehovah? Has God given them permission to evict tens of thousands of Christians from halls they build and paid for and dedicated to Jehovah? The Governing Body claims that they have been entrusted with stewardship over all of the physical assets of the Watchtower. But being custodians of something that belongs to someone else does not impart ownership.
According to the Watchtower’s own standards, the Governing Body has stolen from God. They have taken what belonged to God and sold it. Quite likely the bean counters and lawyers want the money in their war chest as they face a mountain of legal problems stemming from their determined warfare against child abuse victims.
How true, Jehovah’s denunciation: “Your princes are stubborn and partners with thieves. Every one of them loves a bribe and chases after gifts. They do not grant justice to the fatherless, and the legal case of the widow never reaches them.” — Isaiah 1:23
The Governing Body has judged the Russian Federation, condemning them for plundering what belonged to God. Meanwhile, they have done far worse, plundering hundreds of properties belonging to God. It does not bode well for them that God is going to judge them by their own judgments.
“I will treat them according to their ways, and I will judge them as they have judged. And they will have to know that I am Jehovah.” — Ezekiel 7:27