Author ORCID Identifier
Roman Bogachev ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1926-608X
Yana Tsymbalenko ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0442-7549
Olena Leovkina ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1825-8504
Igor Bogdanovskiy ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5292-2195
The article deals with the history and present stage of activities of the Jehovah's Witnesses organization in Ukraine. The attitude and actions of a state and the majority of its population towards the activities of the Jehovists and other non-traditional religious communities is viewed as a “litmus test,” which reveals how successfully the principle of religious freedom and freedom of conscience is implemented in public policy. It is emphasized that, unlike during the Soviet period, when the Jehovists were persecuted for their beliefs and missionary work, a required legal framework for free development of this religion has been created in independent Ukraine with very few cases of religious intolerance against Jehovah's Witnesses and other non-traditional religions. In general, there are no complaints regarding the protection of the believers’ rights in Ukraine from domestic human rights activists or foreign observers, who in recent years have hardly received any complaints about forced conversion to a different religion. The unhindered operation of Jehovah's Witnesses in Ukraine, especially in contrast to the temporarily occupied territories and some post-Soviet countries where this organization is banned (in particular, in Russia since 2017), is convincing evidence of the actual freedom of religion in this country and, therefore, the “litmus paper” does not change its colors into the threatening ones. (Editor’s note: This article was written prior to the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 22, 2022, after which the situation may be drastically altered).
Bogachev, Roman; Tsymbalenko, Yana; Leovkina, Olena; and Bogdanovskiy, Igor
"Activities of the Jehovah's Witnesses Organization as a "Litmus Test" for Religious Freedom in Ukraine,"
Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe: Vol. 42
, Article 12.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/ree/vol42/iss2/12