The Russia’s Supreme Court in a ruling it delivered on Thursday banned Jehovah’s Witnesses in the country.
The justice ministry had called on the court to ban Jehovah’s Witnesses describing the Christian denomination as “extremist organisation”.
“The administrative centre of Jehovah’s Witnesses and the local organisations in its fold and turn their property over to the Russian Federation,” Supreme Court judge Yury Ivanenko was quoted as saying in his judgement.
Reacting to the judgement, a representative of the group, Yaroslav Sivulsky, said they would appeal the decision saying “I didn’t expect that this could be possible in modern Russia, where the constitution guarantees freedom of religious practice.”
In recent years, Russia’s Jehovah Witnesses have had several run-ins with law enforcement.
Local media reported that in January, a chairman of the group in one of its branches was fined for having distributed material that authorities deemed extremist.