Photo: Jehovah's Witnesses worship building in Petrozavodsk (2013)

Seizure of Property

A court confiscated a building in the center of Petrozavodsk from a Finnish religious organization


On April 3, 2018, the Petrozavodsk City Court, composed of Judge Natalia Kurchavova, partially satisfied the claim of the Prosecutor's Office of the Republic of Karelia, which asked to recognize the ownership of the building that local Jehovah's Witnesses used for worship.

The building was commercially purchased by the Norwegian organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, then it was donated to the Local Religious Organization of Jehovah's Witnesses "Petrozavodsk", and finally donated to the Religious Association of Jehovah's Witnesses Finland, which has been continuously operating since 1945.

On April 20, 2017, the Petrozavodsk organization of Jehovah's Witnesses was liquidated by the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation, along with 395 other organizations throughout the country. Since by this time the building already belonged to Finnish Jehovah's Witnesses, the prosecutor's office demanded through the court to invalidate the donation agreement. The court satisfied this requirement. However, in this process, the court rejected the prosecutor's request to recognize the ownership of the state.