Oleg Danilov and his family on the day of his release, March 1, 2024

Served Sentences

Oleg Danilov, One of Jehovah's Witness from Kholmskaya, Was Released After Serving 3 Years in Prison for His Faith

Krasnodar Territory

On March 1, 2024, Oleg Danilov, convicted for his faith in Jehovah God, was released from the penal colony in the town of Dvubratskiy. He was met by relatives and friends.

Oleg Danilov is a third-generation Jehovah's Witness. Back in 1958, his grandparents got to know believers exiled to Siberia. Soon the repressions also affected Oleg's family: his uncle was sentenced to 3 years for refusing to serve in the army on religious grounds. Oleg became a victim of persecution for his faith, 60 years later.

In March 2021, the Abinsk District Court found Danilov, who lived in Kholmskaya town, guilty of extremism. During his imprisonment, the believer had to serve his term in 3 colonies; he spent most of his time in strict conditions of detention – due to unjustified penalties from the colonies' administration, Oleg was placed in a punishment cell.

"Oleg and I have always been very close," said Danilov's wife, Natalia. "When he was taken away, it was as if a part of me had been torn out and a bleeding wound was left." She also noted: "The carefree youth of our sons abruptly turned into adulthood with responsibilities and solving many problems. But they handled it very well. Oleg 's example, which they had seen when he was around, helped them a lot."

Oleg Danilov meets his wife. March 1, 2024
Oleg Danilov meets his wife. March 1, 2024

Friends greatly supported the Danilov family. "Words cannot express how much love I felt from the brothers and sisters during this difficult time. They were always there, calling, writing, giving flowers, postcards, gifts, letters and much more," Natalia said.

"Looking at my father, I understand that his faith is not built on a shaky foundation," Oleg's son, Nikita said before his father's release. "It's not easy to accept all the challenges. It's not easy to say goodbye to your family, it's not easy to love your enemies, it's not easy to encourage others when it's hard for yourself. He gave his life into the caring hands of Jehovah, and as these events have shown, God will never abandon us."

In the town of Kholmskaya, with a population of less than 19,000 people, 7 believers have faced criminal prosecution. In addition to Danilov, two of his fellow believers have already served their sentences in a penal colony: Aleksandr Shcherbina was released in February, and Aleksandr Nikolayev in September 2023.

Case of Danilov in Kholmskaya

Case History
Oleg Danilov was searched twice, in April and December 2020, because of his faith in Jehovah God. For the first time, the security forces did not find anything forbidden on the believer, but in November 2020, the FSB opened a criminal case against him under Part 2 of Article 282.2 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation for participating in “religious teaching and sermons” and “collective discussion of the Bible.” The investigation was conducted by O. I. Komissarov, who also handled the case of Alexander Ivshin. On March 23, 2021, the judge of the Abinsk District Court of the Krasnodar Territory, Olga Khomchenkova, held the first hearing in the case of Danilov, and on March 29, the prosecutor requested a sentence of 3 years in prison for him. This is the punishment the court imposed on the believer. The Krasnodar Regional Court upheld the verdict. Danilov was placed in a colony in the city of Khadyzhensk, and later transferred to a colony in the village of Akhtarsky, where the administration infringes on his rights and unreasonably applies penalties. In June 2022, the court of cassation upheld the verdict.

Persons in case

Criminal case

Krasnodar Territory
Suspected of:
"participation in the activities of a religious association, in respect of which the court made a final decision on liquidation in connection with the implementation of extremist activities"
Court case number:
November 12, 2020
Current case stage:
the verdict entered into force
SO FSB in the Krasnodar Territory
Articles of Criminal Code of Russian Federation:
282.2 (2)
Court case number:
Абинский районный суд Краснодарского края
Judge of the Court of First Instance:
Ольга Хомченкова
Case History