I've said it before and it saddens me, but the Watchtower Society has more of the type of testimony the Church should have. Pressure is growing on them in Russia but for the right reasons. They're feeling the beginnings of persecution for their doctrinal witness and life... not because they're connected to Western values and the agendas of Washington and Wall Street.
They are hated because they reject nationalism, they refuse to be involved in civics and the military and they raise their children to be 'other' than that which the increasingly Sacralist Russian state would want them to be.
Do they destroy families? They do from an Orthodox point of view. They bring division and teach people to question the Orthodox norm. Converted Jehovah's Witnesses don't participate in Orthodox life anymore. This to a certain extent divorces them from the mainstream of Russian life.
It's called antithesis... something Dominionist dominated American Evangelicalism knows almost nothing about.
We're told their actions and antithesis foster hatred. Basically that's hyperbole for rejecting nationalism, not showing a proper love of country and tribe. I am amazed to find a growing number of Evangelicals and Confessionalists making Scripture-twisting arguments and appeals to romanticised cultural history in order to promote and defend nationalism. While it has never been a problem for American Evangelicals, there's a greater impetus to promote this in light of the culture wars. It's also growing among European Evangelicals, something all but unknown a generation ago.
The Jehovah's Witnesses threatens lives...
That the old charge that's always been brought against dissidents by pagan and Constantinian states. The 'heretics' are accused of murder in the night, sexual abuse and/or whatever else is needed to stir up public sentiment against them.
If the Watchtower folks are smart they won't rely on Amnesty International and will avoid appeal to NGO's. It will not aid them to be perceived as allied to the West. And increasingly as everyone seems to know (except the American public) the NGO's are tools and arms of Western governments.
Russian Sacralism won't stand for their message and presence but if they're viewed as Western proxies, they will move to destroy them.
Historically the Jehovah's Witnesses have avoided such entanglements. Frankly their testimony in this regard puts Evangelicals to shame.
Evangelicals are perceived as Western proxies and sad to say there are occasions it is probably with some reason. And Evangelicals all too often are quick to listen to their Western brethren and rally the forces of the American Empire to come to their aid. The normal Evangelical response to worldly pressure is to call on the lawyers, courts and the Pentagon.
Russia's resurgent Oriental Sacralism is self-defeating. By seeking to create a monistic society, they actually breed dissonance.
I'm sorry to defend Jehovah's Witnesses but at the end of the day I don't want to see them persecuted either. Though I think they're wrong and want to see them as individuals break with the Watchtower Society, I would not for any reason wish them to embrace the legacy of Constantinople.
Despite their core errors which are grievous to be sure, they have many peripheral issues right. Their 'Church' life, sense of purpose and mission often outstrips that of Evangelicalism. But without the foundation stone of the Gospel, it is all built on sand.