(Radio Free Europe) -- A Russian court has banned the Jehovah's Witnesses' translation of the Bible following a drawn-out legal battle, another blow to followers of the pacifist Christian sect who have been branded "extremists" and driven to practicing their faith underground, as in Soviet times.
The Jehovah's Witnesses' parent organization in Russia and 395 regional branches were formally placed on the Justice Ministry's list of "extremist" groups on August 17, a procedural move following the Supreme Court's decision to ban the group's activities and seize its property earlier this year.
In a separate case on August 17, a court in the northwestern border town of Vyborg banned the New World Translation Of The Holy Scriptures, the group's version of the Bible. Several other publications by the Jehovah's Witnesses -- including a brochure, The Bible -- What Is Its Message? -- were also labeled extremist.
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