LVIV, Ukraine—The case involving the illegal seizure of a portion of property belonging to Jehovah’s Witnesses continues on April 3, 2012, when the Supreme Economic Court of Ukraine hears a cassation appeal brought by the Sport Development Center LLC (SDC).
In July 2008, the SDC was sold a portion of the property that comprises the Witnesses’ national branch. Although the Supreme Economic Court has ruled against Jehovah’s Witnesses numerous times in the past, on December 29, 2011, it handed down a favorable ruling, confirming the illegal nature of the property seizure. However, the SDC is now bringing an appeal to the Supreme Economic Court of Ukraine in a related case involving Jehovah’s Witnesses, which will be heard on April 3, 2012.
Should the appeal succeed, the activity of Jehovah’s Witnesses will be severely restricted. More than 170 Witnesses staff the national branch in Ukraine, and the bulk of their work involves importing and distributing Bibles and Bible-based literature, coordinating the construction of houses of worship, and organizing annual religious gatherings for more than 275,000 citizens of Ukraine.