Vladimir Putin Gives Parenting Award to Members of "Extremist" Faith
Government trying to ban Jehovah's Witnesses
June 26, 2017
On May 31, 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded the Order of "Parental Glory" to Valeriy and Tatiana Novik, Jehovah's Witnesses from Karelia, who are raising eight children, during a ceremony in Moscow at the Kremlin.
The Order of "Parental Glory" was instituted by presidential decree in May 2008. Russia awards this honor to parents who have at least seven children and have shown extraordinary care for their family's health and education, as well as their physical, mental, and moral development.
Families awarded the Order are considered models that strengthen the family institution.
David A. Semonian, a spokesman for Jehovah's Witnesses at their world headquarters, states: "We view this award as an acknowledgement that the free Bible education provided by Jehovah's Witnesses helps parents and their children to be productive citizens not only in Russia but all over the world. We hope that this award presented by President Putin is considered on July 17, 2017, when the Russian Supreme Court reviews the decision to liquidate the Administrative Center of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia."
In an April, 2017, decision, the Court ruled that the Christian sect is an "extremist" group. Pending failure at review, they are to be "eliminated" with activity banned in Russia, and all property confiscated by the state as state revenue.
Other conservative countries also give awards to families that make a lot of babies, but it is odd to honor a couple that is on the verge of being banned.