The Jehovah’s Witnesses were banned in the city of Oryol in 2016. Russia’s Supreme Court later rolled out that ban across the country April 2017, designating the group an “extremist organization.”
Christensen is the first person to be arrested following the ruling. A Jehovah’s Witness in Russia’s Bashkortostan was also prosecuted for organizing a meeting, but escaped with only a fine.
The raid comes days after a Kingdom Hall in the Russian republic of Komi was targeted by arsonists, the Mediazona website reported.
The remains of a Molotov cocktail were found close to the burnt building in the town of Rzheshart. Fifty Jehovah’s Witnesses are estimated to live in the area.