In November 2020, Sergey Ledenyov from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky was sentenced to 2 years of probation just because of his faith in Jehovah God.
Sergey was born in 1974 in the village of Ossora (Kamchatka Territory). One of six children. Since childhood, he likes to design models of various types of equipment, as well as draw and photograph. After graduating from school, he mastered the specialties of a bricklayer, carpenter and tiler-facing.
At one time, Sergey considered the Bible an outdated and unscientific book, but changed his mind when he got to know it better. The study of the Scriptures prompted Sergey to change his life. "My previous lifestyle was far from biblical norms," he says.
Sergey's second wife, Anna, whom he married in 2017, says of him: "Sergey is a very kind, very calm person, a loving and caring husband. This does not correspond in any way to what they are trying to accuse him of!" The couple love to ski and go rafting on the rivers of Kamchatka. Sergey has an adult daughter from his first marriage.
Sergey's relatives, who do not share his religious views, do not understand why he is being persecuted. Daughter Lera, as a result of his criminal prosecution, began to communicate more often with her father, considers him her example.
“They liquidated a legal entity, but they are persecuting an individual. If a hospital is closed, doctors are not judged for being doctors.” So a peaceful believer from Kamchatka, Sergey Ledenyov, had to explain the obvious in court. In December 2018, a criminal case was opened against him under Article 282.2 (1) of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation. The investigator accused Ledenyov of organizing extremist activities, imputing “planned training in the postulates of the religious association Jehovah’s Witnesses.” At a preliminary hearing, the court returned the case to the prosecutor, but the supervisory authority eventually insisted that the case be considered in court. At the hearings in the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky City Court, chaired by Natalia Lychkova, witnesses, a religious scholar, and the defendant himself repeatedly emphasized the peacefulness of Jehovah’s Witnesses and their incompatibility with extremism. Nevertheless, the prosecutor demanded that the court imprison Ledenyov for 6 years in a colony. In November 2020, the court sentenced him to 2 years of suspended imprisonment. On January 19, 2021, the appellate court upheld the verdict. On August 19, 2022, the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky City Court expunged Sergey’s criminal record ahead of schedule.