been some of the hardest hit by the enforcement of such laws. In o

ne of the most high-profile cases, a Russian court last month sentenced Danish Jehovah’s Wit

ness Dennis Christensen to six years in a penal colony on charges of “religious extremism.”

  After the conviction of Christensen, allegations also surfaced of torture and ill treatment of Jehova

h’s Witnesses following the searches of their homes by law enforcement officials in the Siberian city of Surgut.

  And earlier this week, the Russian Foreign Ministry and the US State Department confirmed the detention of tw

o US citizens — members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — in the southern city of Novorossiysk.

  Putin’s Russia may be authoritarian, but it is not monolithic: The perse

cution of Jehovah’s Witnesses continued even after Putin in December described the incl

usion of Jehovah’s Witnesses on a list of extremist organizations as “complete nonsense.”