Russian army officers walk at a train station next to Ukrainian tanks ready to depart from Crimea to Ukraine in the settlement of Gvardeiskoye near the Crimean city of Simferopol March 31, 2014. Russia is withdrawing a motorized infantry battalion from a region near Ukraine's eastern border, the Russian Defence Ministry was quoted as saying by state news agencies on Monday. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis (UKRAINE - Tags: POLITICS CONFLICT) - RTR3JDIA

A Crimean member of the Jehovah’s Witnesses has been ordered to prove he has renounced his faith or else take up arms for the occupying Russian army. The move follows Russia’s banning of the Christian denomination in April and its annexation of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea in 2014.
Related: Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia receive parenting awards from Putin, sparking hope on ban appeal
One of the central tenets of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ faith is an opposition to serving in the military. Previously in Russia, members have been allowed to undertake alternative civilian service. But that has changed since the country’s Supreme Court upheld a ruling from the justice ministry that they violated an anti-extremism law, liquidating all 395 of its local religious chapters and rendering the faith of 175,000 of its members illegal.
There have since been multiple reports of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia being denied alternative civilian service.
But now an even more controversial …
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