Moscow -- A Russian court has overturned a legal victory for the Jehovah's Witnesses that had prevented the liquidation of the group's Moscow communities, news agencies reported Wednesday.
The ruling upheld a 1997 law that forces faiths without a long history in Russia to undergo a convoluted registration process and supported a range of allegations against the group.
A Moscow court in February threw out a case to shut down the group on the grounds that it regularly broke up families, infringed on individuals' rights and converted minors without parents' permission. But the ruling Wednesday wiped out that decision, upholding a range of such allegations against the group.
The group, which says it has at least 120,000 active members in Russia, stands accused of breaking Russia's 1997 Law on Freedom of Conscience and Religious Association, which the United States and the Vatican have vehemently criticized.