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Susan Ramirez -
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Hello All,

I was just wondering if anyone knows what the demographics of Jehovah's Witnesses nationwide and worldwide are? Not how many JW's there are compared to non JW's. We have that on the website. I was thinking more like what is the ratio of adults to teenagers/children. Here in our Circuit in Southern California, we see very few children and/or teenagers at our assemblies and conventions. It seems that the average age of most of the brothers and sisters that we see is between 50 and 70. Is that true in other places in the US or in the world? I would think that the GB has all this information, but I doubt they would release it. I'm just curious to see if young people are still accepting the truth at the same rate as before or if the pull of this wicked world is causing fewer and fewer to make the truth their own. All comments welcome!

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      b) Jesus addressed God as Father in His own prayers:
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      ‘O my Father, if it be possible.......’ (Matthew 26:39,42).
      ‘He said, Abba, Father.......’ (Mark 14:36).
      ‘ I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven.......’ (Luke 10:21).
      ‘Saying, Father, if thou be willing.......’ (Luke 22:42).
      ‘Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them;.......’ (Luke 23:34).
      ‘Father, the hour is come......’ (John 17:1).
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      3. ‘Ye are washed,....sanctified,... justified in the name of the Lord Jesus ’ (I Cor 6:11)
      4. ‘Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.’ (Col 3:17)
      5. ‘That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you....’ (II Thess 1:12)
      6. ‘Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves.....’ (II Thess. 3:6)
      7. ‘all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.’ (I Corinthians 1:2)
      8. ‘Thou holdest fast my name....’ Jesus said to the Pergamos church. (Revelation 2:13).
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      Q2: Demons were cast out by the authority of whose name?
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      Q3: In whose name should we preach repentance and forgiveness of sins? ‘And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations. And ye are witnesses of these things.’ (Luke 24:47,48)
      Q4: In whose name are we to believe and receive forgiveness of sins? ‘....through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.’ (Acts 10:43, John 1:12)
      Q5: By whose name, and no other, do we obtain salvation? Acts 4:10,12 says: ‘by the name of Jesus Christ ... Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’
      Q6: In whose name should we pray? John 16:23,24; 14:13,14; 15:16 says: ‘Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.’
      Q7: In whose name is the Holy Spirit sent?
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      Q10: Whose name is above every name?
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      Q13: In whose name were believers designated?
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      Q14: In whose name did the apostles speak?
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      We are to make the name of the Father known as Jesus emphasized (Matthew 6:9; John 17:26). How do we do it? By recognizing that Jesus Christ was chosen by the Father to embody all the glory and important reputation of that Name.
       
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      6. Christ ate a broiled fish and a honeycomb in front of them. Luke 24:41,42.
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      As Christ’s body was raised physically from the dead, so shall our mortal bodies be raised.
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      11. The resurrected, glorified Christ touched John, laying his right hand on him. Rev. 1:17
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      b) ‘flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God.’ (v.50). JWs claim that Jesus must have had a spiritual resurrection, because flesh-and-blood bodies cannot exist in heaven.
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    • By Jesus.defender
      The watchower CLAIMS to be Gods Prophet.
       
      In 1972, the Watchtower described itself as "the modern-day "prophet"".
      "So, does Jehovah have a prophet to help them, to warn them of dangers and to declare things to come? 
      IDENTIFYING THE "PROPHET" 
      These questions can be answered in the affirmative. Who is this prophet? ... This "prophet" was not one man, but was a body of men and women. It was the small group of footstep followers of Jesus Christ, known at that time as International Bible Students. Today they are known as Jehovah's Christian witnesses. ... Of course, it is easy to say that this group acts as a "prophet" of God. It is another thing to prove it. The only way that this can be done is to review the record. Thus this group of anointed followers of Jesus Christ, doing a work in Christendom paralleling Ezekiel's work among the Jews, were manifestly the modern-day Ezekiel, the "prophet" commissioned by Jehovah to declare the good news of God's Messianic kingdom and to give warning to Christendom." Watchtower 1972 Apr 1 pp.197-199 'They Shall Know that a Prophet Was Among Them'
      "commissioned to serve as the mouthpiece and active agent of Jehovah … commission to speak as a prophet in the name of Jehovah…" The Nations Shall Know that I am Jehovah" - How? pp.58,62
      "… commission to speak as a "prophet" in His name…" Watchtower 1972 Mar 15 p.189
      "The Watchtower is a magazine without equal in the earth …. This is not giving any credit to the magazine's publishers, but is due to the great Author of the Bible with it truths and prophecies, and who now interprets its prophecies." Watchtower 1943 Apr 15 p.127
      "The Watchtower is not the instrument of any man or set of men, nor is it published according to the whims of men. No man's opinion is expressed in The Watchtower. God feeds his own people, and surely God uses those who love and serve him according to his own will. Those who oppose The Watchtower are not capable of discerning the truth that God is giving to the children of his organization, and this is the very strongest proof that such opposers are not of God's organization." Watchtower 1931 Nov 1 p.327

       
      So, let's look at some of these prophecies.
       
      1889- In subsequent chapters we present proofs that the setting up of the Kingdom of God has already begun...And that the "battle of the great day of God almighty [revelation 16:14], which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of the earth's present rulership, is already commenced. [The 1915 edition of this book changed "A.D. 1914" to "A.D. 1915."] *from the book "The Time is at Hand; 1889 1897 "Our Lord, the appointed King, is now present, since October 1874," (Studies in the Scriptures, vol. 4, p. 621). 1899 "...the 'battle of the great day of God Almighty' (Revelation 16:14), which will end in A.D. 1914 with the complete overthrow of earth's present rulership, is already commenced," (The Time Is at Hand, 1908 edition, p. 101). 1916 "The Bible chronology herein presented shows that the six great 1000 year days beginning with Adam are ended, and that the great 7th Day, the 1000 years of Christ's Reign, began in 1873," (The Time Is at Hand, forward, p. ii). 1918 "Therefore we may confidently expect that 1925 will mark the return of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and the faithful prophets of old, particularly those named by the Apostle in Hebrews 11, to the condition of human perfection," (Millions Now Living Will Never Die, p. 89). 1922 "The date 1925 is even more distinctly indicated by the Scriptures than 1914," (Watchtower, Sept. 1, 1922, p. 262). 1923 "Our thought is, that 1925 is definitely settled by the Scriptures. As to Noah, the Christian now has much more upon which to base his faith than Noah had upon which to base his faith in a coming deluge," (Watchtower, Apr. 1, 1923, p. 106). 1925 "The year 1925 is here. With great expectation Christians have looked forward to this year. Many have confidently expected that all members of the body of Christ will be changed to heavenly glory during this year. This may be accomplished. It may not be. In his own due time God will accomplish his purposes concerning his people. Christians should not be so deeply concerned about what may transpire this year," (Watchtower, Jan. 1, 1925, p. 3). 1925 "It is to be expected that Satan will try to inject into the minds of the consecrated, the thought that 1925 should see an end to the work," (Watchtower, Sept., 1925, p. 262). 1926 "Some anticipated that the work would end in 1925, but the Lord did not state so. The difficulty was that the friends inflated their imaginations beyond reason; and that when their imaginations burst asunder, they were inclined to throw away everything," (Watchtower, p. 232). 1931 "There was a measure of disappointment on the part of Jehovah's faithful ones on earth concerning the years 1917, 1918, and 1925, which disappointment lasted for a time...and they also learned to quit fixing dates," (Vindication, p. 338). 1941 "Receiving the gift, the marching children clasped it to them, not a toy or plaything for idle pleasure, but the Lord's provided instrument for most effective work in the remaining months before Armageddon," (Watchtower, Sept. 15, 1941, p. 288). 1968 "True, there have been those in times past who predicted an 'end to the world', even announcing a specific date. Yet nothing happened. The 'end' did not come. They were guilty of false prophesying. Why? What was missing?.. Missing from such people were God's truths and evidence that he was using and guiding them," (Awake, Oct. 8, 1968). 1968 "Why are you looking forward to 1975?" (Watchtower, Aug. 15, 1968, p. 494). 6,000 years from Adam ended in A.D. 1872. (Daily Heavenly Manna, inside cover page),6,000 years of human history ended in 1873.(The Time is at Hand, p.33),6,000 years of human history ended in 1972.(The Truth Shall Make You Free, p.152, 1943 edition),6,000 years of human history ended in 1975. (Awake!, October 8th, 1968, page 15).  
      Would a true prophet of God make false prophecies about World War II?
      ‘The Nazis will destroy the British.’ (Fifth Column, p 15)
      The new book titled Children will prove useful ‘in the remaining months before Armageddon’ (Watchtower, 15 September 1941, p 288)
      ‘The end of Nazi Fascist hierarchy will come and will mark the end forever of demon rule.’ (Watchtower, 15 December 1941, p 377)
       
       
       
      Note that just admitting you were false prophets does not make you no longer false prophets.

       
    • By Anna
      Correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that despite this informative document recently made available to download in several languages on the JW website, there is not too much of a mention of it by any of the opposers and "campaigners" against child abuse in the JW organization.
      Here is the entire document:
      JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES’ SCRIPTURALLY BASED POSITION ON CHILD PROTECTION
      Definitions: Child abuse may include neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse.
      Child sexual abuse is a perversion and generally includes one or more of the following: sexual inter-course with a child; oral or anal sex with a child; fondling the genitals, breasts, or buttocks of a child; voyeurism of a child; indecent exposure to a child; or soliciting a child for sexual conduct. It may include sexting with a minor or showing pornography to a minor.
      In this document, references to parents apply equally to legal guardians or other persons who hold pa-rental responsibility for a minor.
      1. Children are a sacred trust, “an inheritance from Jehovah.”—Psalm 127:3.
      2. The protection of children is of utmost concern and importance to all Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is in harmony with the long-standing and widely published Scripturally based position of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as reflected in the references at the end of this document, which are all published on jw.org.
      3. Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child abuse and view it as a crime. (Romans 12:9) We recognize that the authorities are responsible for addressing such crimes. (Romans 13:1-4) The elders do not shield any perpetrator of child abuse from the authorities.
      4. In all cases, victims and their parents have the right to report an accusation of child abuse to the authorities. Therefore, victims, their parents, or anyone else who reports such an accusation to the elders are clearly informed by the elders that they have the right to report the matter to the authorities. Elders do not criticize anyone who chooses to make such a report.—Galatians 6:5.
      5. When elders learn of an accusation of child abuse, they immediately consult with the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses to ensure compliance with child abuse reporting laws. (Romans 13:1) Even if the elders have no legal duty to report an accusation to the authorities, the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses will instruct the elders to report the matter if a minor is still in danger of abuse or there is some other valid reason. Elders also ensure that the victim’s parents are informed of an accusation of child abuse. If the alleged abuser is one of the victim’s parents, the elders will inform the other parent.
      6. Parents have the primary responsibility for the protection, safety, and instruction of their children. Therefore, parents who are members of the congregation are encouraged to be vigilant in exercising their responsibility at all times and to do the following:
      • Have direct and active involvement in their children’s lives.
      • Educate themselves and their children about child abuse.
      • Encourage, promote, and maintain regular communication with their children. —Deuteronomy 6:6, 7; Proverbs 22:3.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses publish an abundance of Bible-based information to assist parents to fulfill their responsibility to protect and instruct their children.—See the references at the end of this document.
       7. Congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses do not separate children from their parents for the purpose of instruction or other activities. (Ephesians 6:4) For example, our congregations do not provide or sponsor orphanages, Sunday schools, sports clubs, day-care centers, youth groups, or other activi-ties that separate children from their parents.
      8. Elders strive to treat victims of child abuse with compassion, understanding, and kindness. (Colossians 3:12) As spiritual counselors, the elders endeavor to listen carefully and empathetically to victims and to console them. (Proverbs 21:13; Isaiah 32:1, 2; 1 Thessalonians 5:14; James 1:19) Victims and their families may decide to consult a mental-health professional. This is a personal decision.
      9. Elders never require victims of child abuse to present their accusation in the presence of the alleged abuser. However, victims who are now adults may do so, if they wish. In addition, victims can be accompanied by a confidant of either gender for moral support when presenting their accusation to the elders. If a victim prefers, the accusation can be submitted in the form of a written statement.
      10. Child abuse is a serious sin. If an alleged abuser is a member of the congregation, the elders conduct a Scriptural investigation. This is a purely religious proceeding handled by elders according to Scriptural instructions and is limited to the issue of membership as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A member of the congregation who is an unrepentant child abuser is expelled from the congregation and is no longer considered one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. (1 Corinthians 5:13) The elders’ handling of an accusation of child abuse is not a replacement for the authorities’ handling of the matter.—Romans 13:1-4.
      11. If it is determined that one guilty of child sexual abuse is repentant and will remain in the congregation, restrictions are imposed on the individual’s congregation activities. The individual will be specifically admonished by the elders not to be alone in the company of children, not to cultivate friendships with children, or display any affection for children. In addition, elders will inform parents of minors within the congregation of the need to monitor their children’s interaction with the individ-ual.
      12. A person who has engaged in child sexual abuse does not qualify to receive any congregation privileges or to serve in a position of responsibility in the congregation for decades, if ever. —1 Timothy 3:1-7, 10; 5:22; Titus 1:7.
      13. This document is available upon request to members of the congregation. It is reviewed at least once every three years.
      Source: https://www.jw.org/en/news/legal/legal-resources/information/packet-jw-scripturally-based-position-child-protection/#?insight[search_id]=4022773a-67c8-48a8-ba04-eac2f426147e&insight[search_result_index]=0
       
       
       
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — To those watching on TV, religion may seem absent from the Winter Olympic Games. Away from the spotlight, though, an estimated 3,000 missionaries are on hand.
      About 2,000 missionaries — South Korean and international — are working in the city of Gangneung, where the indoor Olympic events are being held. The remaining 1,000 are working in Pyeongchang, site of ski, snowboard and other events.
      There is no reliable count of missionaries at Olympics past. But the number of local missionaries here far exceeds previous games, said Marty Youngblood, leader of the Georgia Baptist Convention mission team, who is at his fifth Olympics this year.
      South Korea, which is 29% Christian, and among whom Protestants predominate, enjoys high levels of religious tolerance. Buddha’s birthday and Christmas are both national holidays.
      The Winter Games have attracted teams of Baptists, Presbyterians and Methodists. Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons also abound, each group sharing the gospel in its own way. The United Christian Churches of Korea, a coalition of 144 local congregations, is helping foreign mission groups to arrange housing and ministry sites and learn about Korean culture.
      Local churches are taking advantage of an Olympics at their doorstep. Many have set up welcome stations in parking lots, where they give away snacks, coffee and Christian literature.
      In addition to its coffee and snack giveaway, Somang Presbyterian Church — located in the shadow of the Olympic venues — is showcasing a live orchestra and church members dressed in traditional costume. It’s just one of the 26 local churches in Gangneung with Olympic outreach ministries.
      Then there’s the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Helping Hands Center, a two-story building on prime real estate across the street from the train station in Gangneung. Working there is Coloradan Chandler Petry, chosen by her church with a small group of other Mormon missionaries already in Korea to serve at the Olympics.
      The center’s multilingual staff will give athletes, members of the media and any Olympic spectator a warm drink and a place to recharge their phones. But its main goal, according to the church’s website, “is for as many as possible to see the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the eyes of the members and missionaries.”
      The Jehovah’s Witnesses have sent about 1,000 missionaries to the Winter Games, far more than to previous Olympics, said Steven Park, public information officer for the Jehovah’s Witness Korea branch. He says that the work they do in Gangneung and Pyeongchang is no different from the ministry they do elsewhere and that some missionaries will remain in the area after the Olympics.
      One of the most popular tools of ministry for these Olympic missionaries is lapel pin trading.
      Myungsu No, a campus minister in Seoul, says his students from the Baptist Student Union use pin trading — a pastime at this and previous Olympics — to spread the gospel. While athletes and spectators trade pins that typically depict a certain country, sport or team, mission groups give away a “More Than Gold” lapel pin, borrowing the slogan a consortium of missionary groups adopted in the 1990s to brand their Olympic outreach.
      Psalm 119:127 declares that the commands of God are loved “more than gold.” The reference to gold at the Olympics, where athletes’ highest reward for their performance is a gold medal, is borrowed by the missionaries to suggest there is a higher reward to be sought through faith.
      Veteran missionaries trained in the art of Olympic pin trading are passing down the skill to the new generation. The missionaries make an initial pin trade using a nonreligious pin they have collected — say, that of the USA ski jump team. This often prompts a conversation and a chance for the missionary to offer the trader the “More Than Gold” pin as a gift.
      Some missionaries who work elsewhere in Asia have decided to take a break to focus on the Olympics.
      American Kathryn Daniel, based in China, says she felt called to evangelize at the Winter Games because of her personal connection with Korea. She spent 12 years of her life in the country with her missionary parents.
      Nine months ago, she heard her father was getting a group of other retired missionaries to go to the Olympics, and she thought, “I think this is God telling me to go, ‘Kathy, just go.’” Daniel is staying in Korea for a week, working with the group from the Georgia Baptist Convention.
      The first weekend of the Olympics, mission groups passed out Christian literature in the Olympic park unimpeded.
      Then Olympic park officials posted signs informing visitors that passing out religious material in the park was banned, and any materials found would be confiscated.
      Youngblood, of the Georgia Baptist Convention, said he is not concerned. His missionaries are also using the pin trading and only give pamphlets to those who want to learn more.
      And A-lim Jang, a recent university graduate and student leader with Baptist Student Union missionaries, said pin trading has allowed her and her colleagues to share the gospel “with many people that God puts in our path.”
      Madeline C. Mulkey is a senior at the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications. She is doing a special online documentary and a series of articles on “God at the Game.” Her project is funded in part by the Magellan Scholarship Program.
      This article originally appeared on Religion News Service. Its content is created separately from USA TODAY.
      https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2018/02/22/guess-whos-also-competing-olympics-thousands-missionaries/363582002/
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      A video has emerged apparently showing Libyan children enacting a mass execution, resembling those carried out by Islamic State, with one child shooting kneeling “prisoners” in the head with a toy gun. READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/8ynr
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Children who eat fish tend to sleep better and score higher on IQ tests, a new study has found.
      Using self-administered questionnaires, researchers collected information on fish consumption among 541 Chinese boys and girls ages 9 to 11. Parents reported their children’s sleep duration, how often they awoke at night, daytime sleepiness and other sleep patterns. At age 12, the children took IQ tests.
      Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/26/well/eat/fish-brain-iq-intelligence-children-kids.html?_r=2
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Schoolchildren who read and write at home with their parents may build not only their academic literacy skills, but also other important life and learning skills, a recent study found.
      The project, a study by researchers at the University of Washington, followed children for five years, either grades one through five or three through seven. It looked at their reading and writing activities at home, their school progress and their skills, both according to their parents’ reports and according to annual assessments.
      In the study, published in May in the Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation by Nicole Alston-Abel and Virginia W. Berninger, parents were asked to rate their children’s ability to pay attention, set goals, control impulses and regulate their level of activity. Dr. Berninger, who is professor emerita of educational psychology at the University of Washington, said, “It’s not just the skills the parents teach at home, it’s also how they help their children’s self-regulation, sometimes called executive function.” Writing, she said, was just as important as reading, and the children in the study tended to struggle harder with writing, and to get more help with those assignments from their parents.
      Well over 20 years ago, when we started using books at pediatric checkups, we called it literacy promotion. Then for a while, “school readiness” was the buzzword and the byword, so, not unreasonably, we talked about school readiness. And as more and more attention was drawn to early brain development, it seemed clear, as we talked about getting books into children’s hands and children’s homes, that what we were really trying to do was help foster the language-rich parent-child interactions that build children’s brains.
      Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/16/well/family/literacy-builds-life-skills-as-well-as-language-skills.html
    • Guest Nicole
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      10+ yrs polar bear.pdf

      10+yrs bike by tree.pdf
      5-10 yrs kids_Africa.pdf
      5-10 yrs kids_Lorikeet.pdf
    • By Bible Speaks
      Children have been compared to “arrows in the hand of a mighty man.” 
      ????????????????
      An archer has the arrow in his bow for only a relatively short time. To hit the target, he must quickly let it go. 
      ????????????????
      Likewise, parents have only a relatively short period of time to develop in their children heartfelt love for Jehovah. 
      ????????????????
      After what seems to be just a few short years, the children grow up and leave home. Will they hit the target—that is, will the children continue to love and serve God after they leave home? 
      ????????????????
      Numerous factors influence the answer. Much depends upon the skill of the parent, the environment in which the children are raised, and the way the ‘arrow,’ or child, responds to the training he or she receives. - Psalms 127:4.
      JW.Org  
      1 GIF TAP ON FOR ACTION — Enjoy! 


    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      For example if  children are noisy during the meeting, parents may take them to the restroom or outside the Hall  and hit them with a belt or hand?
       
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      What is the difference between and oath and a vow?
    • By Jack Ryan
      You read that right. There is a whole talk on the topic.
      Outline: Safeguard Your Children From “What Is Evil” CO-tk17-26-E


       
    • By The Librarian
      Is Russia clamping down on Jehovah Witnesses? BBC News
      Russia’s Supreme Court has begun hearing a government request to outlaw the Jehovah’s Witnesses and declare it an extremist organisation. The justice ministry has already placed its headquarters near St Petersburg on a list of extremist groups.

      Forum to discuss in detail located HERE
      Via
    • By Kurt
      GENEVA (4 April 2017) – Moves by the Russian Government to ban the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses using a lawsuit brought under anti-extremism legislation have been condemned as “extremely worrying” by three United Nations human rights experts*. 
      “This lawsuit is a threat not only to Jehovah’s Witnesses, but to individual freedom in general in the Russian Federation,” the experts said. 
      “The use of counter-extremism legislation in this way to confine freedom of opinion, including religious belief, expression and association to that which is state-approved is unlawful and dangerous, and signals a dark future for all religious freedom in Russia,” they stressed. 
      The condemnation follows a lawsuit lodged at the country’s Supreme Court on 15 March to declare the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Centre ‘extremist’, to liquidate it, and to ban its activity.  
      A suspension order came into effect on that date, preventing the Administrative Centre and all its local religious centres from using state and municipal news media, and from organizing and conducting assemblies, rallies and other public events. 
      A full court hearing is scheduled for 5 April and if the Supreme Court rules in favour of the authorities, it will be the first such ruling by a court declaring a registered centralized religious organization to be ‘extremist’. 
      Concerns about the counter-extremism legislation have previously been raised in a communication by the three experts to the Russian authorities on 28 July 2016.  
      The Suspension Order imposed on 15 March is the latest in a series of judicial cases and orders, including a warning sent to the organization last year referring to the ‘inadmissibility of extremist activity’. This has already led to the dissolution of several local Jehovah’s Witness organizations, raids against their premises and literature being confiscated.  
      “We urge the authorities to drop the lawsuit in compliance with their obligations under international human rights law, and to revise the counter-extremism legislation and its implementation to avoid fundamental human rights abuses,” the UN experts concluded. 
      (*) The experts: Mr. David Kaye (USA), Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, Mr. Maina Kiai (Kenya), Special Rapporteur on freedoms of peaceful assembly and of association, and Mr. Ahmed Shaheed (the Maldives), Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.  
      The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.  
      UN Human Rights, country page: Russian Federation  
      - See more at
    • By bruceq
      Russia Moves to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses as ‘Extremist’
      By ANDREW HIGGINS APRIL 4, 2017
        Jehovah’s Witnesses gathered in a house in the village of Vorokhobino, north of Moscow, where they meet for services. CreditJames Hill for The New York Times VOROKHOBINO, Russia — A dedicated pacifist who has never even held a gun, Andrei Sivak discovered that his government considered him a dangerous extremist when he tried to change some money and the teller “suddenly looked up at me with a face full of fear.”
      His name had popped up on the exchangalee bureau’s computer system, along with those of members of Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and other militant groups responsible for shocking acts of violence.
      The only group the 43-year-old father of three has ever belonged to, however, is Jehovah’s Witnesses, a Christian denomination committed to the belief that the Bible must be taken literally, particularly its injunction “Thou shalt not kill.”
      Yet, in a throwback to the days of the Soviet Union, when Jehovah’s Witnesses were hounded as spies and malcontents by the K.G.B., the denomination is at the center of an escalating campaign by the authorities to curtail religious groups that compete with the Russian Orthodox Church and that challenge President Vladimir V. Putin’s efforts to rally the country behind traditional and often militaristic patriotic values.
      The Justice Ministry on Thursday put the headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, an office complex near St. Petersburg, on a list of the bodies banned “in connection with the carrying out of extremist activities.”
      Last month, the ministry asked the Supreme Court to outlaw the religious organization and stop its more than 170,000 Russian members from spreading “extremist” texts. The court is scheduled to hear — and is likely to rule on — the case on Wednesday.
      Extremism, as defined by a law passed in 2002 but amended and expanded several times since, has become a catchall charge that can be deployed against just about anybody, as it has been against some of those involved in recent anti-corruption protests in Moscow and scores of other cities.
          The Jehovah’s Witnesses elders Vyacheslav Stepanov, 40, left, and Andrei Sivak, 43, are facing trial on charges of inciting division and hatred. CreditJames Hill for The New York Times Several students who took part in demonstrations in the Siberian city of Tomsk are now being investigated by a special anti-extremism unit while Leonid Volkov, the senior aide to the jailed protest leader Aleksei A. Navalny, said he had himself been detained last week under the extremism law.
      In the case of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the putative extremism seems to derive mostly from the group’s absolute opposition to violence, a stand that infuriated Soviet and now Russian authorities whose legitimacy rests in large part on the celebration of martial triumphs, most notably over Nazi Germany in World War II but also over rebels in Syria.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses, members of a denomination founded in the United States in the 19th century and active in Russia for more than 100 years, refuse military service, do not vote and view God as the only true leader. They shun the patriotic festivals promoted with gusto by the Kremlin, like the annual celebration of victory in 1945 and recent events to celebrate the annexation of Crimea in March 2014.
      Mr. Sivak, who says he lost his job as a physical education teacher because of his role as a Jehovah’s Witnesses elder, said he had voted for Mr. Putin in 2000, three years before joining the denomination. He added that while he has not voted since, nor has he supported anti-Kremlin activities of the sort that usually attract the attention of Russia’s post-Soviet version of the K.G.B., the Federal Security Service, or F.S.B.
      “I have absolutely no interest in politics,” he said during a recent Jehovah’s Witnesses Friday service in a wooden country house in Vorokhobino, a snow-covered village north of Moscow. Around 100 worshipers crammed into a long, chilly room under fluorescent lights to listen to readings from the Bible, sing and watch a video advising them to dress for worship as they would for a meeting with the president.
      “From the Russian state’s perspective, Jehovah’s Witnesses are completely separate,” said Geraldine Fagan, the author of “Believing in Russia — Religious Policy After Communism.” She added, “They don’t get involved in politics, but this is itself seen as a suspicious political deviation.”
      “The idea of independent and public religious activity that is completely outside the control of — and also indifferent to — the state sets all sorts of alarm bells ringing in the Orthodox Church and the security services,” she said.
      That the worldwide headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses is in the United States and that its publications are mostly prepared there, Ms. Fagan added, “all adds up to a big conspiracy theory” for the increasingly assertive F.S.B.
        Photo   Jehovah’s Witnesses arriving at a Friday evening service in Vorokhobino. CreditJames Hill for The New York Times For Mr. Sivak, it has added up to a long legal nightmare. His troubles began, he said, when undercover security officers posed as worshipers and secretly filmed a service where he was helping to officiate in 2010.
      Accused of “inciting hatred and disparaging the human dignity of citizens,” he was put on trial for extremism along with a second elder, Vyacheslav Stepanov, 40. The prosecutor’s case, heard by a municipal court in Sergiyev Posad, a center of the Russian Orthodox Church, produced no evidence of extremism and focused instead on the insufficient patriotism of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      “Their disregard for the state,” a report prepared for the prosecution said, “erodes any sense of civic affiliation and promotes the destruction of national and state security.”
      In a ruling last year, the court found the two men not guilty and their ordeal seemed over — until Mr. Sivak tried to change money and was told that he had been placed on a list of “terrorists and extremists.”
      He and Mr. Stepanov now face new charges of extremism and are to appear before a regional court this month. “There is a big wave of repression breaking,” Mr. Stepanov said.
      In response to written questions, the Justice Ministry in Moscow said a yearlong review of documents at the Jehovah’s Witnesses “administrative center” near St. Petersburg had uncovered violations of a Russian law banning extremism. As a result, it added, the center should be “liquidated,” along with nearly 400 locally registered branches of the group and other structures.
      For the denomination’s leaders inside Russia, the sharp escalation in a long campaign of harassment, previously driven mostly by local officials, drew horrifying flashbacks to the Soviet era.
      Vasily Kalin, the chairman of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Russian arm, recalled that his whole family had been deported to Siberia when he was a child. “It is sad and reprehensible that my children and grandchildren should be facing a similar fate,” he said. “Never did I expect that we would again face the threat of religious persecution in modern Russia.”
          Mr. Stepanov led a Friday evening service. CreditJames Hill for The New York Times In Russia, as in many countries, the door-to-door proselytizing of Jehovah’s Witnesses often causes irritation, and their theological idiosyncrasies disturb many mainstream Christians. The group has also been widely criticized for saying that the Bible prohibits blood transfusions. But it has never promoted violent or even peaceful political resistance.
      “I cannot imagine that anyone really thinks they are a threat,” said Alexander Verkhovsky, director of the SOVA Center for Information and Analysis, which monitors extremism in Russia. “But they are seen as a good target. They are pacifists, so they cannot be radicalized, no matter what you do to them. They can be used to send a message.”
      That message, it would seem, is that everyone needs to get with the Putin program — or risk being branded as an extremist if they display indifference, never mind hostility, to the Kremlin’s drive to make Russia a great power again.
      “A big reason they are being targeted is simply that they are an easy target,” Ms. Fagan said. “They don’t vote, so nobody is going to lose votes by attacking them.”
      Attacking Jehovah’s Witnesses also sends a signal that even the mildest deviation from the norm, if proclaimed publicly and insistently, can be punished under the anti-extremism law, which was passed after Russia’s second war in Chechnya and the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States.
      Billed as a move by Russia to join a worldwide struggle against terrorism, the law prohibited “incitement of racial, national or religious strife, and social hatred associated with violence or calls for violence.”
      But the reference to violence was later deleted, opening the way for the authorities to classify as extremist any group claiming to offer a unique, true path to religious or political salvation.
      Even the Russian Orthodox Church has sometimes fallen afoul of the law: The slogan “Orthodoxy or Death!” — a rallying cry embraced by some hard-line believers — has been banned as an illegal extremist text.
          The Cathedral of the Assumption in Sergiyev Posad. Jehovah’s Witnesses say that the local authorities have avoided giving them permission to build a Kingdom Hall in the town, and that they have to use a large house in a village 12 miles away for services. CreditJames Hill for The New York Times To help protect the Orthodox Church and other established religions, Parliament passed a law in 2015 to exempt the Bible and the Quran, as well as Jewish and Buddhist scripture, from charges of extremism based on their claims to offer the only true faith.
      The main impetus for the current crackdown, however, appears to come from the security services, not the Orthodox Church. Roman Lunkin, director of the Institute of Religion and Law, a Moscow research group, described it as “part of a broad policy of suppressing all nongovernmental organizations” that has gained particular force because of the highly centralized structure of Jehovah’s Witnesses under a worldwide leadership based in the United States.
      “They are controlled from outside Russia and this is very suspicious for our secret services,” he said. “They don’t like having an organization that they do not and cannot control.”
      Artyom Grigoryan, a former Jehovah’s Witness who used to work at the group’s Russian headquarters but who now follows the Orthodox Church, said the organization had “many positive elements,” like its ban on excessive drinking, smoking and other unhealthy habits.
      All the same, he said it deserved to be treated with suspicion. “Look at it from the view of the state,” he said. “Here is an organization that is run from America, that gets financing from abroad, and whose members don’t serve in the army and don’t vote.”
      Estranged from his parents, who are still members and view his departure as sinful, he said Jehovah’s Witnesses broke up families and “in the logic of the state, it presents a threat.”
      He added, “I am not saying this is real or not, but it needs to be checked by objective experts.”
      Mr. Sivak, now preparing for yet another trial, said he had always tried to follow the law and he respected the state, but could not put its interests above the commands of his faith.
      “They say I am a terrorist,” he said, “but all I ever wanted to do was to get people to pay attention to the Bible.”
      Correction: April 4, 2017  An earlier version of this article misstated Andrei Sivak’s age. He is 43, not 42. The error was repeated in a picture caption, which also misstated the age of Vyacheslav Stepanov. He is 40, not 39. And because of an editing error, the article also misidentified the person who said he was detained last week under Russia’s extremism law. It was Leonid Volkov, not Aleksei A. Navalny.
      NICE THAT THE EDITOR PUT A PICTURE OF ELDERLY WITNESSES THAT RUSSIA IS CALLING DANGEROUS EXTREMIST.
    • By Kurt
      Эксперт Наталия Крюкова, в отношении которой подано заявление о возбуждении уголовного дела, рассказывает о тонкостях своих методов выявления экстремизма. 
      JW Russia Video
    • By Bible Speaks
      Children Bring Praise to Jehovah! Lessons From the Bible Teach Us How to Raise Responsible Children Today! -
      (Psalm 34:11) . . .Come, listen to me; The fear of Jehovah is what I shall teach YOU."
      (Zechariah 8:5) . . .And the public squares of the city themselves will be filled with boys and girls playing in her public squares.’” Young children in Israel knew the joy of relaxation and amusements, sometimes playing in the marketplace, imitating things they had observed while watching grown-ups.—Mt 11:16, 17; Zec 8:5
      The parents were the ones responsible for the education and training of their children, they themselves being the instructors and guides, both by word and by example. 
      The educational program was as follows:
      (1) Fear of Jehovah was taught. (Ps 34:11; Pr 9:10)
      (2) The child was admonished to honor his father and mother. (Ex 20:12; Le 19:3; De 27:16)
      (3)Discipline or instruction in the Law, its commandments and teachings, and education in the activities and revealed truths of Jehovah were diligently inculcated in the impressionable minds of the young offspring.
      (De 4:5, 9; 6:7-21; Ps 78:5)
      (4) Respect for older persons was stressed. (Le 19:32)
      (5) The importance of obedience was indelibly stamped on the youngster’s mind. (Pr 4:1; 19:20; 23:22-25)
      (6) Stress was put on practical training for adult living, such as teaching girls to do things around the home, or teaching boys the trade of the father or some other trade.
      (7) Education in reading and    writing was given.
      http://wol.jw.org/en

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    • Here's a start. But I can't get into Daniel 4 without something like the following as a "preamble:"   "What Does Bible Chronology Indicate About the Year 1914?" The Bible’s answer I will come again and will receive you home to myself, so that where I am you also may be. (John 14:4) For the creation is waiting with eager expectation for the revealing of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19) Bible chronology is a topic that has intrigued many Bible readers for centuries. The desire to see Jesus return has driven many to focus on combinations of Biblical numbers and dates so that these combinations will usually point to Jesus' return in their own lifetime, or at least the very near future. Now that we are 2,000 years from the time that Jesus walked the earth, preached, and died, there are very few ways to manipulate prophetic numbers so they will reach our own time period. There are the 1,260 days of Revelation and Daniel, which are also called "three and one-half times." And there are some other periods mentioned in Daniel including the 1,290 days, 1,335 days, and 2,300 evenings and mornings. The common method for making such periods end in our own day has been to turn each day into a year. But this leaves us in the "middle of nowhere" if we were to count back from today. For example, 2020 minus 1260 brings us to 760 C.E. somewhere in the Middle Ages. Adding 1260 to the date of Jesus' birth, baptism, death or resurrection would similarly bring us to dates in the 13th century C.E. Using the number 2300 from any event in the lifetime of Jesus life would point to a time nearly 300 years in the future, and this would have very little appeal to a Bible scholar or anyone with an eager expectation. And pointing back 2,300 years from today takes us to 280 B.C.E., another point that is nearly 300 years before Jesus and as much as 300 years after any major event in the kingdom of Israel or Judea.  Other "clever" methods have been used to reach modern times. In the 18th and 19th centuries it was common for Protestants to point back only 1,260 years to reach some seemingly important events in Catholic history. (For example, 1800 CE minus 1,260 years brings us to 540 CE., when the Holy Roman Empire was losing its grip on Europe.) Another method was to look at the number of years between the time of Jesus and a "modern" date, and then look at that same period of time in the B.C.E. period, looking for a potentially significant event. In other words, if it were nearly 1843 CE, for example, they would look to see if anything interesting might have happened in 1843 B.C.E. If this method pointed near to anything significant (like the birth of Jacob/Israel or the death of Jacob/Israel) then there was only a need to adjust a few years in either direction to find many other potentially significant dates that were "exactly" a certain number of years before events in Jesus' life. Counting forward that same number of years might be expected to result in dates of parallel significance in their own modern times. A natural goal would be to find a Biblical time period that was either closer to 2,000 to reach events in Jesus' lifetime on earth, or as high as 2,600 or more to reach back to the end of the kings of Israel or Judea. In the 19th century, several writers and preachers began looking for just such a period of time, and they found it in the "seven times." After all, if "three and one-half times" was 1,260 days, then "seven times" would a period that was twice that long: 2,520 days, i.e., 2520 years. This was an ideal way to reach from the 19th century back to the final kings of Jerusalem. Some found that 2,520 reached back to King Josiah and found significance there. Some found it reached back to the time when Babylon began attacking the kings in Jerusalem and found some significance there. Ideally, it would seem more significant if the event were even more spectacular, such as the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple which almost all scholars in the 19th century were dating to about 586 BCE or so. 100 years later, this is still considered about the most accurate date by almost all scholars of that period, especially after thousands more pieces of evidence have come to light. Any date 2,520 years from the destruction of the Temple (the end of the line of kings in Jerusalem) was too far in the future for most Bible chronologists of the 19th century. It reached as far as 1934, which was 90 years after the peak time of speculation in the United States: 1844. But after 1844 had failed, there were still small groups who had continued their speculation. One of these groups had focused on a version of the BCE-to-CE "parallel dispensations" method and had a chronology system that therefore already included 1844, 1874, 1878, 1881 and 1914. With only a 20-year adjustment to the time when all scholars were pointing to 586 BC, they decided to use the date 606 BC for Jerusalem's destruction and therefore made it fit the 1914 date which was already part of their chronology system.
    • Friday, Dec. 6 — crypto markets have continued to rebound after a sharp sell-off on Dec. 4, with Bitcoin (BTC) briefly reclaiming $7,500. The bullish momentum is observed across all the top 20 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization, with just Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC) and Unus Sed Leo (LEO) seeing some losses at the time of writing. Meanwhile, Chainlink (LINK) and Cosmos (ATOM) are reporting the biggest gains among the top 20 over the past 24 hours, both up around 4%, according to Coin360. Market visualization. Source: Coin360 After trading around $7,400 price point for the better part of the day, Bitcoin spiked to hit an intraday high of $7,576 in a matter of minutes. At the time of publication, the major cryptocurrency is up 1%, trading at $7,450. Despite renewed upward movement, Bitcoin is still down over 3.5% on the past seven days as it failed to retest $7,800 on Nov. 30. Over the past 30 days, Bitcoin is still down around 20% from $9,286. Major U.S. financial regulator approves a new BTC futures-focused fund The new spike in Bitcoin’s price comes alongside news that the United States Securities and Exchange Commission approved another Bitcoin derivatives fund. As reported by Cointelegraph, BTC futures-focused NYDIG Bitcoin Strategy Fund is now allowed to offer its shares to institutional investors. The upward movement on crypto markets may be caused by the approaching Christmas holidays, according to a new report from analysts at crypto exchange SFOX. According to the researchers, Bitcoin searches on Google usually peak before holidays, not after. As such, on Nov. 28 — Thanksgiving in the U.S. — Bitcoin saw three consecutive days of price growth, the firm stated. Meanwhile, Twitter crypto personality Bitcoin Macro recently predicted that 2020 will be a “mind blowing year for crypto,” while “2019 was, and still is, the year to accumulate.” ... The total market capitalization accounts for $202.5 billion at the time of publication. Keep track of top crypto markets in real time here Speaking at ELEV8CON in Las Vegas on Dec. 10, founder and CEO of Celsius Network Alex Mashinsky said that there is a war brewing between centralized and decentralized networks. "The centralization of the Internet by companies such as Facebook and Google has created a distorted reality where fake news and blatant lies get the same treatment as documented truths,” said Mashinsky. Mashinsky said that the rise of centralized social media networks has resulted in an increase in fake news, causing a great deal of confusion regarding the basic facts of issues and events. Mashinsky also noted that fake news stories tend to increase reader engagement, which is then gets converted into huge profits for companies like Facebook and Google. “If such lies bring engagement (which is immediately converted into huge profits) then they deserve to be pushed and promoted by the world’s best algorithms, which work tirelessly to extract every dollar out of them. No need to worry about our democracy or human rights, corporate mega-profits can cure all ills if we just issue PR that we donated 1% of what we made to a school or the disabled,” said Mashinsky. A blockchain-based solution Mashinsky told Cointelegraph that a blockchain-based data platform is the only solution capable of combating fake news. A system such as this can verify the identity of users and the authenticity of data, bringing a much-needed layer of transparency to the online world. Mashinsky mentioned that a project like EOS Voice, which uses blockchain technology to record the inner operations of its network, will be one of the first decentralized applications to bring trust to the internet. EOS Voice is a social media platform that was unveiled by EOS creator Bock.One. The beta version is scheduled to launch on Feb.14, 2020. Unlike centralized social media networks that extract personal user information without permission, all operations across EOS Voice are recorded on the blockchain. Moreover, while Mashinsky noted that social networks are vulnerable to fake news due to the fact that anyone can post whatever they please, EOS Voice users must verify their identities. This provides a way to decrease fake accounts and illegitimate content, as everything posted can be traced back to specific people. Yet while platforms like EOS Voice are being brought to market, Mashinsky pointed out that gaining user traction remains a challenge. “Platforms designed to protect us and act in our best interest already exist. We are just waiting for 7 billion people to discover them. When they do, the entire internet will become an application on the blockchain” said Mashinsky. Blockchain economics To his point, Mashinsky presented a slide during his keynote entitled, “Blockchain Economics.” Written on the slide was “E=MC2”. In this case, E stood for Ethereum, M stood for members, and C stood for Consensus. “If you want the Ethereum blockchain to ever be valuable you need members and consensus,” explained Mashinsky. Mashinsky ended his keynote by explaining that we already went through the blockchain hype curve, but that we still need to cross the chasm. He noted that stable coins are a great stepping stone to get people to understand the potential of cryptocurrency. He also recommended to stop using centralized networks entirely: “The amazing thing is that if we stop this addiction, Facebook will lose their power and disappear just as fast as they got hold of it. How do I know that? I helped make the old phone companies that charged $700 a month to disappear. Now, it’s free because [Voice over IP] allows us to take the power back and leave these toll collectors behind. It is up to us to decide if the future will be more centralized or decentralized.” https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin-briefly-breaks-above-7-500-after-sec-approves-btc-fund
    • I was there about a month ago, having flown into Orlando for the wedding of my nephew. I arrived near closing time, and was only able to walk around the outside of the fort. But I had just before came from Ft Matanzas, about ten miles south, party closed due to hurricane damage. The next day I went to Ft Caroline, outside of Jacksonville. Ft Caroline was French. They send a raiding party to the Spanish Ft Matanzas, but the party got upended in a squall. When the Spanish discovered that, they took those French soldiers captive and slaughtered most of them. (Matanzas literally means ‘slaughter’—landmarks, businesses, and roads all around that area are named Matanzas this or Matanzas that.) The docent at Ft Caroline told me the Spanish commander sent a letter to the French king saying the prisoners were killed, not because they were French, but because they were Protestant. The few captured French soldiers that were Catholic were spared.
    • Hahahahahaha! Thanks Space Merchant, I needed that! It is so much fun watching snowflake liberal's heads explode all over the ceiling at the slightest thing that is actually funny! It is like watching the movie "Mars Attacks", when granny is listening to the radio in the nursing home, and yodeling comes on the programming. CNN was once my very favorite Cable News Network, for their superb coverage of the First Gulf War, but now they are pathetic, and a comedy show of utter and total cluelessness.. If they did not have contracts to be in most of USA Airports, supplying equipment and programming, I suspect ONLY Democrats who consider it the "Clinton News Network", (.. which CNN is ...) would watch it.   I downloaded the CNN video from the YouTube link ... Don Lemon's reaction is PRICELESS!  
    • One can only open someones eyes if they are really searching for the truth.  I apologize if I have become too skeptical about the motives of people who contribute on this forum.  There is enough evidence here to suggest that I may be correct. 
    • Jesus said they will know my disciples because the love among them. What kind of love? The love of Jesus which is self-sacrificing love.  Yes, I am prepared to give my life for my brothers. This is love in action. During the Rwanda genocide brothers hid other families from the other tribe under their homes in holes..... if they were found out they faced immediate death by machetti  or gun.... this is self-sacrificing love amongst our African brothers. Do the other churches in USA teach this kind of love?  I bet your grear great grandmother who lived then (if she lived in USA) was a great racist.... just indicating that historical context does matter. 
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