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Innocent man freed after spending 20 years behind bars for attempted murder in a Compton shooting

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On  his drive to Calipatria State Prison, Ricardo Perez thought of the couple he’d met a few months earlier and their desperate plea: Can you help us get our innocent relative out of prison?

It was spring 2012. Perez was fresh out of Loyola Law School and yearning for a meaningful case, so he agreed to look into their relative’s conviction. After reading the trial transcript, he went to meet Marco Contreras.

“Are you innocent?” he asked him. “If you're not, I won’t judge you and I won’t tell your family. But if I’m going to spend the next several years on this, I need to know for sure.”

Contreras looked him dead in the eye, Perez recalled, and said, “I’m innocent.”

That conversation led to years of investigation and, ultimately, Contreras’ release from custody on Tuesday — the second time this month that a team of lawyers and students from Loyola have helped free a wrongfully convicted man.

After spending 20 years behind bars, Contreras used the moments after his release to speak to others in his situation.

“Keep fighting,” he said in Spanish. “Be patient and keep fighting.”

Contreras, 41, who maintained his innocence, was convicted in 1997 of attempted murder and attempted robbery for a shooting at a Compton gas station a year earlier. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Superior Court Judge William Ryan ruled last week that Contreras was factually innocent, and Deputy Dist. Atty. Bobby Grace said Tuesday that prosecutors lost faith in Contreras’ conviction, adding that other men have been linked to the crime.

Attempted murder and conspiracy charges were filed Thursday against Antonio Salgado, 41; Antonio Garcia, 61; and Ricardo Valencia, 46. Both Garcia and Valencia pleaded not guilty Monday, and Salgado hasn’t been arraigned.

Contreras’ attorneys say an eyewitness inaccurately identified him as the gunman, although he’d been at home sleeping at the time. It’s an example of the unreliability of witness misidentification, said Adam Grant, another Contreras attorney.

“This is a huge problem,” he said. “It’s a thorny problem because the public considers it reliable.”

Loyola Law School’s Project for the Innocent began looking into the case in 2012 after Perez put them in touch with Contreras’ family. During their investigation, lawyers and students found new evidence, including a striking physical similarity between Contreras and Salgado. The team of attorneys then presented its findings to the district attorney’s conviction review unit — a crew of prosecutors and investigators dedicated to overturning wrongful convictions — which conducted its own investigation, along with sheriff’s investigators, into the shooting.

In a letter to the judge made public this week, prosecutors laid out the facts of the case, which they say point to Contreras’ innocence.

At a Mepco gas station on a September morning in 1996, a man fired several shots at Jose Garcia, who was wounded but survived after a month-long hospital stay. While stopped at a red light nearby, Alicia Valladolid, an intern for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, saw the gunman run into a getaway car – a blue and beige Bronco.

She jotted down the license plate number and investigators tracked the car to Contreras. When his brother, Miguel, told police he owned the Bronco, he was charged with attempted murder, attempted robbery, as well as being an accessory after the fact. At Miguel’s preliminary hearing, Valladolid spotted Marco in the audience and told a detective he was the shooter she’d seen. Marco was arrested and charged as the gunman.

At his trial, the victim expressed some doubt in identifying him as the shooter, saying, “I’m not sure about the face.” And defense witnesses testified that Marco was home at the time of the shooting. But jurors found him guilty.

Miguel pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact and was sentenced to a 16-month prison sentence. His other charges were dropped as part of his plea deal.

After his release, he told Compton police that his brother — who had a clean criminal record — wasn’t the gunman. Around that time, a detective had been trying to interview Salgado, a documented gang member the detective believed was the true gunman. Salgado fled to Missouri, records show, after realizing police were looking for him.

Although Miguel had long resisted being viewed as “a rat,” according to court records, he eventually told his family that Salgado was the gunman and agreed to help authorities with an undercover sting operation.

During a secretly recorded conversation with Valencia, Miguel brought up the shooting. Valencia told him it was an orchestrated hit likely tied to a drug dispute and said Salgado had admitted to being the gunman.

During a 2014 interview with prosecutors and Loyola attorneys, Miguel said he and Salgado had been hired by Antonio Garcia, another co-worker, to carry out a murder-for-hire plot. Miguel — who described his role in the crime as merely assisting a friend — said he believed Antonio Garcia had promised to pay Salgado $10,000.

Contreras’ release is the second big reversal handled by the district attorney’s conviction review unit since its creation in 2015. Last year, prosecutors asked the same judge to throw out the murder conviction of a man charged in the 2000 slaying of a college student in a Palmdale parking lot. Earlier this year, Ryan tossed the conviction and declared Raymond Lee Jennings factually innocent.

In the other Loyola case from two weeks ago, a different judge threw out the murder conviction of Andrew Leander Wilson, who served 32 years behind bars after being convicted of a 1984 stabbing.

As Marco Contreras was escorted into court Tuesday, he turned to look at his family in the audience. He nodded at them several times, and tears welled in his eyes. Perez patted him on the back.

At the end of the hearing, Contreras — dressed in a black suit — stood to address the judge.

“I’d like to thank you for allowing me to be here,” he said. “Also the D.A. — I’d like to say thank you to everybody.”

The judge smiled and told Contreras he hoped he had a good support system to help him adjust to life outside of custody. The world, the judge warned him, had changed a lot in 20 years.

“This is a new chapter,” Ryan said. “Good luck to you, sir.”

The audience of Loyola students and Contreras’ family burst into applause, shouting, “Woo! Woo! Woo!” Contreras threw his fist in the air in celebration, and the courtroom bailiff smiled. Perez said a single word — surreal — was running through his mind.

During a news conference after the hearing, Contreras’ mother, Maria, walked slowly toward her son. She embraced him in a tight hug and congratulated him in Spanish.

“¡Felicidades, hijo!” she told him. “¡Felicidades, mi hijo!”

She told reporters she’d always known he was innocent, saying before his arrest that he’d never gotten in trouble — not even a traffic ticket, she said.

Asked whether he felt any rancor, Contreras shook his head: “No, none. There’s no reason.”

For now, he said, he was looking forward to two things: good Mexican food and April 11. He’s a Jehovah’s Witness, and that’s the day his denomination will remember the anniversary of Jesus’ death.

His faith, he said, had kept him from spiraling into depression.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-wrongful-conviction-20170328-story.html

la-me-ln-andrew-wilson-release-20170316.jpg

 

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      As one prison officer explained, “The Witnesses in here prey on the weak and feeble minded, but there’s very little we can do about it.
      “They get you in a locked room and make you think about all the things wrong with the world, and before you know it you’re reading The Watchtower finding answers on every page.
      “In the outside world you can close the door on them when they come knocking, and can easily go back to your evening, but when you’re in prison, there is no escape from them.
      “The British prison system is rife with radicalised Jehovah’s Witnesses going round refusing blood transfusions and criticising Christmas.
      “The people locked up in here are often disenfranchised and feel left behind by the ‘system’, so, of course they’re going to feel welcomed by a group offering eternity in paradise in return for ignoring Easter. Anjem really didn’t stand a chance.
      “Plus it didn’t hurt that the Witnesses also hate the gays.”
      http://newsthump.com/2016/09/09/impressionable-anjem-choudary-converted-by-prison-jehovahs-witnesses/

    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Twisted Sutcliffe has been in Broadmoor since 1981 but has now been deemed "sane enough" to return to a normal prison.
      He was jailed for brutally killing 13 women and attacking seven others – some of the prostitutes – across Yorkshire and Greater Manchester.
      Sickening Sutcliffe he claimed was at the will of God to "cleanse the streets" of prostitutes.
      His fixation with God inside jail has continued, as Daily Star Online recently revealed how hedepicts himself as Jesus Christ in a painting in his cell and how he has become a Jehovah's Witness.
      But now the disgusting killer will have to swap the luxury lag life of Broadmoor for a squalid prison cell.
      Sutcliffe, 70, told hospital pals he would rather take his own life than leave his Broadmoor boudoir.
      He said: “If they send me back to prison, I’d have no reason to live,” the Sun reports.
      “I feel like I’ve lost all hope.
      “Category A prisons are a pit of black despair and hopelessness.
      “I’ll spend the rest of my days there.
      “Why should I carry on? There is a higher risk of attack in prison but the people in charge don’t give a damn.
      “It’s all violence, weapons and drugs. It will be so depressing.”
      It is thought Sutcliffe could be jailed alongside notorious British criminals, such as Soham murderer Ian Huntley and evil Levi Bellfield.
      When he moves to a regular jail, Sutcliffe will have to give up his luxury taxpayer-funded lifestyle – which allows him to watch telly, send letters to his sick legion of fans and enjoy multiple weekly visits.
      The move still has to be rubber-stamped by the Ministry of Justice and Sutcliffe is likely to face a tough time of it – having already been blinded in one of the three attacks while on the inside.
      Last week Daily Star Online exclusively shed light on the relationship between the Yorkshire Ripper and Jimmy Savile, as the pair used to get cosy over a cup of tea in vile Sutcliffe's cell.
      He attempted in 2010 to gain release which prompted outrage from MPs and the public.
      A decision at the Court of Appeal determined that he would never be released.
      http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/537319/Peter-Sutcliffe-Yorkshire-Ripper-leave-Broadmoor-hospital

    • By Outta Here
      http://www.breitbart.com/faith/2016/07/10/putin-signs-measure-revoking-religious-freedom/
    • By Bible Speaks
      PREACHING IN VIENNA, AUSTRIA, EUROPE

      PREDICACION PUBLICA EN VIENA, AUSTRIA, EUROPA
    • By Bible Speaks
      @caribbeangiirll shares with us: “My sister and I are out in service working the territory in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. It was our first time doing territory work here since both of us were living in Canada and took the truth there. We had so much fun sharing the good news here.”
    • By Bible Speaks
      Preaching work in Orava, Slovakia. 
      Photo shared by @andreadohorakova
    • By Bible Speaks
      WATCHTOWER AND AWAKE 5 CENTS - 2 year old Grayden from Toledo, Ohio is ready to preach the word! 2nd picture, my Son Anthony. Another statue at Wallkill Bethel Farms in background, see it?
    • By Bible Speaks
      The Jehovah's Witness movement has been on a year-long drive to recruit commuters at UK train stations, shopping centres and parks. It's a change of tactics, writes Sophie Robehmed.   Everybody is familiar with the Jehovah's Witnesses' standard modus operandi. Two polite people knock at the door and try and engage a householder in conversation.   The visit is often less than welcome and there are plenty of examples of comic sketches mocking the phenomenon. But for the last year, the Christian-based religious movement has been trying a different method in the UK.   Volunteers are targeting train stations, as well as shopping centres and other busy places, in 14 cities across Britain and Ireland - Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield.   In London alone, the movement says it has 1,000 people giving away literature - and they get through about 6,000 brochures, 20,000 books, and 100,000 magazines every month.   The tactic was pioneered in New York three years ago and is set to expand further. At weekly congregation meetings, volunteers are encouraged to let passers-by approach rather than trying to stop them. The tactics seem the polar opposite of the doorstep approach - most of the day the volunteers stand there smiling but saying little.   At Oxford Circus, in the centre of London and the fourth busiest underground/metro station in the UK, the Jehovah's Witnesses are passed by hundreds of thousands of people every week. Deep Singh, a coordinator for this latest street drive, who converted from Sikhism 23 years ago, stands with his arms outstretched, holding books with the title, What does the Bible really teach?, in capital letters. His wife, Ruth, meanwhile, hovers by a stand, stocked with copies of Awake!, the Jehovah's Witnesses' flagship magazine.   The couple are joined by another volunteer. And the station's other entrances and exits are manned by other groups. Even standing by the volunteers for an hour, it seems that few passers-by stop to talk.   The movement doesn't have figures for how many converts this part of its mission has produced. And it's emphasised that it's an addition rather than a departure from the door-to-door evangelism, but adherents are optimistic that the new tactic is making an impact. The UK Jehovah's Witnesses say that the May issue of Awake!, with its cover line Stress - Keys to Managing It, was the most popular of the current drive.   "People were queuing up for a copy in the City [of London]," says Deep. "One woman asked if it was possible to take copies for her colleagues because she said her whole office was stressed."   The Singhs are both cutting back on their paid work away from the movement in order to be, as Deep states on his WhatsApp mobile messaging profile, "On the Lord's Work!!" from 7am-7pm. "I feel for people. Life is a mess, and we help to improve people morally, spiritually and emotionally," says Deep.   "This ministry is definitely better for secular people who like to be in control," he adds. "They can ignore us, ask questions or just pick up a book to get the answers they're looking for." Ruth, who grew up with a Jehovah's Witness mother and atheist father, agrees. "It makes sense," she says. "People are so busy and this ministry conveniently fits in with their hectic schedules."     Founded in the US towards the end of the 19th Century, under the leadership of Charles Taze Russell. Headquarters of the movement in New York   Although Christian-based, the group believes that the traditional Christian Churches have deviated from the true teachings of the Bible, and do not work in full harmony with God   The traditional Christian Church does not regard the movement as a mainstream Christian denomination because it rejects the Christian doctrine of the Trinity   Jehovah's witnesses believe that humanity is now in the 'last days' and that the final battle between good and evil will happen soon. http://m.bbc.com/news/magazine-28166192
    • By Bible Speaks
      The Jehovah's Witness movement has been on a year-long drive to recruit commuters at UK train stations, shopping centres and parks. It's a change of tactics, writes Sophie Robehmed.   Everybody is familiar with the Jehovah's Witnesses' standard modus operandi. Two polite people knock at the door and try and engage a householder in conversation.   The visit is often less than welcome and there are plenty of examples of comic sketches mocking the phenomenon. But for the last year, the Christian-based religious movement has been trying a different method in the UK.   Volunteers are targeting train stations, as well as shopping centres and other busy places, in 14 cities across Britain and Ireland - Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield.   In London alone, the movement says it has 1,000 people giving away literature - and they get through about 6,000 brochures, 20,000 books, and 100,000 magazines every month.   The tactic was pioneered in New York three years ago and is set to expand further. At weekly congregation meetings, volunteers are encouraged to let passers-by approach rather than trying to stop them. The tactics seem the polar opposite of the doorstep approach - most of the day the volunteers stand there smiling but saying little.   At Oxford Circus, in the centre of London and the fourth busiest underground/metro station in the UK, the Jehovah's Witnesses are passed by hundreds of thousands of people every week. Deep Singh, a coordinator for this latest street drive, who converted from Sikhism 23 years ago, stands with his arms outstretched, holding books with the title, What does the Bible really teach?, in capital letters. His wife, Ruth, meanwhile, hovers by a stand, stocked with copies of Awake!, the Jehovah's Witnesses' flagship magazine.   The couple are joined by another volunteer. And the station's other entrances and exits are manned by other groups. Even standing by the volunteers for an hour, it seems that few passers-by stop to talk.   The movement doesn't have figures for how many converts this part of its mission has produced. And it's emphasised that it's an addition rather than a departure from the door-to-door evangelism, but adherents are optimistic that the new tactic is making an impact. The UK Jehovah's Witnesses say that the May issue of Awake!, with its cover line Stress - Keys to Managing It, was the most popular of the current drive.   "People were queuing up for a copy in the City [of London]," says Deep. "One woman asked if it was possible to take copies for her colleagues because she said her whole office was stressed."   The Singhs are both cutting back on their paid work away from the movement in order to be, as Deep states on his WhatsApp mobile messaging profile, "On the Lord's Work!!" from 7am-7pm. "I feel for people. Life is a mess, and we help to improve people morally, spiritually and emotionally," says Deep.   "This ministry is definitely better for secular people who like to be in control," he adds. "They can ignore us, ask questions or just pick up a book to get the answers they're looking for." Ruth, who grew up with a Jehovah's Witness mother and atheist father, agrees. "It makes sense," she says. "People are so busy and this ministry conveniently fits in with their hectic schedules."     Founded in the US towards the end of the 19th Century, under the leadership of Charles Taze Russell. Headquarters of the movement in New York   Although Christian-based, the group believes that the traditional Christian Churches have deviated from the true teachings of the Bible, and do not work in full harmony with God   The traditional Christian Church does not regard the movement as a mainstream Christian denomination because it rejects the Christian doctrine of the Trinity   Jehovah's witnesses believe that humanity is now in the 'last days' and that the final battle between good and evil will happen soon. http://m.bbc.com/news/magazine-28166192
    • By Bible Speaks
      The Jehovah's Witness movement has been on a year-long drive to recruit commuters at UK train stations, shopping centres and parks. It's a change of tactics, writes Sophie Robehmed.   Everybody is familiar with the Jehovah's Witnesses' standard modus operandi. Two polite people knock at the door and try and engage a householder in conversation.   The visit is often less than welcome and there are plenty of examples of comic sketches mocking the phenomenon. But for the last year, the Christian-based religious movement has been trying a different method in the UK.   Volunteers are targeting train stations, as well as shopping centres and other busy places, in 14 cities across Britain and Ireland - Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield.   In London alone, the movement says it has 1,000 people giving away literature - and they get through about 6,000 brochures, 20,000 books, and 100,000 magazines every month.   The tactic was pioneered in New York three years ago and is set to expand further. At weekly congregation meetings, volunteers are encouraged to let passers-by approach rather than trying to stop them. The tactics seem the polar opposite of the doorstep approach - most of the day the volunteers stand there smiling but saying little.   At Oxford Circus, in the centre of London and the fourth busiest underground/metro station in the UK, the Jehovah's Witnesses are passed by hundreds of thousands of people every week. Deep Singh, a coordinator for this latest street drive, who converted from Sikhism 23 years ago, stands with his arms outstretched, holding books with the title, What does the Bible really teach?, in capital letters. His wife, Ruth, meanwhile, hovers by a stand, stocked with copies of Awake!, the Jehovah's Witnesses' flagship magazine.   The couple are joined by another volunteer. And the station's other entrances and exits are manned by other groups. Even standing by the volunteers for an hour, it seems that few passers-by stop to talk.   The movement doesn't have figures for how many converts this part of its mission has produced. And it's emphasised that it's an addition rather than a departure from the door-to-door evangelism, but adherents are optimistic that the new tactic is making an impact. The UK Jehovah's Witnesses say that the May issue of Awake!, with its cover line Stress - Keys to Managing It, was the most popular of the current drive.   "People were queuing up for a copy in the City [of London]," says Deep. "One woman asked if it was possible to take copies for her colleagues because she said her whole office was stressed."   The Singhs are both cutting back on their paid work away from the movement in order to be, as Deep states on his WhatsApp mobile messaging profile, "On the Lord's Work!!" from 7am-7pm. "I feel for people. Life is a mess, and we help to improve people morally, spiritually and emotionally," says Deep.   "This ministry is definitely better for secular people who like to be in control," he adds. "They can ignore us, ask questions or just pick up a book to get the answers they're looking for." Ruth, who grew up with a Jehovah's Witness mother and atheist father, agrees. "It makes sense," she says. "People are so busy and this ministry conveniently fits in with their hectic schedules."     Founded in the US towards the end of the 19th Century, under the leadership of Charles Taze Russell. Headquarters of the movement in New York   Although Christian-based, the group believes that the traditional Christian Churches have deviated from the true teachings of the Bible, and do not work in full harmony with God   The traditional Christian Church does not regard the movement as a mainstream Christian denomination because it rejects the Christian doctrine of the Trinity   Jehovah's witnesses believe that humanity is now in the 'last days' and that the final battle between good and evil will happen soon. http://m.bbc.com/news/magazine-28166192
    • By Bible Speaks
      The Jehovah's Witness movement has been on a year-long drive to recruit commuters at UK train stations, shopping centres and parks. It's a change of tactics, writes Sophie Robehmed.   Everybody is familiar with the Jehovah's Witnesses' standard modus operandi. Two polite people knock at the door and try and engage a householder in conversation.   The visit is often less than welcome and there are plenty of examples of comic sketches mocking the phenomenon. But for the last year, the Christian-based religious movement has been trying a different method in the UK.   Volunteers are targeting train stations, as well as shopping centres and other busy places, in 14 cities across Britain and Ireland - Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield.   In London alone, the movement says it has 1,000 people giving away literature - and they get through about 6,000 brochures, 20,000 books, and 100,000 magazines every month.   The tactic was pioneered in New York three years ago and is set to expand further. At weekly congregation meetings, volunteers are encouraged to let passers-by approach rather than trying to stop them. The tactics seem the polar opposite of the doorstep approach - most of the day the volunteers stand there smiling but saying little.   At Oxford Circus, in the centre of London and the fourth busiest underground/metro station in the UK, the Jehovah's Witnesses are passed by hundreds of thousands of people every week. Deep Singh, a coordinator for this latest street drive, who converted from Sikhism 23 years ago, stands with his arms outstretched, holding books with the title, What does the Bible really teach?, in capital letters. His wife, Ruth, meanwhile, hovers by a stand, stocked with copies of Awake!, the Jehovah's Witnesses' flagship magazine.   The couple are joined by another volunteer. And the station's other entrances and exits are manned by other groups. Even standing by the volunteers for an hour, it seems that few passers-by stop to talk.   The movement doesn't have figures for how many converts this part of its mission has produced. And it's emphasised that it's an addition rather than a departure from the door-to-door evangelism, but adherents are optimistic that the new tactic is making an impact. The UK Jehovah's Witnesses say that the May issue of Awake!, with its cover line Stress - Keys to Managing It, was the most popular of the current drive.   "People were queuing up for a copy in the City [of London]," says Deep. "One woman asked if it was possible to take copies for her colleagues because she said her whole office was stressed."   The Singhs are both cutting back on their paid work away from the movement in order to be, as Deep states on his WhatsApp mobile messaging profile, "On the Lord's Work!!" from 7am-7pm. "I feel for people. Life is a mess, and we help to improve people morally, spiritually and emotionally," says Deep.   "This ministry is definitely better for secular people who like to be in control," he adds. "They can ignore us, ask questions or just pick up a book to get the answers they're looking for." Ruth, who grew up with a Jehovah's Witness mother and atheist father, agrees. "It makes sense," she says. "People are so busy and this ministry conveniently fits in with their hectic schedules."     Founded in the US towards the end of the 19th Century, under the leadership of Charles Taze Russell. Headquarters of the movement in New York   Although Christian-based, the group believes that the traditional Christian Churches have deviated from the true teachings of the Bible, and do not work in full harmony with God   The traditional Christian Church does not regard the movement as a mainstream Christian denomination because it rejects the Christian doctrine of the Trinity   Jehovah's witnesses believe that humanity is now in the 'last days' and that the final battle between good and evil will happen soon. http://m.bbc.com/news/magazine-28166192
    • By Bible Speaks
      The Jehovah's Witness movement has been on a year-long drive to recruit commuters at UK train stations, shopping centres and parks. It's a change of tactics, writes Sophie Robehmed.   Everybody is familiar with the Jehovah's Witnesses' standard modus operandi. Two polite people knock at the door and try and engage a householder in conversation.   The visit is often less than welcome and there are plenty of examples of comic sketches mocking the phenomenon. But for the last year, the Christian-based religious movement has been trying a different method in the UK.   Volunteers are targeting train stations, as well as shopping centres and other busy places, in 14 cities across Britain and Ireland - Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield.   In London alone, the movement says it has 1,000 people giving away literature - and they get through about 6,000 brochures, 20,000 books, and 100,000 magazines every month.   The tactic was pioneered in New York three years ago and is set to expand further. At weekly congregation meetings, volunteers are encouraged to let passers-by approach rather than trying to stop them. The tactics seem the polar opposite of the doorstep approach - most of the day the volunteers stand there smiling but saying little.   At Oxford Circus, in the centre of London and the fourth busiest underground/metro station in the UK, the Jehovah's Witnesses are passed by hundreds of thousands of people every week. Deep Singh, a coordinator for this latest street drive, who converted from Sikhism 23 years ago, stands with his arms outstretched, holding books with the title, What does the Bible really teach?, in capital letters. His wife, Ruth, meanwhile, hovers by a stand, stocked with copies of Awake!, the Jehovah's Witnesses' flagship magazine.   The couple are joined by another volunteer. And the station's other entrances and exits are manned by other groups. Even standing by the volunteers for an hour, it seems that few passers-by stop to talk.   The movement doesn't have figures for how many converts this part of its mission has produced. And it's emphasised that it's an addition rather than a departure from the door-to-door evangelism, but adherents are optimistic that the new tactic is making an impact. The UK Jehovah's Witnesses say that the May issue of Awake!, with its cover line Stress - Keys to Managing It, was the most popular of the current drive.   "People were queuing up for a copy in the City [of London]," says Deep. "One woman asked if it was possible to take copies for her colleagues because she said her whole office was stressed."   The Singhs are both cutting back on their paid work away from the movement in order to be, as Deep states on his WhatsApp mobile messaging profile, "On the Lord's Work!!" from 7am-7pm. "I feel for people. Life is a mess, and we help to improve people morally, spiritually and emotionally," says Deep.   "This ministry is definitely better for secular people who like to be in control," he adds. "They can ignore us, ask questions or just pick up a book to get the answers they're looking for." Ruth, who grew up with a Jehovah's Witness mother and atheist father, agrees. "It makes sense," she says. "People are so busy and this ministry conveniently fits in with their hectic schedules."     Founded in the US towards the end of the 19th Century, under the leadership of Charles Taze Russell. Headquarters of the movement in New York   Although Christian-based, the group believes that the traditional Christian Churches have deviated from the true teachings of the Bible, and do not work in full harmony with God   The traditional Christian Church does not regard the movement as a mainstream Christian denomination because it rejects the Christian doctrine of the Trinity   Jehovah's witnesses believe that humanity is now in the 'last days' and that the final battle between good and evil will happen soon. http://m.bbc.com/news/magazine-28166192
    • By Bible Speaks
      In Public Witnessing at Ponle Bus Stop Lagos, Nigeria
      Photo by jw.w
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