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RUSSIA’S BAN: TRUMP, PENCE ATTEND MEETING OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESS IN US

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Emmanuel Thomas l Saturday, April 29, 2017

WASHINGTON, United States – President Donald Trump and Vice President, Mike Pence made a surprise appearance at a kingdom hall of Jehovah’s witnesses in Washington on Thursday, during the Christian Life and Ministry programme.


The President, Vice President and the the first families paid the visit days after Russia, through its Supreme Court slammed a 

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 on activities of Jehovah’s witnesses and liquidated it throughout the federation.

Trump stayed for the meeting shook hands with members of the congregation after the meeting. According to ans.cnewsgo.com, a US-based outfit, the president picked Watchtower and Awake magazines on the open counter and left with the magazines.

He did not give any speech but he is seen to be on a fact finding mission. His presence was acknowledged by an announcement. His presence expectedly lead to a surge in attendance on Thursday evening during the Life and Ministry Programme.

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Trump Invited Billy Graham's Granddaughter to Pray at National Service 

January 21, 2017

Donald Trump continues to signal his support for evangelicals by inviting a record number to participate in the National Prayer Service Saturday morning, including the granddaughter of famed evangelist Billy Graham.


Held at the National Cathedral, the prayer service is a tradition that dates back to George Washington and calls upon the prayers of faith leaders across this nation.


Just one day after President Trump's inauguration, members of the faith community sang "Great is Thy Faithfulness" and prayed for peace.


The interfaith service included representatives from the Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Mormon, Jewish, and Muslim faith, among others, but the majority were evangelicals.


Southern Baptists Jack Graham, Ronnie Floyd, and David Jeremiah are members of the president’s evangelical advisory board and they were among a total of 26 faith leaders who attended the service.


"As a Baptist, I'm compelled by my faith to pray for the leaders of our nation and to ask God's blessing on them, for they cannot succeed outside his providence and without his guiding hand," said Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist and former chairman for the National Day of Prayer.


Alveda King, the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., Cleveland Pastor Darrell Scott, who led the National Diversity Coalition for Trump's campaign, and Bishop Harry Jackson of the High Impact Leadership Coalition also spoke.


Foregoing a sermon altogether, Trump requested that leaders pray or read from scripture.


As it was at the inauguration, the name of Jesus was invoked several times during the service as evangelical leaders followed the biblical practice of praying in His name.


California pastor and evangelist Greg Laurie prayed for the men and women of the military, as well as governors, mayors and all civil servants throughout the nation.


Graham prayed, “O God and Savior, the One who is the way, the truth and the life, enlighten by your Holy Spirit all teachers and educators.” He closed, “In Jesus dear name, give us grace to do Your will in all that we undertake.”


Floyd, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, read Psalm 23.


"May the power of God's word be our source and be our shield everywhere we walk today," he said. "May the Lord add his blessing to the reading of his Holy Word."


Dr. David Swanson of First Presbyterian Church in Orlando read The Beatitudes from the Gospel of Matthew and David Jeremiah read Romans 5:1-5.


Cissie Graham Lynch of Samaritan’s Purse is the daughter of Franklin Graham and granddaughter of America’s best-known and most beloved religious figure, Billy Graham.


She delivered her prayer with a passion befitting her family, asking God to grant wisdom and peace “through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords…in Jesus Name we pray, amen.”


It is no surprise that Trump surrounds himself with Christians. During the length of his campaign, Trump has spoken about his faith in Jesus Christ.


During his inauguration, Trump placed his hand on two Bibles, one used by President Abraham Lincoln, the other a childhood Bible given to him by his mother.


During his speech, Trump spoke of unity and referenced Psalms 133:1, which states" how good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity!"


instead of the customary one or two Trump also opted to have a half-dozen leaders with him during his inauguration ceremony held on the capitol.


Pastor Paula White and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez were among some of the leaders who prayed during the inauguration. 

"There's a lot of guidance and even prophetic truth in simply gathering and setting your sights to sacred texts in how we're to live as a society," Mariann Budde, bishop of the Episcopal diocese of Washington, told The Washington Post.


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Not in a Kingdom Hall.  

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President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and their families attended the ...
 

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1280 × 720 - 21 janv. 2017 - President Donald Trump opened his first full day as president Saturday at a national prayer service, the final piece of transition business for the ...
 

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20090121InauguralPrayerServiceBarackObama.pdf National Prayer ...
 

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It is not a Kingdom Hall....

 

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      History
      Background (1870–1916)
      In 1870, Charles Taze Russell and others formed an independent group in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to study the Bible.[26] During the course of his ministry, Russell disputed many beliefs of mainstream Christianity including  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ,  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , predestination, the fleshly return of Jesus Christ, the Trinity, and the burning up of the world.[27] In 1876, Russell met Nelson H. Barbour; later that year they jointly produced the book Three Worlds, which combined restitutionist views with end time prophecy. The book taught that God's dealings with humanity were divided dispensationally, each ending with a "harvest," that Christ had returned as an invisible spirit being in 1874[27] inaugurating the "harvest of the Gospel age," and that  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  would mark the end of a 2520-year period called "the Gentile Times,"[28] at which time world society would be replaced by the full establishment of God's kingdom on earth.[29][30][31] Beginning in 1878 they jointly edited a religious journal, Herald of the Morning.[32] In June 1879 the two split over doctrinal differences, and in July, Russell began publishing the magazine  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ,[33] stating that its purpose was to demonstrate the world was in "the last days," and that a new age of earthly and human restitution under the reign of Christ was imminent.[34]

      From 1879,  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  supporters gathered as autonomous congregations to study the Bible topically. Thirty congregations were founded, and during 1879 and 1880, Russell visited each to provide the format he recommended for conducting meetings.[35] As congregations continued to form during Russell's ministry, they each remained self-administrative, functioning under the congregationalist style of church governance.[36][37] In 1881,  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  was presided over by  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and in 1884, Charles Taze Russell incorporated the society as a non-profit business to distribute tracts and Bibles.[38][39][40] By about 1900, Russell had organized thousands of part- and full-time colporteurs,[33] and was appointing foreign missionaries and establishing branch offices. By the 1910s, Russell's organization maintained nearly a hundred "pilgrims," or traveling preachers.[41] Russell engaged in significant global publishing efforts during his ministry,[42][43][44] and by 1912, he was the most distributed Christian author in the United States.[43][45]

      Russell moved the Watch Tower Society's headquarters to  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , in 1909, combining printing and corporate offices with a house of worship; volunteers were housed in a nearby residence he named Bethel. He identified the religious movement as "Bible Students," and more formally as the International Bible Students Association.[46] By 1910, about 50,000 people worldwide were associated with the movement[47] and congregations re-elected him annually as their "pastor."[48] Russell died October 31, 1916, at the age of 64 while returning from a ministerial speaking tour and inspecting a recent gold mine investment.[49] 
      Reorganization (1917–1942)
      In January 1917, the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. 's legal representative, Joseph Franklin Rutherford, was elected as its next president. His election was disputed, and members of the Board of Directors accused him of acting in an autocratic and secretive manner.[50][51] The divisions between his supporters and opponents triggered a major turnover of members over the next decade.[52][53] In June 1917, he released The Finished Mystery as a seventh volume of Russell's Studies in the Scriptures series. The book, published as the posthumous work of Russell, was a compilation of his commentaries on the Bible books of Ezekiel and Revelation, plus numerous additions by Bible Students Clayton Woodworth and George Fisher.[54][55][56][57] It strongly criticized Catholic and Protestant clergy and Christian involvement in the Great War.[58] As a result, Watch Tower Society directors were jailed for sedition under the Espionage Act in 1918 and members were subjected to mob violence; charges against the directors were dropped in 1920.[59]

      Rutherford centralized organizational control of the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . In 1919, he instituted the appointment of a director in each congregation, and a year later all members were instructed to report their weekly preaching activity to the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .[60] At an international convention held at Cedar Point, Ohio, in September 1922, a new emphasis was made on house-to-house preaching.[61] Significant changes in doctrine and administration were regularly introduced during Rutherford's twenty-five years as president, including the 1920 announcement that the Jewish patriarchs (such as Abraham and Isaac) would be resurrected in  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , marking the beginning of Christ's thousand-year Kingdom.[62][63][64] Disappointed by the changes, tens of thousands of defections occurred during the first half of Rutherford's tenure, leading to the formation of several Bible Student organizations independent of the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ,[65][66] most of which still exist.[67] By mid-1919, as many as one in seven of Russell-era Bible Students had ceased their association with  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and as many as two-thirds by the end of the 1920s.[68][69][70][71][72]

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. —based on Isaiah 43:10: "Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen"—which was adopted by resolution. The name was chosen to distinguish his group of Bible Students from other independent groups that had severed ties with the Society, as well as symbolize the instigation of new outlooks and the promotion of fresh evangelizing methods.[73][74][75] In 1932, Rutherford eliminated the system of locally elected  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  and in 1938, introduced what he called a "theocratic" (literally, God-ruled) organizational system, under which appointments in congregations worldwide were made from the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .[60]

      From 1932, it was taught that the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  of 144,000 would not be the only people to survive Armageddon. Rutherford explained that in addition to the 144,000 "anointed" who would be resurrected—or transferred at death—to live in heaven to rule over earth with Christ, a separate class of members, the "great multitude," would live in a paradise restored on earth; from 1935, new converts to the movement were considered part of that class.[76][77] By the mid-1930s, the timing of the beginning of Christ's presence (Greek: parousía), his enthronement as king, and the start of the "last days" were each moved to  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .[78]

      As their interpretations of scripture developed, Witness publications decreed that saluting national flags is a form of idolatry, which led to a new outbreak of mob violence and government opposition in the United States, Canada, Germany, and other countries.[79][80]
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      Continued development (1942–present)
      Nathan Knorr was appointed as third president of the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  in 1942. Knorr commissioned a new translation of the Bible, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, the full version of which was released in 1961. He organized large international assemblies, instituted new training programs for members, and expanded missionary activity and branch offices throughout the world.[83] Knorr's presidency was also marked by an increasing use of explicit instructions guiding Witnesses in their lifestyle and conduct, and a greater use of congregational judicial procedures to enforce a strict moral code.[84][85]

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      Rejection of blood transfusions
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      Jehovah's Witnesses refuse blood transfusions, which they consider a violation of God's law based on their interpretation of Acts 15:28, 29 and other scriptures.[268][269][270] Since 1961 the willing acceptance of a blood transfusion by an unrepentant member has been grounds for expulsion from the religion.[271][272] Watch Tower Society literature directs Witnesses to refuse blood transfusions, even in "a life-or-death situation".[273][274][275] Jehovah's Witnesses accept non-blood alternatives and other medical procedures in lieu of blood transfusions, and the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  provides information about current non-blood medical procedures.[276]

      Though Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept blood transfusions of whole blood, they may accept some blood plasma fractions at their own discretion.[277][278][279] The Watch Tower Society provides pre-formatted Power of Attorney documents prohibiting major blood components, in which members can specify which allowable fractions and treatments they will personally accept.[280][281] Jehovah's Witnesses have established Hospital Liaison Committees as a cooperative arrangement between individual Jehovah's Witnesses and medical professionals and hospitals.[282][283]
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      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
       
       
      Opposition
      Controversy surrounding various beliefs, doctrines and practices of Jehovah's Witnesses has led to opposition from local governments, communities, and religious groups. Religious commentator Ken Jubber wrote that "Viewed globally, this  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  has been so persistent and of such intensity that it would not be inaccurate to regard Jehovah's witnesses as the most persecuted group of Christians of the twentieth century."[295] 
      Persecution
      Main article:  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      See also:  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
       
      Legal challenges
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      Several cases involving Jehovah's Witnesses have been heard by Supreme Courts throughout the world.[308] The cases generally relate to their right to practice their religion, displays of patriotism and military service, and blood transfusions.[309]

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      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
      Publication:  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.

      Similar cases in their favor have been heard in Canada.[312]

      Child abuse lawsuits against Jehovah's Witnesses started to hit the finances hard starting in 2014 with the Candace Conti lawsuit in California. See  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.


      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (in the old wiki. For newer articles see the JW News section in this forum)
      New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures
      See also
      Notable Brothers and Sisters
      How to Donate to the Work

      Watchtower Real Estate News and an example of it's  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
      Explanatory notes
      Twelve members as of September 2005 (See The Watchtower, March 15, 2006, page 26) Schroeder died March 8, 2006. (See The Watchtower, September 15, 2006, page 31) Sydlik died April 18, 2006. (See The Watchtower, January 1, 2007, page 😎 Barber died April 8, 2007. (See The Watchtower, October 15, 2007, page 31) Jaracz died June 9, 2010. (See The Watchtower, November 15, 2010, page 23) Barr died December 4, 2010. (See The Watchtower, May 15, 2011, page 6) Sanderson appointed September 1, 2012. (See The Watchtower, July 15, 2013, page 26) Raymond Franz (In Search of Christian Freedom, 2007, p.449) cites various  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  that stress loyalty and obedience to the organization, including: "Following Faithful Shepherds with Life in View", The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, page 591, "Make haste to identify the visible theocratic organization of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ. It is essential for life. Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect."; The Watchtower, September 1, 2006, pg 15, "Have we formed a loyal attachment to the organization that Jehovah is using today?"; "Your Reminders Are What I Am Fond Of", The Watchtower, June 15, 2006, pg 26, "We too should remain faithful to Jehovah and to his organization regardless of injustices we suffer and regardless of what others do."; "Are You Prepared for Survival?", The Watchtower, May 15, 2006, pg 22, "Just as Noah and his God-fearing family were preserved in the ark, survival of individuals today depends on their faith and their loyal association with the earthly part of Jehovah’s universal organization."; Worship The Only True God (Watch Tower Society, 2002), pg 134, "Jehovah is guiding us today by means of his visible organization under Christ. Our attitude toward this arrangement demonstrates how we feel about the issue of sovereignty ... By being loyal to Jehovah’s organization, we show that Jehovah is our God and that we are united in worship of him." 2013 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. p. 178. "During the 2012 service year, Jehovah’s Witnesses spent over $184 million in caring for special pioneers, missionaries, and traveling overseers in their field service assignments." A common example given is a baptized Witness who dates a non-Witness; see The Watchtower, July 15, 1999, p. 30. Raymond Franz cites numerous examples. In Crisis of Conscience, 2002, pg. 173, he quotes from "They Shall Know That a Prophet Was Among Them", (The Watchtower, April 1, 1972,) which states that God had raised Jehovah's Witnesses as a prophet "to warn (people) of dangers and declare things to come" He also cites "Identifying the Right Kind of Messenger" (The Watchtower, May 1, 1997, page 😎 which identifies the Witnesses as his "true messengers ... by making the messages he delivers through them come true", in contrast to "false messengers", whose predictions fail. In In Search of Christian Freedom, 2007, he quotes The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah—How? (1971, pg 70, 292) which describes Witnesses as the modern Ezekiel class, "a genuine prophet within our generation". The Watch Tower book noted: "Concerning the message faithfully delivered by the Ezekiel class, Jehovah positively states that it 'must come true' ... those who wait undecided until it does 'come true' will also have to know that a prophet himself had proved to be in the midst of them." He also cites "Execution of the Great Harlot Nears", (The Watchtower, October 15, 1980, pg 17) which claims God gives the Witnesses "special knowledge that others do not have ... advance knowledge about this system's end".
       
      Citations
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Superior Court of the State of California. February 22, 2012. "I am general counsel for the National Organization of Jehovah's Witnesses out of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . ... We are a hierarchical religion structured just like the Catholic Church." 2014 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. 2013. pp. 185–186. Sources for descriptors:
      • Millenarian: Beckford, James A. (1975). The Trumpet of Prophecy: A Sociological Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. pp. 118–119, 151, 200–201. ISBN 0-631-16310-7.
      • Restorationist: Stark et al.; Iannaccone, Laurence (1997). "Why Jehovah's Witnesses Grow So Rapidly: A Theoretical Application". Journal of Contemporary Religion 12 (2): 133–157. doi: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .
      • Christian:  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .
      • Denomination:  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . . . . Holden, Andrew (2002). Jehovah's Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement. Routledge. p. 22. ISBN 0-415-26609-2. Beckford, James A. (1975). The Trumpet of Prophecy: A Sociological Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. p. 221. ISBN 0-631-16310-7. "Doctrine has always emanated from the Society's elite in Brooklyn and has never emerged from discussion among, or suggestion from, rank-and-file Witnesses." Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . The Watchtower: 20. July 15, 2006. Retrieved 2012-06-16. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . The Columbia Encyclopedia. Columbia University Press. 2011. ISBN 978-0-7876-5015-5. "The Witnesses base their teaching on the Bible." Chryssides, George D. (1999). Exploring New Religions. London: Continuum. p. 100. ISBN 0-8264-5959-5. "Predictably, mainstream Christians accuse the New World Translation of inaccuracy, as if their own translations were thoroughly reliable. Jehovah's Witnesses will engage in discussion with others using whatever translation is available." Alan Rogerson (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die. Constable. pp. 70, 123. "This was the Witnesses' own translation of the New Testament ... now that the Society has decreed that they should use the New World Translation of the Bible in preference other versions, they are convinced their translation is the best." Tess Van Sommers, Religions in Australia, Rigby, Adelaide, 1966, page 92: "Since 1870, the Watch Tower Society has used more than seventy Bible translations. In 1961 the society released its own complete Bible in modern English, known as The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. This is now the preferred translation among English-speaking congregations." Edwards, Linda (2001). A Brief Guide to Beliefs. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 438. ISBN 0-664-22259-5. "The Jehovah's Witnesses' interpretation of Christianity and their rejection of orthodoxy influenced them to produce their own translation of the Bible, The New World Translation." Our Kingdom Ministry, November 1992, "When we read from our Bible, the householder may comment on the clarity of language used in the New World Translation. Or we may find that the householder shows interest in our message but does not have a Bible. In these cases we may describe the unique features of the Bible we use and the reasons why we prefer it to others." "Jehovah's Witness". Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 2007. ISBN 978-1-59339-293-2. Michael Hill, ed. (1972). "The Embryonic State of a Religious Sect's Development: The Jehovah's Witnesses". Sociological Yearbook of Religion in Britain (5): 11–12. "Joseph Franklin Rutherford succeeded to Russell's position as President of Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society, but only at the expense of antagonizing a large proportion of the Watch Towers subscribers. Nevertheless, he persisted in moulding the Society to suit his own programme of activist evangelism under systematic central control, and he succeeded in creating the administrative structure of the present-day sect of Jehovah's Witnesses." Leo P. Chall (1978). "Sociological Abstracts". Sociology of Religion 26 (1–3): 193. "Rutherford, through the Watch Tower Society, succeeded in changing all aspects of the sect from 1919 to 1932 and created Jehovah's Witnesses—a charismatic offshoot of the Bible student community." Isaiah 43:10–12 Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. pp. 274–5. ISBN 0-914675-16-8. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 64 Singelenberg, Richard (1989). "It Separated the Wheat From the Chaff: The 1975 Prophecy and its Impact Among Dutch Jehovah's Witnesses". Sociological Analysis 50 (Spring 1989): 23–40, footnote 8. doi: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . "'The Truth' is Witnesses' jargon, meaning the Society's belief system." Penton, M.J. (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 280–283. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. "Most Witnesses tend to think of society outside their own community as decadent and corrupt ... This in turn means to Jehovah's Witnesses that they must keep themselves apart from  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  "doomed system of things." Thus most tend to socialize largely, although not totally, within the Witness community." Chryssides, George D. (1999). Exploring New Religions. London: Continuum. p. 5. ISBN 0-8264-5959-5. "The Jehovah's Witnesses are well known for their practice of 'disfellowshipping' wayward members." Gary Botting, Fundamental Freedoms and Jehovah's Witnesses (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 1993), pg 1–13 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. p. 6. ISBN 978-0094559400. Beckford 1975, p. 2 Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. pp. 37–39. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. Bible Examiner October, 1876 "Gentile Times: When Do They End?" pp 27–8: "The seven times will end in  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ; when Jerusalem shall be delivered forever ... when Gentile Governments shall have been dashed to pieces; when God shall have poured out of his fury upon the nations and they acknowledge him King of Kings and Lord of Lords." Studies in the Scriptures volume 4, "The Battle of Armageddon", 1897, pg xii C. T. Russell, The Time is at Hand, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1889, page 101 Heather and Gary Botting, The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses(Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1984, p. 36. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 18 Zion's Watch Tower, July 1, 1879, pg 1: "This is the first number of the first volume of "Zion's Watch Tower," and it may not be amiss to state the object of its publication. That we are living "in the last days"—"the day of the Lord"—"the end" of the Gospel age, and consequently, in the dawn of a "new" age." 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, Watch Tower, pages 38–39 Zion's Watch Tower, September 1884, pp. 7–8 Studies in the Scriptures volume 6 "The New Creation" pp. 195–272 C.T. Russell, "A Conspiracy Exposed", Zion's Watch Tower Extra edition, April 25, 1894, page 55–60, "This is a business association merely ... it has no creed or confession ... it is merely a business convenience in disseminating the truth."] Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses by George D. Chryssides, Scarecrow Press, 2008, page xxxiv, "Russell wanted to consolidate the movement he had started. ...In 1880, Bible House, a four-story building in Allegheny, was completed, with printing facilities and meeting accommodation, and it became the organization's headquarters. The next stage of institutionalization was legal incorporation. In 1884, Russell formed the Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society, which was incorporated in Pennsylvania... Russell was concerned that his supporters should feel part of a unified movement." Religion in the Twentieth Century by Vergilius Ture Anselm Ferm, Philosophical Library, 1948, page 383, "As the [unincorporated Watch Tower] Society expanded, it became necessary to incorporate it and build a more definite organization. In 1884, a charter was granted recognizing the Society as a religious, non-profit corporation." Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 19 A Chronology and Glossary of Propaganda in the United States Greenwood Press: 1996. pg. 35: "Russell is naturally media literate, and the amount of literature he circulates proves staggering. Books, booklets, and tracts are distributed by the hundreds of millions. This is supplemented by well-publicized speaking tours and a masterful press relations effort, which gives him widespread access to general audiences." The Overland Monthly, January 1910 pg. 130 Penton 1997, p. 26–29 W.T. Ellis, The Continent, McCormick Publishing Company, vol. 43, no. 40, October 3, 1912 pg. 1 Religious Diversity and American Religious History by Walter H. Conser, Sumner B. Twiss, University of Georgia Press, 1997, page 136, "The Jehovah's Witnesses...has maintained a very different attitude toward history. Established initially in the 1870s by Charles Taze Russell under the title International Bible Students Association, this organization has proclaimed..." The New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 1910, vol 7, pg 374 Penton 1997, p. 26 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. p. 31. ISBN 978-0094559400. Penton 1997, p. 53 A.N. Pierson et al, Light After Darkness, 1917, page 4. Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. p. 101. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. Penton 1997, pp. 58, 61–62 The Bible Students Monthly, vol. 9 no. 9, pp 1, 4: "The following article is extracted mainly from Pastor Russell's posthumous volume entitled "THE FINISHED MYSTERY," the 7th in the series of his STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and published subsequent to his death." Lawson, John D., American State Trials, vol 13, Thomas Law Book Company, 1921, pg viii: "After his death and after we were in the war they issued a seventh volume of this series, entitled "The Finished Mystery," which, under the guise of being a posthumous work of Pastor Russell, included an attack on the war and an attack on patriotism, which were not written by Pastor Russell and could not have possibly been written by him." Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. pp. 84–85. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. "One of Rutherford's first actions as president ... was, without reference either to his fellow directors or to the editorial committee which Russell had nominated in his will, to commission a seventh volume of Studies in the Scriptures. Responsibility for preparing this volume was given to two of Russell's close associates, George H. Fisher and Clayton J. Woodworth. On the face of it, their brief was to edit for publication the notes left by Russell ... and to draw upon his published writings ... It is obvious ... that it was not in any straightforward sense the result of editing Russell's papers, rather it was in large measure the original work of Woodworth and Fisher at the behest of the new president." "Publisher's Preface". The Finished Mystery. "But the fact is, he did write it. This book may properly be said to be a posthumous publication of Pastor Russell. Why?... This book is chiefly a compilation of things which he wrote and which have been brought together in harmonious style by properly applying the symbols which he explained to the Church." Penton 1997, p. 55 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. p. 44. ISBN 978-0094559400. Franz, Raymond (2007). "Chapter 4". In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. ISBN 0-914675-16-8. Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. 1993. pp. 72–77. Chryssides, George D. (2010). "How Prophecy Succeeds: The Jehovah’s Witnesses and Prophetic Expectations". International Journal for the Study of New Religions 1 (1): 39. doi: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . ISSN  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. p. 144. ISBN 0-914675-16-8. Salvation, Watch Tower Society, 1939, as cited in Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, page 76 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. pp. 39, 52. ISBN 978-0094559400. Herbert H. Stroup, The Jehovah's Witnesses, Colombia University Press, New York, 1945, pg 14,15: "Following his election the existence of the movement was threatened as never before. Many of those who remembered wistfully the halcyon days of Mr Russell's leadership found that the new incumbent did not fulfill their expectations of a saintly leader. Various elements split off from the parent body, and such fission continued throughout Rutherford's leadership." Reed, David,  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  Christian Research Journal, Summer 1993, pg 27: "By gradually replacing locally elected  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  with his own appointees, he managed to transform a loose collection of semi-autonomous, democratically run congregations into a tight-knit organizational machine controlled from his office. Some local congregations broke away, forming such groups as the Chicago Bible Students, the Dawn Bible Students, and the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement, all of which continue to this day." Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave, William J. Schnell, Baker, Grand Rapids, 1956, as cited by Rogerson, page 52. Rogerson notes that it is not clear exactly how many Bible Students left, but quotes Rutherford (Jehovah, 1934, page 277) as saying "only a few" who left other religions were then "in God's organization". The Present Truth and Herald of Christ's Epiphany, P.S.L. Johnson (April 1927, pg 66). Johnson stated that between late 1923 and early 1927, "20,000 to 30,000 Truth people the world over have left the Society." Tony Wills (A People For His Name, pg. 167) cites The Watch Tower(December 1, 1927, pg 355) in which Rutherford states that "the larger percentage" of original Bible Students had by then departed. Penton 1997, p. 50 Rogerson 1969, p. 37 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. London: Constable. p. 55. "In 1931, came an important milestone in the history of the organisation. For many years Rutherford's followers had been called a variety of names: 'International Bible Students', 'Russellites', or 'Millennial Dawners'. In order to distinguish clearly his followers from the other groups who had separated in 1918 Rutherford proposed that they adopt an entirely new name—Jehovah's witnesses." Beckford 1975, p. 30 "A New Name". The Watch Tower: 291. October 1, 1931. "Since the death of Charles T. Russell there have arisen numerous companies formed out of those who once walked with him, each of these companies claiming to teach the truth, and each calling themselves by some name, such as "Followers of Pastor Russell", "those who stand by the truth as expounded by Pastor Russell," "Associated Bible Students," and some by the names of their local leaders. All of this tends to confusion and hinders those of good will who are not better informed from obtaining a knowledge of the truth." Beckford 1975, p. 31 Penton 1997, pp. 71–72 Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. pp. 109–110. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. Beckford 1975, p. 35 Garbe, Detlef (2008). Between Resistance and Martyrdom: Jehovah's Witnesses in the Third Reich. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 145. ISBN 0-299-20794-3. 1943 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. 1942. pp. 221–222. Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. 1959. pp. 312–313. Beckford 1975, pp. 47–52 Beckford 1975, pp. 52–55 Penton 1997, pp. 89–90 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Chryssides, George D. (2008). Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses. Scarecrow Press. p. 19.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Penton 1997, p. 95 Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 46. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. Awake!. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. October 8, 1968. p. 14. "Does this mean that the above evidence positively points to 1975 as the complete end of this system of things? Since the Bible does not specifically state this, no man can say... If the 1970s should see intervention by Jehovah God to bring an end to a corrupt world drifting toward ultimate disintegration, that should surely not surprise us." "How Are You Using Your Life?". Our Kingdom Ministry: 63. May 1974. "Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly, this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world's end." Franz, Raymond.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (PDF). Crisis of Conscience. pp. 237–253. ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Retrieved 2006-07-27. Singelenberg, Richard (1989). "The '1975'-prophecy and its impact among Dutch Jehovah's Witnesses". Sociological Analysis 50 (1): 23–40.doi: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . JSTOR  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Notes a nine percent drop in total publishers (door-to-door preachers) and a 38 per cent drop in pioneers (full-time preachers) in the Netherlands. Stark and Iannoccone (1997).  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (PDF). Journal of Contemporary Religion: 142–143. Retrieved 2013-07-16. Dart, John (January 30, 1982). "Defectors Feel 'Witness' Wrath: Critics say Baptism Rise Gives False Picture of Growth". Los Angeles Times. p. B4. Cited statistics showing a net increase of publishers worldwide from 1971 to 1981 of 737,241, while baptisms totaled 1.71 million for the same period. Hesse, Hans (2001). Persecution and Resistance of Jehovah's Witnesses During the Nazi-Regime. Chicago: Edition Temmen c/o. pp. 296, 298. ISBN 3-861-08750-2. The Watchtower. March 15, 1980. pp. 17–18. "With the appearance of the bookLife Everlasting—in Freedom of the Sons of God, ... considerable expectation was aroused regarding the year 1975. ... there were other statements published that implied that such realization of hopes by that year was more of a probability than a mere possibility. It is to be regretted that these latter statements apparently overshadowed the cautionary ones and contributed to a buildup of the expectation already initiated. ... persons having to do with the publication of the information ... contributed to the buildup of hopes centered on that date." Chryssides Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses, pp. 32,112 Chryssides Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses, p. 64 Joel P. Engardio (December 18, 1995),  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Newsweek Penton 1997, p. 317 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ---------
      Penton 1997, p. i Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1989, pages 70–75. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 91 Muramoto, O. (January 6, 2001).  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . BMJ 322 (7277): 37–39.doi: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . PMC  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . PMID  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1993, page 183. United in Worship of the Only True God, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1983, pages 156–160. Bowman, R. M.; Beisner, E. C.; Ehrenborg, T. (1995). Jehovah's Witnesses. Zondervan. p. 13. ISBN 0-310-70411-1. Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 29–30. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. "How Blood Can Save Your Life," Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, pages 13–17 "Questions From Readers—Do Jehovah's Witnesses accept any medical products derived from blood?". The Watchtower: 30. June 15, 2000 Sniesinski et al.; Chen, EP; Levy, JH; Szlam, F; Tanaka, KA (April 2007)."Coagulopathy After Cardiopulmonary Bypass in Jehovah's Witness Patients: Management of Two Cases Using Fractionated Components and Factor VIIa"(PDF). Anesthesia & Analgesia 104 (4): 763–5.doi: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . PMID  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Retrieved 2008-12-30. "The Real Value of Blood". Awake!: 11. August 2006. Durable Power of Attorney form. Watch Tower Society. January 2001. p. 1.Examples of permitted fractions are: Interferon, Immune Serum Globulins and Factor VIII; preparations made from Hemoglobin such as PolyHeme and Hemopure. Examples of permitted procedures involving the medical use of one's own blood include: cell salvage, hemodilution, heart lung machine, dialysis,epidural blood patch, plasmapheresis, blood labeling or tagging and platelet gel (autologous) Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (PDF). November 2006. pp. 5–6. Retrieved 2009-06-21. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . The Awake. November 22, 2003. Retrieved 2009-10-24. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watch Tower Society. 1996–2014. "Question Box–Should a family Bible study be reported to the congregation?".Our Kingdom Ministry (Watch Tower Society): 3. November 2003. "Question Box—May both parents report the time used for the regular family study?". Our Kingdom Ministry: 3. September 2008. U.S. Religious Landscape Survey Religious Affiliation: Diverse and Dynamic. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. February 2008. pp. 9, 30. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Jum Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . The next lowest retention rates, excluding those raised unaffiliated with any church, were Buddhism at 50% and Catholicism at 68%. Beckford 1975, pp. 92, 98–100 Beckford 1975, pp. 196–207 Bryan R. Wilson, "The Persistence of Sects", Diskus, Journal of the British Association for the Study of Religions, Vol 1, No. 2, 1993 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . U.S. Religious Landscape Survey. Pew Research Center. Retrieved 15 August 2012. Jubber, Ken (1977). "The Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Southern Africa". Social Compass, 24 (1): 121,. doi: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Penton, James (2004). Jehovah's witnesses and the third reich. Canada: University of Toronto Press. p. 376. ISBN 0802086780. Garbe, Detlef (2008). Between Resistance and Martyrdom: Jehovah's Witnesses in the Third Reich. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 484. ISBN 0-299-20794-3. Shulman, William L. A State of Terror: Germany 1933–1939. Bayside, New York: Holocaust Resource Center and Archives. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Hesse, Hans (2001). Persecution and Resistance of Jehovah's Witnesses During the Nazi Regime. Edition Temmen. p. 12. ISBN 3-86108-750-2. Kaplan, William (1989). State and Salvation. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press. Yaffee, Barbara (1984-09-09). Witnesses Seek Apology for Wartime Persecution. The Globe in Mail. p. 4. Валерий Пасат ."Трудные страницы истории Молдовы (1940–1950)". Москва: Изд. Terra, 1994 (Russian) "Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom",chapter 22,page.490 "Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses 1991",page.221 Claims that Jehovah's Witnesses chose a deliberate course of martyrdom are contained in:
      Peters, Shawn Francis (2000). Judging Jehovah's Witnesses: Religious Persecution and the Dawn of the Rights Revolution. University Press of Kansas. pp. 82, 116–9. ISBN 0-7006-1008-1.
      Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, Visions of Glory, 1978, chapter 6.
      Whalen, William J. (1962). Armageddon Around the Corner: A Report on Jehovah's Witnesses. New York: John Day Company. p. 190.
      Schnell, William (1971). 30 Years a Watchtower Slave. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids. pp. 104–106. ISBN 0-8010-6384-1     Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1993, pp. 679–701. Botting, Fundamental Freedoms and Jehovah's Witnesses, pp. 1–14; Shawn Francis Peters, Judging Jehovah's Witnesses, University Press of Kansas: 2000, pages 12–16. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Knocking.org. Retrieved 16 August 2012. Botting, Fundamental Freedoms..., pp. 15–201 "Following Faithful Shepherds with Life in View", The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, page 591, "Make haste to identify the visible theocratic organization of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ. It is essential for life. Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect ... in submitting to Jehovah's visible theocratic organization, we must be in full and complete agreement with every feature of its apostolic procedure and requirements." "Loyal to Christ and His Faithful Slave", The Watchtower, April 1, 2007, page 24, "When we loyally submit to the direction of the faithful slave and its Governing Body, we are submitting to Christ, the slave's Master." Beckford 1975, pp. 89, 95, 103, 120, 204, 221 "Exposing the Devil's Subtle Designs" and "Armed for the Fight Against Wicked Spirits", The Watchtower, January 15, 1983 "Serving Jehovah Shoulder to Shoulder", The Watchtower, August 15, 1981, page 28. "Jehovah's Theocratic Organization Today",The Watchtower, February 1, 1952, pages 79–81. "Avoid Independent Thinking". The Watchtower: 27. 15 January 1983. "From the very outset of his rebellion  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  called into question God's way of doing things. He promoted independent thinking. ... How is such independent thinking manifested? A common way is by questioning the counsel that is provided by God's visible organization." "Avoid Independent Thinking". The Watchtower: 20. February 15, 1979. "In a world where people are tossed about by confusing winds of religious doctrine, Jehovah's people need to be stable, full-grown Christians. (Eph. 4:13, 14) Their position must be steadfast, not shifting quickly because of independent thinking or emotional pressures." The Watchtower: 277–278. May 1, 1964. "It is through the columns of The Watchtower that Jehovah provides direction and constant Scriptural counsel to his people, and it requires careful study and attention to details in order to apply this information, to get a full understanding of the principles involved, and to assure ourselves of right thinking on these matters. It is in this way that we "are thoroughly able to grasp mentally with all the holy ones" the fullness of our commission and of the preaching responsibility that Jehovah has placed on all Christians as footstep followers of his Son. Any other course would produce independent thinking and cause division."     "Will You Heed Jehovah’s Clear Warnings?", The Watchtower, July 15, 2011, page 15, "brothers are 'mentally diseased,' and they seek to infect others with their disloyal teachings. (1 Tim. 6:3, 4)."                   The Watchtower (8/15). August 1988. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , "Labeling the Jehovah's Witnesses as totalitarian trivializes the term totalitarian and defames the Jehovah's Witnesses."                       "Messengers of Godly Peace Pronounced Happy", The Watchtower, May 1, 1997, page 21 Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, Watch Tower Society, 1993, page 708. "Execution of the "Great Harlot" Nears", The Watchtower, October 15, 1980, page 17
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      Sources of doctrine
      Jehovah's Witnesses believe their religion is a restoration of first-century Christianity.[130] Doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses are established by the Governing Body, which assumes responsibility for interpreting and applying scripture.[53][131][132] The Watch Tower Society does not issue any single, comprehensive "statement of faith", but prefers to express its doctrinal position in a variety of ways in its  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .[133] Its  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  teach that doctrinal changes and refinements result from a process of progressive revelation, in which God gradually reveals his will and purpose,[134][135][136][137] and that such enlightenment results from the application of reason and study,[138] the guidance of the holy spirit, and direction from  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  and angels.[139] The Society also teaches that members of the Governing Body are helped by the holy spirit to discern "deep truths", which are then considered by the entire Governing Body before it makes doctrinal decisions.[140] The religion's leadership, while disclaiming divine inspiration and infallibility,[141] is said to provide "divine guidance"[142] through its teachings described as "based on God's Word thus ... not from men, but from  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ."[143][144]

      The entire Protestant canon of scripture is considered the inspired, inerrant word of God.[145] Jehovah's Witnesses consider  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  to be scientifically and historically accurate and reliable[146] and interpret much of it literally, but accept parts of it as symbolic.[147] They consider  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  to be the final authority for all their beliefs,[148] although sociologist Andrew Holden's ethnographic study of the religion concluded that pronouncements of the Governing Body, through  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , carry almost as much weight as  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .[149] Regular personal Bible reading is frequently recommended; Witnesses are discouraged from formulating doctrines and "private ideas" reached through Bible research independent of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and are cautioned against reading other religious literature.[150][151][152] Adherents are told to have "complete confidence" in the leadership, avoid skepticism about what is taught in the Watch Tower Society's literature, and "not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding."[153][154][155][156] The religion makes no provision for members to criticize or contribute to official teachings[157] and all Witnesses must abide by its doctrines and organizational requirements.[158]
       
      Jehovah and Jesus Christ
      Jehovah's Witnesses emphasize the use of God's name, represented in the Hebrew Scriptures of the Bible by the Tetragrammaton.[159][160] In English we prefer to use the name Jehovah.[161] We believe that Jehovah is the only true God, the creator of all things, and the "Universal Sovereign". We believe that all worship should be directed toward Him, and that he is not part of a Trinity;[162] consequently, our religion places more emphasis on Jehovah God than on Christ.[163][164] We believe that the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  is Jehovah God's applied power or "active force", rather than a person.[165][166]
       
      The Tetragrammaton
      Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Jesus is God's only direct creation, that everything else was created by means of Christ, and that the initial unassisted act of creation uniquely identifies Jesus as God's "only-begotten Son".[167] Jesus served as a redeemer and a ransom sacrifice to pay for the sins of humanity.[168] They believe Jesus died on a single upright torture stake rather than the traditional cross.[169] They believe that references in the Bible to the Archangel Michael, Abaddon (Apollyon), and the Word all refer to Jesus.[170] Jesus is considered to be the only intercessor and high priest between God and humanity, and appointed by God as the king and judge of his kingdom.[171] His role as a mediator (referred to in 1 Timothy 2:5) is applied to the 'anointed' class, though the 'other sheep' are said to also benefit from the arrangement.[172]
       
      Satan
      Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Satan was originally a perfect angel who developed feelings of self-importance and craved worship. Satan caused Adam and Eve to disobey God, and humanity subsequently became participants in a challenge involving the competing claims of Jehovah and Satan to universal sovereignty.[173] Other angels who sided with Satan became demons.

      Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Satan and his demons were cast down to earth from heaven after October 1,  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ,[174] at which point the end times began. Witnesses believe that Satan is the ruler of the current world order,[173] that human society is influenced and misled by Satan and his demons, and that they are a cause of human suffering. They believe that human governments are controlled by Satan,[175] but that he does not directly control each human ruler.[176]
       
      Life after death
      See also the video:  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      Jehovah's Witnesses believe death is a state of non-existence with no consciousness. There is no Hell of fiery torment; Hades and Sheol are understood to refer to the condition of death, termed the common grave.[177] Jehovah's Witnesses consider the soul to be a life or a living body that can die.[178]  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  teach that humanity is in a sinful state,[178] from which release is only possible by means of Jesus' shed blood as a ransom, or atonement, for the sins of humankind.[179]

      Witnesses believe that a "little flock" go to heaven, but that the hope for life after death for the majority of "other sheep" involves being resurrected by God to a cleansed earth after Armageddon. They interpret Revelation 14:1–5 to mean that the number of Christians going to heaven is limited to exactly 144,000, who will rule with Jesus as kings and priests over earth.[180] Jehovah's Witnesses teach that only they meet scriptural requirements for surviving Armageddon, but that God is the final judge.[181][182][183] During Christ's millennial reign, most people who died prior to Armageddon will be resurrected with the prospect of living forever; they will be taught the proper way to worship God to prepare them for their final test at the end of the millennium.[184][185]
       
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      Eschatology
      Main article: Eschatology of Jehovah's Witnesses
      A central teaching of Jehovah's Witnesses is that the current world era, or "system of things", entered the "last days" in  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  and faces imminent destruction through intervention by God and Jesus Christ, leading to deliverance for those who worship God acceptably.[192] They consider all other present-day religions to be false, identifying them with "Babylon the Great", or the "harlot", of Revelation 17,[193] and believe that they will soon be destroyed by the United Nations, which they believe is represented in scripture by the scarlet-colored wild beast of Revelation chapter 17. This development will mark the beginning of the "great tribulation".[194] Satan will subsequently attack Jehovah's Witnesses, an action that will prompt God to begin the war of Armageddon, during which all forms of government and all people not counted as Christ's "sheep", or true followers, will be destroyed. After Armageddon, God will extend his heavenly kingdom to include earth, which will be transformed into a paradise similar to the Garden of Eden.[195] After Armageddon, most of those who had died before God's intervention will gradually be resurrected during "judgment day" lasting for one thousand years. This judgment will be based on their actions after resurrection rather than past deeds. At the end of the thousand years, a final test will take place when Satan is released to mislead perfect mankind. Those who fail will be destroyed, along with Satan and his demons. The end result will be a fully tested, glorified human race. Christ will then hand all authority back to God.[196]

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  teach that Jesus Christ began to rule in heaven as king of God's kingdom in October  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and that Satan was subsequently ousted from heaven to the earth, resulting in "woe" to humanity. They believe that Jesus rules invisibly, from heaven, perceived only as a series of "signs". They base this belief on a rendering of the Greek word parousia—usually translated as "coming" when referring to Christ—as "presence". They believe Jesus' presence includes an unknown period beginning with his inauguration as king in heaven in  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and ending when he comes to bring a final judgment against humans on earth. They thus depart from the mainstream Christian belief that the "second coming" of Matthew 24 refers to a single moment of arrival on earth to judge humans.[197][198]
       
      Practices
      Worship
      Meetings for worship and study are held at  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , which are typically functional in character, and do not contain religious symbols.[199] Witnesses are assigned to a congregation in whose "territory" they usually reside and attend weekly services they refer to as "meetings" as scheduled by congregation  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . The meetings are largely devoted to study of Watch Tower Society literature and the Bible. The format of the meetings is established by the religion's headquarters, and the subject matter for most meetings is the same worldwide.[199] Congregations meet for two sessions each week comprising five distinct meetings that total about three-and-a-half hours, typically gathering mid-week (three meetings) and on the weekend (two meetings). Prior to 2009, congregations met three times each week; these meetings were condensed, with the intention that members dedicate an evening for "family worship".[200][201] Gatherings are opened and closed with kingdom songs (hymns) and brief prayers. Each year, Witnesses from a number of congregations that form a "circuit" gather for one-day, and two-day assemblies. Several circuits meet once a year for a three-day "district convention", usually at rented stadiums or auditoriums. Their most important and solemn event is the commemoration of the "Lord's Evening Meal", or "Memorial of Christ's Death" on the date of the Jewish Passover.[202]

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      Do Jehovah's Witnesses Practice Tithing?
       
      Evangelism
      Jehovah's Witnesses are known for their preaching from house to house.
      See also:  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.
      Jehovah's Witnesses are perhaps best known for their efforts to spread their beliefs, most notably by visiting people from house to house,[203][204][205] distributing literature published by the Watch Tower Society in 700 languages.[206] The objective is to start a regular "Bible study" with any person who is not already a member.[207] Once the study course is completed, the individual is expected to become baptized as a member of the group.[208][209] Witnesses are told they are under a biblical command to engage in public preaching.[210][211] They are instructed to devote as much time as possible to their ministry and are required to submit an individual monthly "Field Service Report".[212][213] Baptized members who fail to submit a report every month are termed "irregular" and may be counseled by  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;[214][215] those who do not submit a report for six consecutive months are termed "inactive".[216]
       
      Ethics and morality
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      Their views of morality reflect conservative Christian values. All sexual relations outside of marriage are grounds for expulsion if the individual is not deemed repentant;[217][218]  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  is considered a serious sin, and same-sex marriages are forbidden. Abortion is considered murder.[219] Suicide is considered to be "self-inflicted murder" and a sin against God.[220] Modesty in dress and grooming is frequently emphasized. Gambling, drunkenness, illegal drugs, and tobacco use are forbidden.[221] Drinking of alcoholic beverages is permitted in moderation.[219] 

      The family structure is patriarchal. The husband is considered to have authority on family decisions, but is encouraged to solicit his wife's thoughts and feelings, as well as those of his children. Marriages are required to be monogamous and legally registered.[222][223] Marrying a non-believer, or endorsing such a union, is strongly discouraged and carries religious sanctions.[224][225] Divorce is discouraged, and remarriage is forbidden unless a divorce is obtained on the grounds of adultery, termed "a scriptural divorce".[226] If a divorce is obtained for any other reason, remarriage is considered adulterous unless the prior spouse has died or is since considered to have committed fornication.[227] Extreme physical abuse, willful non-support of one's family, and what the religion terms "absolute endangerment of spirituality" are considered grounds for legal separation.[228][229]
       
      Disciplinary action
      Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses and congregational discipline
      Formal discipline is administered by congregation  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . When a baptized member is accused of committing a serious sin—usually cases of sexual misconduct[115][230] or charges of apostasy for disputing the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. [231][232]—a judicial committee is formed to determine guilt, provide help and possibly administer discipline.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , a form of shunning, is the strongest form of discipline, administered to an offender deemed unrepentant.[233] Contact with disfellowshipped individuals is limited to direct family members living in the same home, and with congregation  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  who may invite disfellowshipped persons to apply for  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ;[234][235] formal business dealings may continue if contractually or financially obliged.[236] Witnesses are taught that avoiding social and spiritual interaction with disfellowshipped individuals keeps the congregation free from immoral influence and that "losing precious fellowship with loved ones may help [the shunned individual] to come 'to his senses,' see the seriousness of his wrong, and take steps to return to Jehovah."[237] The practice of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  may also serve to deter other members from dissident behavior.[238] Members who disassociate (formally resign) are described in  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  as wicked and are also shunned.[239][240][241] Expelled individuals may eventually be reinstated to the congregation if deemed repentant by  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  in the congregation in which the disfellowshipping was enforced.[242]  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  is a lesser form of discipline given formally by a  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  to a baptized Witness who is considered repentant of serious sin; the reproved person temporarily loses conspicuous privileges of service, but suffers no restriction of social or spiritual fellowship.[243]  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , a curtailing of social but not spiritual fellowship, is practiced if a baptized member persists in a course of action regarded as a violation of Bible principles but not a serious sin.[note 4]
      Separateness
      Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses and governments
      Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the Bible condemns the mixing of religions, on the basis that there can only be one truth from God, and therefore reject interfaith and ecumenical movements.[244][245][246] They believe that only their religion represents true Christianity, and that other religions fail to meet all the requirements set by God and will soon be destroyed.[247] Jehovah's Witnesses are taught that it is vital to remain "separate from the world."  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  define the "world" as "the mass of mankind apart from Jehovah's approved servants" and teach that it is morally contaminated and ruled by Satan.[248][249][250] Witnesses are taught that association with "worldly" people presents a "danger" to their faith,[251] and are instructed to minimize social contact with non-members to better maintain their own standards of morality.[252][253][254][255]

      Jehovah's Witnesses believe their highest allegiance belongs to God's kingdom, which is viewed as an actual government in heaven, with Christ as king. They remain politically neutral, do not seek public office, and are discouraged from voting, though individual members may participate in uncontroversial community improvement issues.[256][257] They do not celebrate religious holidays such as Christmas and Easter, nor do they observe birthdays, nationalistic holidays, or other celebrations they consider to honor people other than Jesus. They feel that these and many other customs have pagan origins or reflect a nationalistic or political spirit. Their position is that these traditional holidays reflect Satan's control over the world.[258][259][260] Witnesses are told that spontaneous giving at other times can help their children to not feel deprived of birthdays or other celebrations.[261]

      They do not work in industries associated with the military, do not serve in the armed services,[262] and refuse national military service, which in some countries may result in their arrest and imprisonment.[263] They do not salute or pledge allegiance to flags or sing national anthems or patriotic songs.[264] Jehovah's Witnesses see themselves as a worldwide brotherhood that transcends national boundaries and ethnic loyalties.[265][266] Sociologist Ronald Lawson has suggested the religion's intellectual and organizational isolation, coupled with the intense indoctrination of adherents, rigid internal discipline and considerable  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , has contributed to the consistency of its sense of urgency in its apocalyptic message.[267] 
       
      See also: Are Jehovah's Witnesses a Religion?
      References
       
      Yearbook 2002, Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, p. 31, 2002 Van Voorst,Robert E. (2012). RELG: World (with Religion CourseMate with eBook Printed Access Card). Cengage Learning. p. 288. ISBN 1-1117-2620-5. Organized to Do Jehovah's Will, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2005, pages 17–18. "Cooperating With the Governing Body Today,", The Watchtower, March 15, 1990, page 19. Beckford 1975, p. 119 "Focus on the Goodness of Jehovah's Organization". The Watchtower: 22. 15 July 2006. "Impart God's Progressive Revelation to Mankind", The Watchtower, March 1, 1965, pp. 158–159 Penton 1997, pp. 165–171 "Flashes of Light—Great and Small", The Watchtower, May 15, 1995, page 15. Penton 1997, p. 165 J. F. Rutherford, Preparation, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1933, page 64, 67, "Enlightenment proceeds from Jehovah by and through Christ Jesus and is given to the faithful anointed on earth at the temple, and brings great peace and consolation to them. Again Zechariah talked with the angel of the Lord, which shows that the remnant are instructed by the angels of the Lord. The remnant do not hear audible sounds, because such is not necessary. Jehovah has provided his own good way to convey thoughts to the minds of his anointed ones ... Those of the remnant, being honest and true, must say, We do not know; and the Lord enlightens them, sending his angels for that very purpose." "The Spirit Searches into the Deep Things of God", The Watchtower, July 15, 2010, page 23, "When the time comes to clarify a spiritual matter in our day, holy spirit helps responsible representatives of 'the faithful and discreet slave' at world headquarters to discern deep truths that were not previously understood. The Governing Body as a whole considers adjusted explanations. What they learn, they publish for the benefit of all." "Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible?". The Watchtower: 19. February 15, 1981. "True, the brothers preparing these  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  are not infallible. Their writings are not inspired as are those of Paul and the other Bible writers. (2 Tim. 3:16) And so, at times, it has been necessary, as understanding became clearer, to correct views. (Prov. 4:18)" "Do You See the Evidence of God's Guidance?", The Watchtower, April 15, 2011, pages 3–5, "How, then, do we react when we receive divine direction? Do we try to apply it “right afterward”? Or do we continue doing things just as we have been accustomed to doing them? Are we familiar with up-to-date directions, such as those regarding conducting home Bible studies, preaching to foreign speaking people, regularly sharing in family worship, cooperating with Hospital Liaison Committees, and conducting ourselves properly at conventions? ... Do you clearly discern the evidence of divine guidance? Jehovah uses his organization to guide us, his people, through “the wilderness” during these last days of Satan’s wicked world." "Unity Identifies True Worship", The Watchtower, September 15, 2010, page 13 par.8 "This spiritual food is based on God’s Word. Thus, what is taught is not from men but from Jehovah." "Overseers of Jehovah’s People", The Watchtower, June 15, 1957, "Let us now unmistakably identify Jehovah’s channel of communication for our day, that we may continue in his favor ... It is vital that we appreciate this fact and respond to the directions of the “slave” as we would to the voice of God, because it is His provision." Penton 1997, p. 172 All Scripture is Inspired of God, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1990, page 336. All Scripture is Inspired of God, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1990, page 9. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  | pp. 199–208 Jehovah's Witnesses Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 67, "Materials such as The Watchtower are almost as significant to the Witnesses as the Bible, since the information is presented as the inspired work of theologians, and they are, therefore, believed to contain as much truth as biblical texts." James A. Beverley, Crisis of Allegiance, Welch Publishing Company, Burlington, Ontario, 1986, ISBN 0-920413-37-4, pages 25–26, 101, "For every passage in Society literature that urges members to be bold and courageous in critical pursuits, there are many others that warn about independent thinking and the peril of questioning the organization ... Fear of disobedience to the Governing Body keeps Jehovah's Witnesses from carefully checking into biblical doctrine or allegations concerning false prophecy, faulty scholarship, and injustice. Witnesses are told not to read books like this one." "Keep Clear of False Worship!", The Watchtower, 15 March 2006, "True Christians keep clear of false worship, rejecting false religious teachings. This means that we avoid exposure to religious programs on radio and television as well as religious literature that promotes lies about God and his Word." "Questions From Readers—Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses decline to exchange their Bible study aids for the religious literature of people they meet". The Watchtower: 31. May 1, 1984. "So it would be foolhardy, as well as a waste of valuable time, for Jehovah’s Witnesses to accept and expose themselves to false religious literature that is designed to deceive." Question Box, Our Kingdom Ministry, September 2007, "Throughout the earth, Jehovah’s people are receiving ample spiritual instruction and encouragement at congregation meetings, assemblies, and conventions, as well as through  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Under the guidance of his holy spirit and on the basis of his Word of truth, Jehovah provides what is needed so that all of God’s people may be fitly united in the same mind and in the same line of thought and remain stabilized in the faith. Surely we are grateful for Jehovah’s spiritual provisions in these last days. Thus, the faithful and discreet slave does not endorse any literature, meetings, or Web sites that are not produced or organized under its oversight." "Make Your Advancement Manifest", The Watchtower, August 1, 2001, page 14, "Since oneness is to be observed, a mature Christian must be in unity and full harmony with fellow believers as far as faith and knowledge are concerned. He does not advocate or insist on personal opinions or harbor private ideas when it comes to Bible understanding. Rather, he has complete confidence in the truth as it is revealed by Jehovah God through his Son, Jesus Christ, and the faithful and discreet slave." Testimony by Fred Franz, Transcript, Lord Strachan vs. Douglas Walsh, 1954. page 123, Q: "Did you imply that the individual member has the right of reading the books and the Bible and forming his own view as to the proper interpretation of Holy Writ? A:" .... No....The Scripture is there given in support of the statement, and therefore the individual when he looks up the Scripture and thereby verifies the statement,...search[es] the Scripture to see whether these things were so." "Do We Need Help to Understand the Bible?", The Watchtower, February 15, 1981, page 19, "Jesus’ disciples wrote many letters to Christian congregations, to persons who were already in the way of the truth. But nowhere do we read that those brothers first, in a skeptical frame of mind, checked the Scriptures to make certain that those letters had Scriptural backing, that the writers really knew what they were talking about. We can benefit from this consideration. If we have once established what instrument God is using as his 'slave' to dispense spiritual food to his people, surely Jehovah is not pleased if we receive that food as though it might contain something harmful. We should have confidence in the channel God is using." Beckford 1975, pp. 84, 89, 92, 119–120 "Questions From Readers", The Watchtower April 1, 1986 pp. 30–31. Holden, Andrew (2002). Jehovah's Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement. Routledge. p. 24. ISBN 0-415-26609-2. Ringnes, Hege Kristin; Helje Kringlebotn Sødal (ed.) (2009). Jehovas vitner—en flerfaglig studie (in Norwegian). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. p. 27. Holden, A. (2002).  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (PDF). Department of Sociology, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YL, UK. p. Endnote . Retrieved 2009-06-21. Alan Rogerson (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die. Constable. p. 87. Beckford 1975, p. 105 Revelation Its Grand Climax, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1988, pg 36, "In the songbook produced by Jehovah’s people in 1905, there were twice as many songs praising Jesus as there were songs praising Jehovah God. In their 1928 songbook, the number of songs extolling Jesus was about the same as the number extolling Jehovah. But in the latest songbook of 1984, Jehovah is honored by four times as many songs as is Jesus. This is in harmony with Jesus’ own words: 'The Father is greater than I am.' Love for Jehovah must be preeminent, accompanied by deep love for Jesus and appreciation of his precious sacrifice and office as God’s High Priest and King." Alan Rogerson (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die. Constable. p. 90. "What is the Holy Spirit?". The Watchtower: 5. October 1, 2009. "There is a close connection between the holy spirit and the power of God. The holy spirit is the means by which Jehovah exerts his power. Put simply, the holy spirit is God’s applied power, or his active force." Hoekema 1963, p. 262 Hoekema 1963, pp. 276–277 Penton 1997, p. 372 Hoekema 1963, p. 270 "Stay in the “City of Refuge” and Live!", The Watchtower, November 15, 1995, page 19 Penton 1997, pp. 188–189 Penton 1997, pp. 188–190 Hoekema 1963, pp. 298–299 Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 25 "Identifying the Wild Beast and Its Mark". The Watchtower: 5. 1 April 2004. "This does not mean, however, that every human ruler is a direct tool of Satan." Hoekema 1963, pp. 322–324 Hoekema 1963, pp. 265–269 Penton 1997, p. 186 Penton 1997, p. 193–194 "Remaining Organized for Survival Into the Millennium", The Watchtower, September 1, 1989, page 19, "Only Jehovah's Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the 'great crowd,'as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil." You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth,, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1989, pg 255, "Do not conclude that there are different roads, or ways, that you can follow to gain life in God's new system. There is only one ... there will be only one organization—God's visible organization—that will survive the fast-approaching 'great tribulation.' It is simply not true that all religions lead to the same goal. You must be part of Jehovah's organization, doing God's will, in order to receive his blessing of everlasting life." "Our Readers Ask: Do Jehovah's Witnesses Believe That They Are the Only Ones Who Will Be Saved?", The Watchtower, November 1, 2008, page 28, "Jehovah's Witnesses hope to be saved. However, they also believe that it is not their job to judge who will be saved. Ultimately, God is the Judge. He decides." Hoekema 1963, pp. 315–319 Insight on the Scriptures Volume 1 p. 606 " Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. "             Hoekema 1963, p. 297 Hoekema 1963, pp. 286 "Apocalypse—When?", The Watchtower, February 15, 1986, page 6. Penton 1997, p. 180 Hoekema 1963, pp. 307–321 Penton 1997, p. 17–19 The Watchtower 10/1/92 p. 16 par. 6 "The Messiah’s Presence and His Rule" Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 64–69 2010 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses: p. 6 Highlights of the Past Year "UPBUILDING AND ENJOYABLE FAMILY WORSHIP" The Watchtower 5/15 2011 p. 14 par 13 Christian Families—“Keep Ready” Maintain a Family Worship Evening Hoekema 1963, p. 292 Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. p. 5. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. p. 1. ISBN 978-0094559400. Whalen, William J. (1962). Armageddon Around the Corner: A Report on Jehovah's Witnesses. New York: John Day Company. p. 15,18. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Ringnes, Hege Kristin; Helje Kringlebotn Sødal (ed.) (2009). Jehovas vitner—en flerfaglig studie (in Norwegian). Oslo: Universitetsforlaget. p. 43. "Question Box: How long should a formal Bible study be conducted with an individual in the Knowledge book?". 'Our Kingdom Ministry. October 1996. "We want people to receive a basic knowledge of the truth. Yet it is expected that within a relatively short period of time, an effective teacher will be able to assist a sincere average student to acquire sufficient knowledge to make an intelligent decision to serve Jehovah... (if there is no) clear evidence of his desire to serve Jehovah .... it may be advisable to discontinue the study." Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 77. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. "The society states explicitly that all Bible studies should quickly show signs of 'real progress' to be deemed worthy of pursuit ... unless the potential converts are willing to give clear indication that they accept both the doctrines and the consequent responsibilities of attending meetings and going from door to door themselves, the study should be discontinued." Bearing Thorough Witness About God's Kingdom, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2009, page 63, "Do you obey the command to bear thorough witness, even if the assignment causes you some apprehension?" "Determined to bear thorough witness," The Watchtower, December 15, 2008, page 19, "When the resurrected Jesus spoke to disciples gathered in Galilee, likely 500 of them, he commanded: 'Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit, teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.' That command applies to all true Christians today." Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 52. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. "Do You Contribute to an Accurate Report?", Our Kingdom Ministry, December 2002, page 8, "Jehovah’s organization today instructs us to report our field service activity each month ... At the end of the month, the book study overseer makes sure that all in the group have followed through on their responsibility to report their activity." "Regularity in Service Brings Blessings", Our Kingdom Ministry, May 1984, page 7. "Helping Irregular Publishers". Our Kingdom Ministry: 7. December 1987. "Keep the Word of Jehovah Moving Speedily". Our Kingdom Ministry: 1. October 1982. Chryssides, G.D. (1999). Exploring New Religions. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 103. ISBN 0-304-33651-3. "Imitate Jehovah—Exercise Justice and Righteousness", The Watchtower, August 1, 1998, page 16. Holden & 2002 Portrait, pp. 26–27, 173 "Questions From Readers". The Watchtower: 30,31. June 15, 2002. Penton 1997, pp. 152, 180 "The Bible's Viewpoint What Does It Mean to Be the Head of the House?".Awake!: 26. July 8, 2004. "Christian Weddings That Bring Joy". The Watchtower: 11. 15 April 1984. Shepherd the Flock of God. pp. 37–38, 124–125. "How should individual Christians and the congregation as a whole view the Bible advice to marry "only in the Lord"?". The Watchtower: 31. 15 March 1982. Penton 1997, pp. 110–112 "Adultery". Insight on the Scriptures 1. p. 53. "Marriage—Why Many Walk Out", Awake!, July 8, 1993, page 6, "A legal divorce or a legal separation may provide a measure of protection from extreme abuse or willful nonsupport." "When Marital Peace Is Threatened". The Watchtower: 22. 1 November 1988. Beckford 1975, pp. 54–55 Penton 1997, pp. 106–108 Osamu Muramoto (August 1998).  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Journal of Medical Ethics 24 (4): 223–230.doi: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . PMC  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . PMID  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . The Watchtower April 15, 1988. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , "Do you shun former members? ... If, however, someone unrepentantly practices serious sins, such as drunkenness, stealing or adultery, he will be disfellowshipped and such an individual is avoided by former fellow-worshipers. ... The marriage relationship and normal family affections and dealings can continue. ... Disfellowshipped individuals may continue to attend religious services and, if they wish, they may receive spiritual counsel from the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  with a view to their being restored. They are always welcome to return to the faith [emphasis retained from source]" "Display Christian Loyalty When a Relative Is Disfellowshipped". Our Kingdom Ministry: 3–4. August 2002. "Disfellowshipping-How to View It". The Watchtower: 24. 15 September 1981. "Appendix: How to Treat a Disfellowshipped person". Keep Yourselves in God's Love. Jehovah's Witnesses. 2008. pp. 207–209. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 163 "Disfellowshiping—How to View It", The Watchtower, September 15, 1981, page 23. "Do You Hate Lawlessness?", The Watchtower, February 15, 2011, page 31. Franz, Raymond. Crisis of Conscience. p. 358. Shepherd the Flock of God. Watch Tower Society. p. 119. "Questions From Readers", The Watchtower, January 1, 1983 pp. 30–31. "Should the Religions Unite?". The Watchtower: 741–742. 15 December 1953. "Is Interfaith God's Way?". The Watchtower: 69. 1 February 1952. Beckford 1975, p. 202, "The ideological argument states that, since absolute truth is unitary and exclusive of all relativisation, there can only 'logically' be one human organization to represent it. Consequently, all other religious organizations are in error and are to be strictly avoided. The absolutist view of truth further implies that, since anything less than absolute truth can only corrupt and destroy it, there can be no justification for Jehovah's witnesses having any kind of association with other religionists, however sincere the motivation might be." "15 Worship That God Approves". What Does The Bible Really Teach?. p. 145. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1989, pages 435–436. "Live a Balanced, Simple Life", The Watchtower, July 15, 1989, page 11. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 12 "Keep Your Distance When Danger Threatens". The Watchtower: 23. February 15, 1994. "Steering Clear of Danger ... We must also be on guard against extended association with worldly people. Perhaps it is a neighbor, a school friend, a workmate, or a business associate. ... What are some of the dangers of such a friendship? We could begin to minimize the urgency of the times we live in or take a growing interest in material rather than spiritual things. Perhaps, because of a fear of displeasing our worldly friend, we would even desire to be accepted by the world." Holden & 2002 Portrait, pp. 109–112 Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. p. 409. ISBN 0-914675-17-6. ""Each One Will Carry His Own Load", The Watchtower, March 15, 2006, page 23. Bryan R. Wilson, "The Persistence of Sects", Diskus, Journal of the British Association for the Study of Religions, Vol 1, No. 2, 1993, "They have extensive contact with the wider public, [in Britain in 1989, 108,000 publishers undertook 23 million hours of house-calls]. Yet, they remain little affected by that exposure—they confine their contacts to their single-minded purpose and avoid all other occasions for association." Questions From Readers, The Watchtower, November 1, 1999, p. 28,"As to whether they will personally vote for someone running in an election, each one of Jehovah's Witnesses makes a decision based on his Bible-trained conscience and an understanding of his responsibility to God and to the State." Questions From Readers, The Watchtower, March 1, 1983, p. 30 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  p. 178 Holidays The Watchtower 8/15/09 p. 22 par. 20 “Keep Yourselves in God’s Love” The Watchtower 9/15/68 p. 573 par 6 "The Seriousness of It" The Watchtower 10/15/92 p. 18 par. 21 "Work to Preserve Your Family Into God’s New World" Worship the Only True God, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2002, p. 159. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Education, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 2002, pp. 20–23 Owens, Gene (September 1997). "Trials of a Jehovah's Witness.(The Faith of Journalists)". Nieman Reports. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  Jehovah’s Witnesses Official Media Web Site Ronald Lawson, "Sect-state relations: Accounting for the differing trajectories of Seventh-Day Adventists and Jehovah's Witnesses", Sociology of Religion, Winter 1995, "The urgency of the Witness's apocalyptic has changed very little over time. The intellectual isolation of the Witness leaders has allowed them to retain their traditional position, and it is they who continue to be the chief purveyors of the radical eschataology ....This commitment (to principle) was bolstered by their organizational isolation, intense indoctrination of adherents, rigid internal discipline, and considerable persecution."
    • By Anna
      In view of last weeks WT study "Do you have the facts" (August 2018, page 3) and thanks to @Gone Away for highlighting the following reports, I thought I would put this in a separate and concise topic to show an actual and recent example of misinformation.
      NEWS REPORT: (I cut it a little short because the article went on about the ban in general. You van read the whole thing here:
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. MOSCOW: Five Jehovah's Witnesses have been detained in Russia and charged with possessing weapons and running an extremist group, investigators said Wednesday (Oct 10, 2018), in the latest case targeting the banned religious movement.
      They were arrested in the Kirov region northeast of Moscow, where authorities said they found two grenades and a landmine in searches of their homes.
      The Jehovah's Witnesses are a Christian denomination that originated in the United States in the late 19th century.
      The Russian authorities consider the movement a totalitarian sect and last year the country's supreme court banned the Jehovah's Witnesses from operating in Russia.
      "They had been conducting meetings and called on others to join their organisation," Yevgenia Vorozhtsova, a spokeswoman for regional investigators, said.
      She said officials were investigating how the members of the Jehovah's Witnesses had obtained the ammunition, but declined to provide further details.
      Yaroslav Sivulskiy, a member of the European Association of Jehovah's Christian Witnesses, said it was the first time the Russian authorities had accused members of the movement of possessing ammunition.
      "We were shocked," he said from the Latvian capital Riga. "It is both funny and strange. Why mines?"
      One of those detained was a Polish national residing in Russia, he said.
       
      THE FACTS: (here I took the liberty of slightly adjusting the translation by Google, so it made more sense)
      On October 9, 2018, in the city of Kirov, during a search of the house of retired Vladimir Bogomolov, a collector of artifacts from the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945), investigators seized fragments of obviously unusable rusty shells. The man was searched because his 69-year-old spouse (the only one of her entire family) professes the religion of Jehovah's Witnesses. The woman does not share her husband's fascination with antiques. Thus, the report that the ammunition was seized allegedly from Jehovah's Witnesses is not true.
      Jehovah's Witnesses do not take weapons for conscience reasons. For this position they appeared before tribunals of different countries and went to concentration camps. They will be grateful to the media for clarifying the misunderstanding .
      Vladimir Bogomolov, from whom the relics were confiscated, was in the past an active participant in a search movement (aimed at burying the remains of the soldiers who died in World War II), he was the brigadier of the search party. The activities of his squad were written about in newspapers. On October 9, 2018, upon the discovery of the artifacts, a criminal case on the illegal possession of weapons was instituted, it was allocated in a separate proceeding. The items were sent for examination.
       Source: 
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    • By Outta Here
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. This takes the proverbial biscuit. These are guys that plant Jehovah's Witness publications on................Jehovah's Witnesses!!!
      They might be in for a decoration!
    • By admin
      He played football, tennis, and squash while enrolled at the New York Military Academy and at Wharton. 
    • By Srecko Sostar
      3) We do not lobby, vote in political elections, run for government office, or try to change governments. …Otherwise, how could we have a clean conscience when we preach the good news that only God’s Kingdom can solve mankind’s problems? source: 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
      lobby verb [ I or T ]  UK  /ˈlɒb.i/ US  /ˈlɑː.bi/
      C2 to try to persuade a politician, the government, or an official group that a particular thing should or should not happen, or that a law should be changed:

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
      Recent example how WT Company and JW members participated in "lobbying" was writing letters to Russian Government and their politicians. 
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      More than 200 Jehovah's Witnesses - a religious organization banned in Russia - have applied for asylum in Finland. More than 100 members of this organization have arrived in the European country only so far in 2018. According to Juha Simila, representative of the Finnish migration service, about 10 cases have been analyzed so far and, in most of them, Finland rejected the asylum application. Simila explained to the Finnish newspaper Aamulehti that some denials have been appealed to the court and that in one of the cases the negative decision of the migration service has already been confirmed.
      Read more: 
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    • By The Librarian
      Algeria 
      Bahrain 
      Brunei
      China 
      Djibouti 
      Egypt 
      Eritrea
      iran 
      iraq 
      Jordan 
      Kuwait 
      Laos 
      Lebanon 
      Libya 
      Maldives 
      Mauritania 
      Morocco 
      North Korea
      Oman 
      Qatar 
      Russia 
      Saudi Arabia 
      Singapore 
      Somalia 
      Syria 
      Tunisia 
      Turkmenistan 
      United Arab Emirates 
      Uzbekistan 
      Vatican city 
      Vietnam 
      Yemen
      Tajikistan 
      Comoros 
      Saudi Arabia 
      Afghanistan  
       
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Many of the children described conditions at US Customs and Border Protection facilities, where they were taken and processed during the first days after crossing the border. In the reports they were only identified by their first names. Timofei, 15, from Russia, who sought asylum on the border with his parents for his beliefs as Jehovah's Witnesses, said they were crowded night and day in the closed and crowded room, detained along with other boys. He said there was only one window that opened onto an empty hallway and that they did not have soap in the bathroom, and that only sometimes, they gave him a toothbrush for individual use. He also said that he was offered a shower when he arrived at the facilities in San Ysidro, California, but he did not and the second or third day there did not allow him to do so.
      https://www.clarin.com/mundo/trataron-chicos-separados-padres-frontera-relatan-dias-detenidos-unidos_0_SJh7dyam7.html
    • By TrueTomHarley
      Today Presidents Trump and Putin meet for summit, and the New York Times tells of an exiled Jehovah's Witness who proposes Trump ask Putin a simple question: "Why are Russians who pay their taxes, follow the law and embrace the Christian values promoted by the Kremlin being forced to flee their country?"
      https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/16/world/europe/putin-trump-russia-jehovahs-witness.html
      A simple [and single] question. To propose that Trump do this is exactly the non-confrontational style of Jehovah's Witnesses, and is proof in itself that they are not extremist. Moreover, because the goal is so modest, it is not impossible that it could happen. Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia is not everywhere, but where it is, it is draconian, with police dressed in riot gear breaking down doors to arrest them.
      Meanwhile (and irrelevant), I did a google search of "New York Times Jehovah's Witnesses." The second hit is an article from 1958, telling of (I think) the largest Christian assembly in history.
      Remember, Google is personalized. Your results may vary.
      http://www.tomsheepandgoats.com/2018/07/ill-take-it-fake-news-or-not.html
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      (Moscow) – Law enforcement authorities across Russia have carried out a sweeping campaign against JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in recent months, Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities have carried out dozens of home searches, raids, interrogations, and other acts of harassment and persecution.
      The authorities are holding 18 men in pretrial detention on charges of organizing, participating in, or financing the activities of an “extremist organization” solely for their religious activities. Several others are facing the same charges and are under house arrest or subject to travel restrictions. The charges carry a maximum 10-year prison sentence. Russian authorities should release those in detention immediately, drop the charges, and halt the persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      “The Jehovah’s Witnesses are simply peacefully exercising their right to freedom of religion,” said Rachel Denber, deputy Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The Jehovah’s Witness faith is not an extremist organization, and authorities should stop this religious persecution of its worshipers now.”
      Human Rights Watch interviewed four lawyers defending JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in five regions and a representative of the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses. Human Rights Watch also reviewed court documents, media reports, Russian government statements, and Federal Security Service (FSB) photos and videos purporting to show the raids.
      The raids and arrests stem from an April 2017 Russian Supreme Courtruling that banned all Jehovah’s Witnesses organizations throughout Russia. The ruling declared the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center, the head office for 395 Jehovah’s Witnesses branches throughout Russia, an extremist organization and ruled that all 395 be shut down. The ruling, which affects more than 100,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses across Russia, blatantly violates Russia’s obligations to respect and protect religious freedom and freedom of association.
      Russian authorities should reverse the ban on the organization’s activities and remove the “extremist” designation, Human Rights Watch said. Meanwhile, they should leave Jehovah’s Witnesses free to practice their faith.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia and other former USSR countries have faced persecution in the past. During the Soviet era, they were arrested and imprisoned in labor camps, including in Siberia. Within the past decade, worshipers across Russia have faced persecution, intrusive home searches, and arrests, and have been denied rights to freedom of assembly, association, and religion.
      In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ruled against Russia for closing the Moscow branch of the Jehovah’s Witnesses and refusing to allow the group to re-register. The court found violations of articles 9 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protect freedom of religion and association, respectively. In addition to awarding monetary damages, the court said that Russia should review the domestic decisions that led to the violations. Russia has refused to carry out the judgments in that case and several others brought by members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. On the contrary, Russia has continued to persecute Jehovah’s Witnesses, seeking the group’s complete dissolution in Russia.
      From April to June 2018, law enforcement raids targeted Jehovah’s Witness communities in at least 11 regions throughout Russia, from Saratov region in southwestern Russia to Primorsky Krai in Russia’s far east. Police carried out the raids, often accompanied by a combination of FSB officials wearing masks, armed personnel of the Interior Ministry Special Task Police Force or National Guard, and representatives from the Investigative Committee, Russia’s criminal investigation service.  
      The authorities, who obtained search warrants or entry permits in most cases, confiscated personal computers, mobile phones, bank cards, passports, religious literature, and, in some cases, housing deeds. Dozens of JehovahÂ’s Witnesses, including at least one child, were taken to local investigative offices for questioning. Others were detained and later charged.
      A lawyer representing a Jehovah’s Witness who is in pretrial detention in Murmansk Region told Human Rights Watch that the authorities’ actions contradict religious freedom guarantees in the Russian Constitution. “The [Russian] constitution says that you can practice your faith together with others, but as it turns out, that’s a crime,” said Yegiazar Chernikov, of the Sverdlovsk Lawyers’ Association.
      In at least two regions, armed officers threatened the worshipers with firearms, in one case pointing a gun at a personÂ’s head, a lawyer familiar with the incident told Human Rights Watch.
      A JehovahÂ’s Witnesses representative told Human Rights Watch that approximately 160 JehovahÂ’s Witnesses have fled Russia to seek refuge abroad.
      On June 20, Russia’s Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights announced that it had asked the prosecutor general’s office to verify the legality of criminal prosecutions against Jehovah’s Witnesses practicing their faith. A week earlier, several of the spouses of the men in pretrial detention had sent a letter to the chair of the council, Mikhail Fedotov, urging him to ask President Vladimir Putin to end the raids and arrests and to restore freedom of religion in Russia.
      Over 150 Russian activists, journalists, and academics – including several members of Memorial, Russia’s foremost human rights group – signed and published an open letter urging the authorities to immediately release those in detention and to reverse the Supreme Court’s decision to liquidate the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ organization.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia – like all people in Russia – should be able to peacefully exercise their rights to freedom of religion and association, Human Rights Watch said. Freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Russian Constitution as well as the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Russia is a party.
      Under international law, freedom of religion includes the freedom to practice one’s religion or belief both individually and in community with others, in public or in private, and through worship, practice, and teaching. Russia already has many rulings against it for its failure to respect the freedom of religion of faith communities and minority religious groups, such as the Church of Scientology, the Salvation Army, and the Jehovah’s Witnesses
      “Russia should do right by its national and international obligations to respect freedom of religion,” Denber said. “Russian leadership should make sure that law enforcement is honoring and protecting that right, not trampling on it.”
      Raids Aimed at Intimidation
      The Jehovah’s Witnesses are a peaceful religious community. The consistent show of force in raids in many locations in Russia was disproportionate and seemed aimed at sending a strong message of intimidation, Human Rights Watch said. 
      In most regions, the authorities arrested people they singled out as leaders and organizers of the local Jehovah’s Witnesses community for such actions as recruiting new members and distributing religious literature that the authorities label “extremist.”
      On May 16 in the Orenburg Region, in southwest Russia, law enforcement personnel searched 18 homes in four cities and charged nine people. Two are in pretrial custody and another is under house arrest.
      On May 17 in Birobidzhan, in southeast Russia, representatives of the Jehovah’s Witnesses reported that about 150 law enforcement personnel raided the homes of at least nine Jehovah’s Witnesses, confiscating photos, bank cards, money, and computers. An official reportedly saidthat the operation was code-named “Judgment Day.” One person was arrested and charged with organizing activities of an “extremist organization” but was released from pretrial detention eight days later.
      On April 18 in the town of Polyarny in the Murmansk Region, in northwest Russia, armed law enforcement agents raided at least seven homes and arrested two men. They took several others into custody for questioning and later released them. Police also took a 16-year-old girl into custody and questioned her at the local investigative unit for several hours. A video posted on the Murmansk Investigative Committee’s website shows men wearing camouflage uniforms and helmets forcing open a door to an apartment.
      The arrest and raid campaign took place as the trial of a Jehovah’s Witness who is a Danish citizen, Dennis Christensen, continues in Orel, a city in western Russia. Christensen, who was arrested in May 2017, is being tried on charges of organizing activities of an “extremist organization” and faces a maximum 10-year prison sentence if convicted. He has filed a complaint with the European Court of Human Rightsalleging, among other things, that his arrest constituted unlawful interference with his right to freedom of religion.
      Another Jehovah’s Witness in Orel, 55-year-old Sergei Skrynnikov, was charged on May 8, 2018, with participating in the activities of an “extremist organization.”
      A lawyer who is defending three Jehovah’s Witnesses in two regions said that throughout the past eight months, FSB agents in the Orenburg Region and the Republic of Bashkortostan conducted wiretapping, videotaping, and other surveillance of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ activities – for which they said they had warrants – as part of the investigation. In some cases, the lawyer said, authorities placed recording devices in Jehovah’s Witnesses’ homes.
      Earlier in 2018, police raided more than two dozen JehovahÂ’s WitnessesÂ’ homes in Belgorod and Kemerovo. Two JehovahÂ’s Witnesses in Belgorod are facing extremism charges.
      Saratov and Shirokoe, Saratov Region
      On June 12, authorities in Saratov Region, southwestern Russia, raided at least seven homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the city of Saratov and village of Shirokoe. According to the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, special forces officers broke down doors and confiscated computers, books, notebooks, photographs, bankbooks, and passports. The authorities took at least 10 people to FSB offices for questioning.
      Three were detained and charged with organizing activities of an “extremist organization.” They are: 43-year-old Konstantin Bazhenov, 35-year-old Aleksei Budenchuk, and 33-year-old Felix Makhammadiyev. On June 14, the Frunzensky District Court placed all three in pretrial detention until August 12.
      Tomsk, Tomsk Region
      Law enforcement raided several homes and cars belonging to Jehovah’s Witnesses in Tomsk between 10 a.m. on June 3 and about 2 a.m. the next day, the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia reported. Officers confiscated Bibles, mobile phones, tablets, computers, photographs, money, bank cards, and other personal possessions. They took about 30 people to the police anti-extremism center for questioning.
      According to a statement by the Tomsk Investigative Committee, the searches were part of a joint FSB and Internal Affairs Ministry investigation into meetings of Jehovah’s Witness residents in Tomsk. Investigative authorities allege that worshipers studied prohibited, “extremist” religious materials and carried out organized religious activities in violation of the Supreme Court’s ruling against the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center.
      Representatives of the Jehovah’s Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that 48-year-old Sergei Klimov was detained after a search of his home on June 3, was charged with organizing activities of an “extremist organization,” and will remain in pretrial detention until August 4.
      Magadan, Magadan Region
      The Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia reported that on May 30, FSB and law enforcement officers arrested Konstantin Petrov, 31; Yevgeny Zyablov, 41; and Sergei Yerkin, 61, after searching their homes in the city of Magadan (Magadan Region). On the same day, authorities in Khabarovsk (Khabarovsky Krai) detained Ivan Puyda, 39, based on a court order from Magadan. All four are accused of organizing activities of an “extremist organization” and will remain in pretrial detention until July 29.
      Naberezhnye Chelny, Republic of Tatarstan
      Police and FSB officials searched the homes of 10 Jehovah’s Witnesses in the city of Naberezhnye Chelny, in south-central Russia, on the evening of May 27. The Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia reported that the searches lasted “well into the night.”
      Investigators arrested Ilham Karimov, 37; Vladimir Myakushin, 30; Konstantin Matrashov, 25;   Aydar Yulmetyev, 24, on suspicion of organizing and participating in the activities of an “extremist organization” and placed them in pretrial detention until July 25. The Naberezhnye Chelny City Court displays records of all four hearings. According to the religious freedom monitoring group Forum 18, Karimov, Myakushin, and Matrashov have appealed their pretrial detention.
      Perm, Perm Krai
      The Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia reported that on the evening of May 22, Aleksandr Solovyev, 48, and his wife, Anna, were detained at the railway station in Perm, in the Ural Mountains region, after returning from a trip abroad. Law enforcement then searched the couple’s home and reportedly seized property deeds, photographs, several Bibles, and a Wi-Fi router.
      Anna was released, but her husband was held for two days. He was released on May 24, and the Sverdlovsk District Court ordered him confined to house arrest. According to Forum 18, he is being investigated on charges of participating in the activities of an “extremist organization.”
      Before the 2017 Supreme Court ruling banning the Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center, Solovyov chaired the Perm Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation, according to the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia website.
      Birobidzhan, Jewish Autonomous Region
      On May 17 in Birobidzhan, southeast Russia, police raided the homes of at least nine Jehovah’s Witnesses. The raids were carried out by approximately 150 law enforcement officers. An official reportedly saidthat the operation was code-named “Judgment Day.”
      On May 18, 55-year-old Alam Aliev was placed in pretrial detention until July 13 under suspicion of organizing activities of an “extremist organization.” The FSB stated that its request to detain Aliev “was motivated by the fact that the crime is classified as grave” and because “[t]he suspect may impede the criminal proceedings, put pressure on witnesses, and also evade investigative and judicial authorities.” Following an appeal by Aliev’s lawyer, Aliev was released from detention on May 25 but still faces charges.
      Orenburg, Orenburg Region
      On May 16 in Orenburg Region, Investigative Committee authorities, FSB officials, and armed National Guard officers searched 18 homes in four cities. Vitaly Svintsov, a lawyer representing two Jehovah’s Witnesses in the region, told Human Rights Watch that nine people were charged with organizing or participating in the activities of an “extremist organization.” Two of them, Aleksandr Suvorov and Vladimir Kochnev, both 38, remain in pretrial custody until July 14. Twenty-six-year-old Vladislav Kolbanov remains under house arrest. The other six remain under travel restrictions while the investigation is ongoing, Svintsov said.
      Photographs of some of the raids posted on the Orenburg Investigative Committee website show FSB officials and riot police in bulletproof vests and masks approaching Jehovah’s Witnesses’ residences.
      A statement by the Orenburg Investigative Committee said that investigative operations were “carefully planned and organized” by law enforcement with the aim of “seizing documents and items relevant to the criminal case, as well as identifying other persons involved in unlawful activities.” Investigators allege that the suspects “organized activities of a subdivision of Jehovah’s Witnesses [Administrative Center] by calling and holding meetings, organizing the recruitment of new members, and communicating the contents of religious literature to meeting participants.”
      Shuya, Ivanovo Region
      Forum 18 reported that law enforcement raided four homes in the town of Shuya, western Russia, early on the morning of April 20.
      Dmitry Mikhailov, 33, was arrested on May 29, over a month after his home was searched and placed in pretrial custody until July 19. He is being accused of “financing extremist activities.”  
      On April 20, the Ivanovo Region Investigative Committee released a statement about the home searches, alleging that since the beginning of 2018, Jehovah’s Witnesses in Shuya had been studying literature “containing statements degrading human dignity . . . and elements of propaganda of the exclusivity of one religion over another.”
      Vladivostok, Primorsky Krai
      Several homes belonging to Jehovah’s Witnesses were reportedly raidedon April 19 in the far-east city of Vladivostok.
      Human Rights Watch was able to confirm that on April 23 Valentin Osadchuk, 42, was placed under arrest by Frunzensky District Court on charges of participation in the activities of an “extremist organization” after authorities searched his home and confiscated computers, notebooks, and other devices. He remains in pretrial detention until September 20. Representatives of the Jehovah’s Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that five others face the same charges but remain at liberty subject to travel restrictions.
      Polyarny, Murmansk Region
      On the evening of April 18 in the town of Polyarny in the Murmansk region, armed law enforcement raided at least seven homes and arrested two JehovahÂ’s Witnesses, Roman Markin, 44, and Viktor Tifimov, 61. Others whose homes were searched were taken to the local investigative unit for questioning and later released without charge.
      The Murmansk Region Investigative Committee stated on its websitethat National Guard officers and FSB officials who led the home searches confiscated computer drives and religious literature. A video posted to the website shows men wearing camouflage uniforms and helmets forcing open a door with a pry bar. The Investigative Committee said that beginning in April 2017, the suspects had allegedly “organized activities of the religious organization [Jehovah’s Witnesses] by convening and holding meetings, organizing the recruitment of new members, and leading studies of religious texts at meetings.”
      MarkinÂ’s lawyer, Arli Chimirov, told Human Rights Watch that armed officers broke down MarkinÂ’s door and told him and his 16-year-old daughter, who was at home with him, to lie on the floor while law enforcement threatened them with firearms and searched the apartment. MarkinÂ’s daughter was escorted to the investigative unit and was questioned for several hours along with her mother, who arrived some time later.
      On April 23, 2018, the Polyarny District Court placed Markin in pretrial custody until June 11. Markin’s lawyer unsuccessfully appealed the decision. According to court documents on file with Human Rights Watch, investigative authorities requested that Markin be placed in pretrial detention because of the risk that he “may continue criminal activities, threaten participants in the legal proceedings, hide or destroy evidence, and also fail to attend preliminary court hearings.” On June 4, Markin’s pretrial detention was extended to October 11.
      TifimovÂ’s lawyer, Yegiazar Chernikov, told Human Rights Watch that beginning in October 2017, investigators had been collecting as evidence audio and video recordings of conversations among JehovahÂ’s Witnesses. Chernikov said that on several occasions, a woman involved in the investigation invited Tifimov to her home, where audio and video recording devices were in place, and asked him questions given to her by investigative authorities and designed to incriminate him.
      Tifimov was originally detained until June 12, 2018, but his pretrial detention was extended until October 11.
      Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan
      The religious freedom group Forum 18 reported that approximately 60 law enforcement officers, some of them armed, raided eight homes in the city of Ufa, south-central Russia, on the morning of April 10. Investigators confiscated personal belongings, books, and photographs. The lawyer representing one of the Jehovah’s Witnesses who was detained said that authorities threatened worshipers with weapons, in one case holding an automatic weapon to a person’s head.
      At least 20 people were reportedly taken to the Lenin District Investigative Department for questioning and fingerprinting but were later released. One girl was called for questioning, but when she showed up for the meeting with her mother and the director of her school, the investigator failed to appear.
      On April 12, Anatoly Vilikevich, 32, was arrested on suspicion of organizing activities of an “extremist organization,” and placed in pretrial detention. Vilikevich’s lawyer, Vitaly Svintsov, who appealed the order, told Human Rights Watch that on June 21 the Supreme Court of Bashkortostan overturned the lower court’s decision and placed him under house arrest.
      A statement by the Bashkortostan Republic Investigative Committeealleged that Vilikevich had organized a local chapter of the banned Jehovah’s Witnesses Administrative Center. Investigators who searched his home confiscated “prohibited literature,” the statement said.

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      Since 2007, dozens of pieces of JehovahÂ’s WitnessesÂ’ literature have been banned and placed on the federal registry of banned extremist materials. Pictured here, stacks of booklets distributed by a local leader of a Jehovah's Witnesses congregation in the Siberian town of Gorno-Altaysk are seen during a court session on December 16, 2010.
       ©2010 Reuters/Alexandr Tyryshkin
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      In a surprising move, a branch of the Russian government has called out the actions of their government’s police and judicial forces in the enforcement of the ban of Jehovah Witnesses.  The ban occurred last year when the Russian Supreme Court labeled the religious denomination an “extremist organization.” This has led to arrests of over a dozen Jehovah’s Witnesses, the closing of all administrative and religious worship buildings, and near constant harassment by police forces for the private practice of their faith. Several wives of arrested Jehovah’s Witnesses created a joint statement begging for their release. The Presidential Council is designed to help assist the Russian president in protecting human rights. In a written statement, the organization questioned the actions of the past year, saying “It cannot but be a cause for concern because the criminal prosecutions and detentions have taken on a systemic character.” This comes at a unique time for human rights and Russia. The country deflected demands by the United States to release over a hundred political and religious prisoners earlier in the week, including Jehovah’s Witnesses. The United States pressure was labeled Western propaganda. Conversely, Russia has been proposing that it takes the United States spot on the United Nations Human Rights Council. The United States announced pulling out of the international body earlier this week. Given the authoritarian control Putin has over the government, the actions of the presidential council may be purely a symbolic measure to prevent criticism from the West and gain support for their bid to join the UN Human Rights Council. It is unclear what steps will be taken and what the lasting effect will be on the government. What is not addressed in the letter is the physical violence and threats that have occurred from vigilante groups and private citizens, which seem emboldened by the government’s law and police actions.

      Read more at World Religion News: "Russian Government Criticizes Putin for Treatment of Jehovah’s Witnesses" https://www.worldreligionnews.com/?p=53681
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      By Andrew Osborn
      MOSCOW (Reuters) – Advisers to President Vladimir Putin have questioned the legality of a slew of criminal cases opened against members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia and asked the General Prosecutor’s office to protect the group’s freedom of belief.
      Russia’s Supreme Court ruled in April last year that the Jehovah’s Witnesses were an “extremist” organisation and must disband, a move the group unsuccessfully appealed.
      Since then, at least 19 members have been detained on criminal charges in Russia with one, Danish citizen Dennis Christensen, now held for more than a year and put on trial for extremism.
      The Russian Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights, which advises Putin but does not have policy-making powers itself, said it believed law enforcement agencies were flouting the constitution and misinterpreting last year’s ruling by locking people up for collective bible reading and praying.
      “It cannot but be a cause for concern because the criminal prosecutions and detentions have taken on a systemic character,” the council said in a statement which the Jehovah’s Witnesses publicised on Thursday.
      “The situation evokes associations with the Soviet period when Jehovah’s Witnesses suffered groundless repression because of their faith.”
      The fact that the council has intervened on the group’s behalf does not necessarily mean that Putin will take up their cause though the subject is likely to be raised at the council’s next meeting with the Russian leader.
      ‘GLIMMER OF OPTIMISM’
      The Jehovah’s Witnesses, a United States-based Christian denomination known for its door-to-door preaching and rejection of military service and blood transfusions, has around 170,000 followers in Russia.
      The U.S. State Department on Monday said it was deeply concerned by what it described as the growing number of religious prisoners held in Russia, saying that people were being persecuted “in retaliation for peaceful religious practice.”
      And on Tuesday, more than 60 well-known Russian writers, historians and rights activists signed an appeal demanding the authorities stop prosecuting the group, describing the legal onslaught on its members as a test for Russian society.
      Yaroslav Sivulskiy, a member of the European Association of Jehovah’s Witnesses, said on Thursday the council’s intervention had given his group “a glimmer of optimism.”
      “We hope that common sense will prevail and that someone wise … will say that this has all gone too far,” he said.
      “If the authorities can do this to us they can apply the same logic to do the same to anyone in Russia.”
      (Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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    • By The Librarian
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       
       

      As you read this.... remember PERCEPTION is 90% of everything. Sometimes it even trumps the truth itself for centuries. It is that important.

      I suspect we should consider that most businesses no longer require suits (business casual and clean is now ok for most jobs)

      I try to not bring my electronic devices to my business meetings. It sends the wrong message I think.  What is wrong with the Bible and songbook (actual books)?

      Let's also consider what a Kingdom Hall full of Mercedes and Audis appears like to the public.

      I remember how I felt as a regular pioneer showing up in California one day at a KH with all their expensive cars. WRONG MESSAGE!!!

      Remember what Jesus said about the RICH?

      Just some random thoughts when I saw this on Facebook.

      Any ideas?

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      The wives of Jehovah’s Witnesses rounded up and imprisoned in Russia have written an open letter to a top adviser of President Vladimir Putin, asking him to stop the campaign of terror against the religious group.
      “This open letter to you is a cry of desperation. People who are very dear to us, our husbands, those who feed us, the fathers of our children, peaceable, honest people, who are always ready to help others, are being thrown behind bars for being suspected of reading Bible commandments and praying together with us and our children,” reads the letter directed to Mikhail Fedotov, a close adviser of Putin and chairman of Russia’s Presidential Council for Civil Society and Human Rights. The letter is signed by 10 wives of Jehovah’s Witnesses from across Russia.
      “In return for freedom and a quiet life, we are being invited to disown our faith. This is not just a figure of speech—investigators have directly invited us to sign documents in order to avoid punishment for ‘extremism’…If the Russian government does not quickly put an end to this growing campaign of terror, the administration will be faced with a nation-wide human rights catastrophe,” the letter continues.
      The Russian government labeled the Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist sect in April 2017, and has since been imprisoning its members and charging them with extremism. Members of the group have had their homes raided by masked men and their places of worship shuttered
      Read more: 
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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Boris Zolotarevsky, the coordinator of Alexey Navalny’s campaign office in Chelyabinsk, is having a rough month. Already on a hunger strike while serving a 25-day jail sentence for organizing a local unpermitted anti-Putin protest on May 5, Zolotarevsky is now reportedly a suspect in an extremism case.
      On May 29, police apparently found banned religious literature at his home: several books printed by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, which Russia’s Supreme Court outlawed in April 2017 as an extremist organization. A source confirmed to the news agency Interfax that Zolotarevsky previously filed a request with Russia's draft board to avoid military service on religious grounds.
      Police detained more than 200 demonstrators in Chelyabinsk on May 5 — the most in any city, after Moscow and St. Petersburg. In most places where protesters were detained, local law enforcement have responded with misdemeanor charges, but police in Chelyabinsk launched a “hooliganism” felony investigation, which carries a seven-year maximum prison sentence.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Officers launched 28 raids on Jehovah's Witness homes in May, often forcing entry, threatening occupants with weapons and seizing literature and other items. Under criminal investigation are 7 Jehovah's Witnesses in pre-trial detention, 1 under house arrest and at least 11 under travel restrictions. Two others are already on trial.
      Law enforcement officers, some armed and in body armour, raided a further 28 Jehovah's Witness homes in May in Orenburg Region, the Jewish Autonomous Region, and the Urals city of Perm. The latest raids led to detentions, house arrest, travel restrictions, and criminal charges for at least another 11 people.

      Seven Jehovah's Witnesses are now known to be in pre-trial detention facing criminal investigations or charges. Another is under house arrest, while at least a further 11 are under travel restrictions. In two other cases, trials are already underway (see full list at base of this article).

      As in previous raids, law enforcement agents often forced entry to properties, threatened the occupants with weapons, and confiscated personal items, including bank cards. They then took Jehovah's Witnesses, including minors, away for interrogation, sometimes for several hours overnight (see below).

      Law enforcement agencies carried out the searches and arrests in Perm, Birobidzhan and four towns in Orenburg Region in mid-May, in some cases accompanied by National Guard troops or riot police armed with machine guns. They came about a month after similar searches in Ufa (Bashkortostan Republic), Polyarny (Murmansk Region), Shuya (Ivanovo Region), and Vladivostok. Criminal investigations are continuing in these places, as well as in Belgorod and Kemerovo, where Jehovah's Witnesses also suffered armed raids in January and February (see F18News 23 April 2018 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2372).

      Officials know that using troops and weapons including machine guns on raids is unnecessary, as Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide are a doctrinally pacifist community whose young male members worldwide will not do compulsory military service or any other military-connected activity. However, even before Jehovah's Witnesses were banned in Russia their communities were frequently raided by heavily armed and camouflaged officials who frequently planted "evidence" (see eg. F18News 24 October 2016 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2228).

      The Jehovah's Witnesses caught up in 2018's wave of prosecutions are accused of "continuing the activities" of the Jehovah's Witness Administrative Centre, their principal administrative body in Russia, which was outlawed as an "extremist" organisation and liquidated in 2017 (see F18News 18 July 2017 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2297).

      Muslims also face "extremism" investigation, trials, jailing 

      Prosecutors have also long jailed Muslims who meet to read the works of late Turkish theologian Said Nursi. Four were jailed in 2017 (see F18News 8 December 2017 http://forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2339). People who meet to study his writings can be accused of continuing the activities of "Nurdzhular", which was banned as an "extremist organisation" by the Supreme Court in 2008, even though Muslims in Russia deny it has ever existed (see Forum 18's "extremism" Russia religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=2215).

      Five Muslims are known by Forum 18 to be already on trial for having met to study Nursi's works – three in Krasnoyarsk, one in Novosibirsk, and one in Izberbash in the Republic of Dagestan. Another man, from Sharypovo in Krasnoyarsk Region, is due to appear in court soon (see F18News 27 April 2018 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2373).

      Up to 10 years' imprisonment?

      If convicted, the Jehovah's Witnesses charged or under investigation could be imprisoned for up to 10 years under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1 ("Organisation of the activity of a social or religious association or other organisation in relation to which a court has adopted a decision legally in force on liquidation or ban on the activity in connection with the carrying out of extremist activity"), or up to six years under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2 ("Participation in the activity of a social or religious association or other organisation in relation to which a court has adopted a decision legally in force on liquidation or ban on the activity in connection with the carrying out of extremist activity").

      One criminal investigation, in Orenburg, is also taking place under Criminal Code Article 282.3, Part 1 ("Financing of extremist activity"). This appears to be the first use of this Article against people exercising the internationally-recognised right to freedom of religion and belief.

      Conviction under Criminal Code Article 282.3, Part 1 ("Provision or collection of funds or rendering of financial services that are knowingly designed to finance the organisation, preparation and commission of at least one extremist crime or the support of the activities of an extremist community or an extremist organisation") carries the following penalties:

      - a fine of 300,000 to 700,000 Roubles, which is currently between two to four years' annual salary;

      - or compulsory labour for a period of one to four years, with possible deprivation of the right to hold certain positions or engage in certain activities for a period of up to three years, or with possible restrictions on freedom for a period of up to one year;

      - or three to eight years' imprisonment.

      Forum 18 wrote to the Moscow press office of the Investigative Committee (which is leading most of the investigations) on 23 April, asking why the Jehovah's Witnesses detained in Ufa, Shuya, and Polyarny were considered so dangerous that armed force had to be used. On 10 May, Lieutenant Colonel S. Solovyov replied only that all available information on these cases could be found on the Bashkortostan, Ivanovo Region, and Murmansk Region Investigative Committee websites.

      None of the people involved in the latest prosecution yet appears on the Federal Financial Monitoring Service (Rosfinmonitoring) "List of Terrorists and Extremists", whose assets banks are obliged to freeze. Their names may be added while their cases are still ongoing, however, meaning that they will suffer financial restrictions without any trial or conviction (see Forum 18's "extremism" Russia religious freedom survey http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=2215).

      Officials added the name of Danish Jehovah's Witness Dennis Ole Christensen to the List shortly after his trial began.

      Christensen and Jehovah's Witness elder Arkadya Akopovich Akopyan are currently on trial for alleged "extremism" offences not directly related to the nationwide ban (see F18News 27 April 2018 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2373).

      Perm

      Aleksandr Solovyov and his wife Anna had just returned from a trip abroad when law enforcement agents detained them at Perm-2 railway station on the evening of 22 May. Friends who had come to meet them said that officers put Solovyov in handcuffs and took him and his wife away in separate cars, the European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses reported on 24 May.

      Anna Solovyova has since been released, but Aleksandr is being held in a temporary detention centre while a judge decides on further restrictive measures. It is as yet unclear whether he will be placed in pre-trial detention or which court will rule on the matter. Under which part of Criminal Code Article 282.2 ("Organisation of" or "participation in" "the activity of a social or religious association or other organisation in relation to which a court has adopted a decision legally in force on liquidation or ban on the activity in connection with the carrying out of extremist activity") he is being investigated is also unknown.

      Investigators searched the Solovyovs' home overnight on 22/23 May and seized the deeds to the flat, electronic devices, computer drives, their wifi router, photographs, and their collection of Bibles.

      Before the nationwide ban on Jehovah's Witness activity and the consequent liquidation of local communities, Aleksandr Solovyov chaired the Perm Jehovah's Witness congregation, according to federal tax records. Anna Solovyova does not appear on the list of founding members.

      As of 24 May, Solovyov was being held at the Temporary Detention Centre, ulitsa Uralskaya, 90, Perm, 614017.

      Birobidzhan: "Judgment Day"

      About 150 law enforcement officers conducted at least nine searches of Jehovah's Witness homes in Birobidzhan, capital of the Jewish Autonomous Region, early in the morning of 17 May, the European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses announced later that day. The operation was codenamed "Judgment Day", according to the Association.

      Officers seized personal photographs, bank cards, money, and electronic devices. So far, one person – Alam Aliyev – is known to be the subject of a criminal case under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1 ("Organisation of the activity of a social or religious association or other organisation in relation to which a court has adopted a decision legally in force on liquidation or ban on the activity in connection with the carrying out of extremist activity").

      On 18 May, Judge Marina Tsimarno of Birobidzhan District Court upheld FSB investigators' request to keep Aliyev in pre-trial custody in Birobidzhan's Investigation Prison No. 1 until 13 July, according to court records. Aliyev's lawyers submitted an appeal against his detention on 21 May. On 25 May, Judge Anzhela Sizova of the Court of the Jewish Autonomous Region upheld this appeal, citing "significant violations of criminal procedural law governing the choice of pre-trial detention as a restrictive measure". This freed Aliyev from detention after eight days. It remains unknown what restrictions he remains under.

      The FSB's request to hold Aliyev in custody "was motivated by the fact that the crime is classified as grave, for which the law provides for a sentence of imprisonment for a term of six to 10 years", according to a 21 May press statement on the court website. "During the preliminary investigation, it was established that a large number of persons took part in the activity of this organisation. The suspect is the organiser of this extremist organisation and has an actual influence on members of the association."

      Birobidzhan was home to the only registered local Jehovah's Witness congregation in the Jewish Autonomous Region, which was among those ruled "extremist" and liquidated before the Supreme Court's decision to ban the Jehovah's Witnesses nationwide. The Court of the Jewish Autonomous Region upheld the local Justice Ministry branch's suit on 3 October 2016, and the community ceased its activities on 20 December 2016, according to federal tax records. Aliyev does not appear in the records as a founder member of the community.

      Orenburg Region: Mass raids

      Investigative Committee operatives, FSB security service agents, and armed riot police carried out 18 house searches in Orenburg, Buzuluk, Perevolotsky, and Sol-Iletsk, also on 17 May.

      They took 15 people away for questioning, three of whom were then sent to a temporary detention centre, according to statements by the European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses on 17 May and 21 May.

      Of these three, Judge Igor Ismaylov of Industrial District Court ruled on 19 May that one – Vladislav Kolbanov – should be placed under house arrest, while the other two – Aleksandr Suvorov and Vladimir Kochnyov – should be kept in pre-trial detention until 14 July.

      Orenburg Region Investigative Committee reported that a further six people are under travel restrictions.

      Forum 18 understands Suvorov and Kochnyov's prison address to be:

      Orenburg Region

      460000 Orenburg

      ulitsa Naberezhnaya, 7

      Investigation Prison No. 1

      The Investigative Committee said in a press statement on 22 May that nine people in Orenburg Region have been formally charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1 ("Organisation of the activity of a social or religious association or other organisation in relation to which a court has adopted a decision legally in force on liquidation or ban on the activity in connection with the carrying out of extremist activity"), Article 282.2, Part 2 ("Participation in" such an organisation), and Criminal Code Article 282.3, Part 1 ("Financing of extremist activity").

      The European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses thinks that Kochnyov and Suvorov (both from Orenburg) have been charged under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1. Kolbanov (also from Orenburg), Boris Andreyev (from Perevolotsky), and Anatoly Vichkitov (from Sol-Iletsk) are also among those charged, although it remains unclear with which alleged offences.

      Before the liquidation of the Administrative Centre, Orenburg and Buzuluk had registered Jehovah's Witness communities, while Perevolotsky and Sol-Iletsk did not. According to federal tax records, Suvorov previously chaired the Central Orenburg Jehovah's Witness community, and Kochnyov was among its founding members.

      The raids on 17 May took place "as a result of carefully planned and organised operational and investigative actions", according to the Investigative Committee statement, and had the aim of "seizing documents and items relevant to the criminal case, as well as identifying other persons involved in unlawful activities".

      In raiding the historically pacifist Jehovah's Witnesses, police "anti-extremism" officers, the Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Administration, and the Orenburg Region FSB security service were also involved. The raids on pacifists also included what was described as "armed support" from National Guard special forces troops.

      Investigators allege that the suspects, knowing of the 2017 ban on Jehovah's Witness activity, "organised the activity of a structural subdivision of Jehovah's Witnesses by calling and holding meetings, organising the recruitment of new members, and communicating the contents of religious literature to meeting participants".

      The investigation is continuing, with "necessary investigative and operational-search measures underway in order to collect and consolidate a base of evidence", according to the statement.

      Telephones at Orenburg Region Investigative Committee went unanswered when Forum 18 called on 24 May to ask why officials thought armed force was necessary against pacifists.

      Polyarny, Murmansk Region

      Further details have now emerged of earlier raids on Jehovah's Witness homes in other regions (see F18News 23 April 2018 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2372).

      Two men from Polyarny in Murmansk Region are in pre-trial detention, the European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses confirmed on 11 May. They are Roman Markin and Viktor Trofimov, who are in custody in the city of Murmansk until 12 June. The Investigative Committee's branch in the closed district of Aleksandrovsk (which includes Polyarny) opened the case against them on 12 April . This is under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 1 ("Organisation of the activity of a social or religious association or other organisation in relation to which a court has adopted a decision legally in force on liquidation or ban on the activity in connection with the carrying out of extremist activity").

      Markin and Trofimov's prison address is:

      Murmansk Region

      183027 Murmansk

      ulitsa Radishcheva, 32

      Investigation Prison No. 1

      Before the nationwide ban and liquidation of local Jehovah's Witness organisations, Viktor Trofimov chaired the Polyarny community, according to federal tax records.

      The men (who are like all Jehovah's Witnesses pacifists) were detained during armed raids on seven houses in Polyarny on 18 April, which involved armed troops and riot police "who acted extremely rudely", according to Jehovah's Witnesses. Officers searched 17 people in all and confiscated their electronic devices. Interrogations at the Investigative Department of the Northern Fleet's Polyarny Flotilla continued through the night until 7 am the next day (see F18News 23 April 2018 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2372).

      At Roman Markin's home, officers broke down his front door in the early evening, forced him and his 16-year-old daughter to lie on the floor during the search, and threatened them with weapons. Investigators questioned the 16-year-old until 3 am.

      During another search, an elderly man opened the door to the riot police, who then "pushed him so violently that he fell", the European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses claims. They also hurt two women who were visiting the flat, and forced two teenage siblings to stand against the wall with their arms outstretched.

      Vladivostok

      Valentin Osadchuk remains in pre-trial detention in Vladivostok, where he is to be held until 20 June. He was formally charged on 27 April under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2 ("Participation in the activity of a social or religious association or other organisation in relation to which a court has adopted a decision legally in force on liquidation or ban on the activity in connection with the carrying out of extremist activity"), according to the European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses (see F18News 23 April 2018 http://www.forum18.org/archive.php?article_id=2372).

      Forum 18 understands Osadchuk's prison address to be:

      Primorye Region

      690106 Vladivostok

      Partizansky prospekt, 28b

      Investigation Prison No. 1

      Two women, aged 66 and 83, have also been named as suspects under Criminal Code Article 282.2, Part 2 ("Participation in the activity of a social or religious association or other organisation in relation to which a court has adopted a decision legally in force on liquidation or ban on the activity in connection with the carrying out of extremist activity") and placed under travel restrictions, the European Association of Jehovah's Witnesses also reported on 10 May. The FSB security service initiated the case against them and Osadchuk on 9 April. According to Jehovah's Witnesses, the investigation involved video surveillance, followed by raids on people's homes on 19 April.
      Read more: 
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