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JW USA: Montana agency finds religious discrimination against inmate

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BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A state agency has determined that the Montana Women's Prison discriminated against an inmate on the basis of religion.

The Billings Gazette reports that the Montana Human Rights Bureau found in February there was "reasonable cause" to believe there was discrimination against Mayson Simmons.

Simmons' complaint filed in August says the Department of Corrections and the prison in Billings violated the law by allowing inmates of other religious faiths to use a prison chapel for services while denying access to Jehovah's Witnesses.

The bureau says it did not find sufficient evidence to back up Simmons' claims she was denied a Jehovah's Witness bible or that she was discriminated against based on her gender and a disability.

Prison officials deny any discrimination occurred.

The case will proceed to a formal hearing.

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I do not know how looks like Montana woman prison chapel. Perhaps as this two on pictures?

All have the right to proselytize their religion to others (in western lands cultures). I wonder this: If prison chapel looks like chapel of "normal" christian church chapel, with cross and similar symbols, why would JW want to have Bible study in such space under "pagan" symbols? 

In every day life JW do not want to enter the church of any other religion, maybe only for touristic and historical reason. But not to listen or talking to people in the church. To have religious service on the same place where so called "satan service" also is offered, strange :))) 

 

Prayer-760x533.jpg

territorial-prison-church.jpg

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4 hours ago, Indiana said:

"reasonable cause" to believe there was discrimination against Mayson Simmons

I was going to pick this apart, but a more comprehensive view of the matter is provided by

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which gives enough information to debunk cynical speculation on the matter. I'll save my energy for something more challenging.

"A state agency has determined that the Montana Women’s Prison in Billings likely discriminated against an inmate on the basis of her religious beliefs.

The preliminary findings by the Montana Human Rights Bureau mean that the case will proceed to a formal hearing in Billings, after a requisite, 30-day effort at mediation failed last month.

The bureau wrote in a February report that the investigators “found reasonable cause to believe unlawful discrimination occurred,” following a probe into several allegations contained in Mayson Simmons’ complaint, filed last August.

Investigators did not find sufficient evidence to back up Simmons’ claims that she was denied a Jehovah’s Witness bible, or that she was discriminated against based on her disability. But the report states that the Department of Corrections likely violated the law by allowing inmates of other religious faiths to use the prison’s chapel for worship services, while denying access to Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The state bureau punted on the other allegation: that the Department of Corrections discriminated against her on the basis of gender, by “providing male inmates (at the Montana State Prison) with opportunities to learn trade skills that are not provided to female inmates,” including ranch work, auto repair and veterinary assistant training.

Prison officials interviewed by the investigators denied that any discrimination, religious or otherwise, had taken place, according to the report. In the case of the religious chapel access, prison warden Jennie Hansen said that religious services are sometimes redirected to other areas in the prison when there aren’t enough security staff to accompany the religious group. This policy applies to all religious services equally, Hansen told the bureau’s investigators.

But Carlin Anderson, a Jehovah’s Witness congregation elder who has conducted worship services at the prison since 2005, said otherwise, according to the report. Anderson said that he had to speak with a prison official to convince her to stop taking the religious group off the chapel schedule after she designated the weekly services as a class, instead of a formal religious worship.

A bureau investigator found Anderson to be a “credible and reliable witness,” according to the report, and determined that Simmons provided a preponderance of evidence to prove discrimination occurred.

The other unresolved complaint — whether the women’s prison offers classes and vocational training commensurate with the much larger men’s facility in Deer Lodge — will also be decided during the formal hearing. That hearing is currently scheduled to take place later this month.

The Department of Corrections insisted that the two prisons’ programs were comparable, and that differences between the two owed mainly to their unique settings and differences in population size. The men’s prison, which houses more than 1,600 inmates, is situated next to a 38,000-acre ranch operated in part by inmates. The prison complex itself houses a vehicle maintenance shop, furniture factory, print shop and license plate factory.

The women’s prison, located on a 3-acre plot on Billings’ South Side, has “significantly less space at its disposal,” department officials argued. While the roughly 220-inmate facility includes a greenhouse, facilities for dog obedience training and embroidery and screen printing shops, “trades which require a lot of space for equipment, operation and storage are simply not feasible” at the prison, according to the report.

Simmons, speaking by phone Wednesday, said the complaint is part of her long-running effort to push women’s equality within the state’s correctional system.

“I want to see women empowered in this state,” Simmons said. “One of the big reasons women are not successful in the community when they get out (of prison) … they’re either working housekeeping, fast food or waitressing. They’re not getting the same kind of jobs that men are. They’re not able to make a living and raise a family.”

The bureau’s report notes that comparing the two is complicated. Programming at both facilities is continually changing and limited by staffing shortages, and similar court cases in other states have acknowledged arguments similar to the department’s. A court in Oregon ruled in 1994 that “the number of classes offered should at least be proportionate,” according to the report.

Ultimately, the bureau opted against reaching a conclusion on the sex-discrimination allegation. Because it had already found “reasonable cause” on a separate allegation, the entire complaint will be considered during the formal hearing.

In a statement, the department denied any allegations of "unlawful discrimination," but added that it does not disagree with the results of the investigation. The statement also suggested the issues surrounding use of the chapel "might be the result of miscommunication or a mistake."

"The Department of Corrections values the religious volunteers that take time and use their talents to provide faith formation within their facilities," Amy Barton, a department spokeswoman, added.

Data provided by the bureau show that while discrimination complaints by Montana’s prison inmates are relatively common, findings of “reasonable cause” are rare. From 2014 through 2018, state human rights investigators concluded there was “cause” in only three out of 57 such complaints that have been closed.

Another 47 of those complaints, or 77 percent, were either dismissed or withdrawn. The remainder was resolved through an agreement between the two parties — they either reached a voluntary agreement after mediation, or the plaintiff withdrew after receiving some sort of benefit."

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8 hours ago, Outta Here said:

she designated the weekly services as a class, instead of a formal religious worship.

Prison warden made correct conclusion in that issue, of course some would argue how this can be matter of perspective on what word "worship" means.  

Cambridge Dictionary explained:  A) to have or show a strong feeling of respect and admiration for God or a god B) to go to a religious ceremony.

Well, standard view on "worshiping god in a chapel would be some sort of ceremony and/or individual or mass prayer to god. Meeting of two (or more) persons that reading WT Publications with questions and answers (teacher - student form) is for sure class hour. Singing a songs to god would be "worshiping", reading and studying magazines are not. Reading Bible can be directed in few ways: Adoration to god and finding spirituality in self or reading stuff that happened in past or poetry or religious and anthropological research and similar.   

Worshiping god was in much an ceremony aspects, as in old Israel (feast with food and slaughtering animals for sacrifice) or assembling to offer prayers or to read Holy Scriptures. Today as in some cases, to not go to kill other people because you consider other people as children from god. Connections in people's mind about god and life can bring idea, how some sort of individual behavior in society coming from religious spirituality of that person  who by that "worship" god with his words and deeds. 

8 hours ago, Outta Here said:

Simmons, speaking by phone Wednesday, said the complaint is part of her long-running effort to push women’s equality within the state’s correctional system.

“I want to see women empowered in this state,” Simmons said. “One of the big reasons women are not successful in the community when they get out (of prison) … they’re either working housekeeping, fast food or waitressing. They’re not getting the same kind of jobs that men are. They’re not able to make a living and raise a family.”

Here we came to social reforms efforts. I have nothing against that.

What is questionable here is that this Simmons lady, who have Bible study with JW members, are involved in practice that is forbidden by WTJWORG Church. JW Bible Study teaching females to be obedient to males but she want equality for all sex (or gender). She want to see woman empowered in this state.  Here we have just opposite what is WTJWORG Policy regarding woman. Male is first, and woman are not equal to man in JW World. Looking for Social Reforms inside Prison who is run by State and Politics is area where JW want to be "Neutral". By that JW teachers who run Bible study with her obviously not came to that chapter with her, yet.  

Of course that ex female convicts needs a better chance for better jobs.

I just point here to hypocrisy of religion and some religious people.

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      “We believe that the suspect or suspects has or have a grievance related to the Jehovah’s Witness community, or about another issue they think is important,” he wrote in an email. “Before these fires, the person or persons involved are likely to have shared these strong feelings with others through comments and conversation.”
      Chudy said the ATF also believes that the suspect or suspects may have exhibited changes in behavior in the hours, days, weeks or months since the fires, including unexplained injuries, changes in normal routines and dramatic and unexplained altering of physical appearance.
      The ATF is investigating the incidents, along with Thurston County police. Investigators are offering $36,000 in combined rewards for information that leads to a suspect’s capture. 
      During a press conference on Friday, Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza urged the public to call in with tips.
      “It makes you feel really ill,” . “How frustrating is it that people who find a solemn place of worship, and now it’s being destroyed?”
      Dan Woollett, a member of the kingdom hall in Lacey,  that the important thing is that congregants are safe.
      “It’s just a building ― buildings can be replaced,” he said. “Things can be redone. So we just move ahead with the ministry that we have that we’re involved with.” 

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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      A young Jehovah's Witness in her twenties remains in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of San Jorge Hospital in Huesca, without the specialists being able to carry out a blood transfusion to try to save her life due to the instructions that the patient left before being intervened. The facts, released by the Heraldo de Aragón, were put this week in the knowledge of the court of guard of the capital of Aragon by one of the doctors of the UCI hospital HOSPITAL before the impossibility of consulting directly with the patient.
      After being operated on a few days ago, the girl suffered acute peritonitis that led doctors to induce a coma and to consider the need to carry out a blood transfusion. However, the patient left written in her living will and, according to her beliefs, her position of absolute rejection of blood transfusions, which Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept for religious reasons.
      Sources of the Superior Court of Justice of Aragon (TSJA) reported on Thursday that the holder of the Court of Instruction No. 1 of Huesca received the medical report while he was on duty and was warned of the refusal of the young woman to a transfusion, under of the Patient Autonomy Law. According to these sources, the magistrate, in view of the documentation provided, resolved to dismiss the claim on the understanding that there was no legal problem in relation to the patient's situation.
      These sources, in addition, do not make any reference to the position of the family of the young woman regarding the situation in which her daughter is currently. On the other hand, the Prosecutor's Office of Huesca, after receiving the report from the specialists of the ICU, decided not to intervene after assessing that the patient is of legal age and is entitled to make a decision regarding the medical treatments to be received.
      According to other judicial sources informed to Efe, the court of guard today in Huesca would not have received any other written referred to the case, reason why the specialists lack of options to be able to carry out the advised transfusion. These sources have pointed out that this case is not the only one that has been registered in the Aragonese Community over the last few years in relation to Jehovah's Witness patients, whose beliefs lead them to reject the mixture or intake of blood.
      This case occurs 25 years after the death of 13-year-old Marcos Alegre, deceased after his parents, residents in the Huesca town of Ballobar, did not accept that his son received a transfusion that specialists considered necessary to save his life. In the context of a debate that leaped into the media, the parents were acquitted of the crime of imprudent homicide that the prosecution charged them with, but were sentenced two years later, at the request of the public prosecutor's office, with a penalty of 2 years and 6 months. prison for these facts.
      Finally, the parents accepted a government pardon, before being definitively acquitted by the Constitutional Court, which based its decision on the right to religious freedom. This situation, previously assessed by the Board of Prosecutors before filing their appeal before the Supreme Court, motivated Circular 1/2012 of the State Attorney General's Office, referring only to the cases of minor Jehovah's Witnesses who reject blood transfusions. This circular urges prosecutors to explore all legal avenues at their disposal to try to save the lives of these minors whenever there is a medical possibility that allows it.

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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Una Riley, 67, of Akron, passed away on March 20, 2019. Una was a member of Akron Central Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses. She retired from FirstMerit Bank after 15 years of service.

      Una is survived by her loving husband, Tyrone; siblings, James (Connie) Mathews, Otha Loftin,David (Candace) Mathews, Marilyn Oliver, Walter Mathews, and Harold Garrett; honorary son and daughter, Daniel and Lenora Lewis; and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.

      Una was preceded in death by her infant daughter, Francine; parents, Howard and Otha Garrett; and siblings, Gloria Johnson, Harry Mathews, and Barbara Gibbons.

      The family would like to thank everyone who supported them during this time of sorrow. A special thank you to the Cleveland Clinic Hospice, and Una's caretaker, Tammy, and special friends, Charlotte Holling and Alesia Stevens.

      A memorial service for Una will take place on Sunday March 31, 2019 at 2pm at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses at 1170 Eastwood Ave, Akron, OH 44305.

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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      On Tuesday, we asked ex-JW activist Lloyd Evans about the Jehovah’s Witness view on climate change, since it’s an organization so centered around the idea of global catastrophe. Lloyd explained that because the planet was in Jehovah’s hands, Witnesses tended not to be concerned about environmental issues. We then received a rebuttal from Rob, a Witness who disagreed, and we’re very happy to publish his message to us, with his permission…
      The main point I am rebutting is this quote from Lloyd: “Jehovah’s Witnesses mostly have a very laid back approach to environmental concerns. They point to issues like global warming and damage to the environment as evidence that humans are incapable of ruling themselves….”
      Jehovah’s Witnesses, in fact, do have an active interest in environment, and encourage members to take action to reduce the negative affects we have on the environment. Consider one of our journals, the Awake! magazine, from 2007:
      The Bible assures us that every trace of the damage caused by man will be undone when God ‘makes all things new.’ (Revelation 21:5) However, we should not conclude that since God will in time restore the earth, our actions now do not matter. They do!
      That article further states that we are not indifferent to the earth’s plight:
      Jehovah God made the earth to be a gardenlike home for mankind. He pronounced all of his work to be “very good” and assigned man “to cultivate [the earth] and to take care of it.” (Genesis 1:28, 31; 2:15) How does God feel about earth’s present condition? Clearly, he is deeply offended by man’s mismanagement, for Revelation 11:18 foretells that he will “bring to ruin those ruining the earth.” So we should not be indifferent to the earth’s plight.
      Lastly, steps are given in this same article that we can or should take, to reduce the negative impact on our environment.
      It is proper, though, for us to consider the environmental impact of our choices in such areas as household purchases, transportation, and recreation. For example, some choose to purchase products that have been produced or that operate in ways that minimize damage to the environment. Others strive to reduce their share in activities that create pollution or unduly consume natural resources.
      This does not represent disinterest in climate change, or feigning interest in it. This is actively discussing ways to minimize our own environmental impact.
      So yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses do in fact believe that God will undo climate change once and for all, but this does not mean we are indifferent or apathetic, as the article above shows.
      Lastly, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ buildings received the highest possible rating of Four Green Globes for all seven of their buildings, for environmental efficiency.
      Really, the best way to show concern for our planet is to reduce the impact we have. Jehovah’s Witnesses build so to have the least negative impact as they possibly can.
      So whoever is suggesting that Jehovah’s Witnesses are apathetic to our environmental concerns is ignoring what’s in print, and how we construct our buildings, and the recognition we receive from authoritative environmental agencies.

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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      EATONVILLE, WA - Pierce County firefighters battled a 15-acre brush fire near Eatonville on Wednesday night, one of dozens of fires that have broken out across Western Washington amid record-breaking March heat.
      Wednesday's fire near Eatonville burned near the intersection of SR 702 and Jackson Road, which is just west of SR 7 near the Jehovah's Witnesses temple.
      "Firefighters urge residents on Jackson Road to evacuate as this fire continues to grow," the Pierce County Firefighters union wrote on Twitter.
      Washington State Patrol officers were heading to the scene to assist with traffic control.
      On top warm temperatures, strong breezes have blown steadily since Monday, feeding and spreading fires.

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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Name: Yuriy Belosludtsev
      Born: [to be determined]
      Current status: [to be determined]
      Detained since: 18 March 2019 
      Current restrictions: pre-trial detention
      Currently held in: [to be determined

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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Despite recent surgery, retired widower, Jehovah's Witness Shamil Khakimov, is in pre-trial detention in Khujand under criminal investigation for "inciting religious hatred". If tried and convicted he faces five to ten years' imprisonment. His arrest followed widespread raids, interrogations and torture of local Jehovah's Witnesses.
      On 28 February, two days after his arrest, a court in the northern city of Khujand ordered that 68-year old Jehovah's Witness Shamil Khakimov be held in pre-trial detention for up to two months. Prosecutors are preparing a criminal case against him on charges of "inciting religious hatred", charges he rejects. Khakimov, who suffers from high blood pressure and recently underwent a leg operation, faces between five and ten years' imprisonment if eventually tried and convicted.
      Khakimov is currently held at Khujand's Investigation Prison.

      Khujand Investigation Prison
      Google/DigitalGlobe
      Judge Abruniso Mirasilzoda, who acceded to the Prosecutor's Office request to put Khakimov in pre-trial detention despite his medical condition, refused to explain her decision to Forum 18 (see below).
      A panel of three judges at Sogd Regional Court upheld Khakimov's pre-trial detention on 12 March. None of the judges were prepared to discuss with Forum 18 why they approved the detention of the 68-year-old, given his serious state of health (see below).
      Forum 18 was unable to reach Nosirkhuja Dodokhonzoda, Investigator of serious crimes at Sogd Regional Prosecutor's Office, who is leading the criminal case against Khakimov (see below).
      Police opened the case against Khakimov after widespread raids in January and February on homes and police interrogations of Jehovah's Witnesses across the northern Sogd Region. Some of the interrogations involved torture.
      Organised Crime Police seized Khakimov's Bible and other religious literature during a raid on his home after they interrogated him (see below).
      After the raids and interrogations, so far none of the Jehovah's Witnesses were given any punishments or faced any charges except for Khakimov. "The authorities probably want to punish a Jehovah's Witness more seriously in order for this to be a show case, a lesson for the rest of the Jehovah's Witnesses," Jehovah's Witnesses told Forum 18 on 19 March. "This may be why Khakimov was singled out."
      Jehovah's Witnesses in Khujand are still being regularly summoned and questioned by the Organised Crime Police, Jehovah's Witnesses complained to Forum 18. The Police summon individuals for interrogation "without written notifications".
      Organised Crime Police prepare Khakimov's arrest
      Trouble began for Jehovah's Witness Shamil Rasulovich Khakimov (born 30 August 1950), a retired widower, after police stopped two Jehovah's Witnesses on the street in Khujand in early January for sharing their beliefs with a passer-by.
      "The Police seized the phones of the two women and called the numbers in the phone, and this is how they found Khakimov," Jehovah's Witnesses told Forum 18. "The authorities allege that he is the leader of Jehovah's Witnesses in Khujand."
      On the evening of 28 January, Khakimov received a call from an unknown person. "The caller requested him to leave his flat and come out onto the street. It was dark so he hesitated, but the calls kept coming," Jehovah's Witnesses said. "When he decided to come outside, there was no one on the street."
      Later the caller identified himself as Nekruz Ibrokhimzoda from the Organised Crime Police of Sogd Region.
      The next day, 29 January, Organised Crime Police officers summoned some of Khakimov's friends (who are not Jehovah's Witnesses) and fellow believers, and questioned them about him.
      At lunch time on 1 February, three days after this, the Organised Crime Police's Khujand office summoned Khakimov, where officers searched him on arrival. Lieutenant Colonel Sukhrob Rustamzoda then interrogated him, including about his personal history, how he became a Jehovah's Witness, and the structure of the organisation.
      "During the interrogation, officers refused to allow Khakimov to use the services of a defence lawyer," Jehovah's Witnesses complained.
      Investigator Rustamzoda refused to comment on the case. "I cannot discuss it with you over the phone," he told Forum 18 on 19 March. "You need to talk to Sogd Regional Prosecutor's Office. They are investigating the case now." When Forum 18 insisted, asking why Police opened a case against Khakimov and why he was refused a defence lawyer to participate during his interrogation, Rustamzoda put the phone down.
      Officers seize Khakimov's property
      After the interrogation, the Organised Crime Police brought Khakimov to his flat in Khujand. Officers seized his tablet device, laptop computer, his Bible and several religious books and brochures, as well as his passport. Officers did not give him a copy of the seizure record, Jehovah's Witnesses said.
      The Police "detained him overall for eight hours the same day," Jehovah's Witnesses complained to Forum 18. "He had not fully recovered after the thrombophlebitis surgery on his legs and his bandages needed to be changed."
      Moreover, Khakimov "could not receive money transfers to continue his necessary medical treatment, since officers seized his passport".
      Prosecutor's Office ignores complaints, opens case
      On 3 February, Khakimov filed a complaint with the Regional Prosecutor's Office against the actions of the Organised Crime Police officers. "No answer has been received to this day," Jehovah's Witnesses complained to Forum 18.
      "Instead at around 9 am on 7 February, four days after his complaint, the Organised Crime Police officers once again arrived at Khakimov's home. They threatened him to open the door," Jehovah's Witnesses told Forum 18. "As the Police officers refused to provide the official summons, he decided not to open the door." 
      During the same day, the Police "repeatedly called Khakimov demanding him to come to the police station."
      Khakimov filed another complaint to the Regional Prosecutor's Office on 7 February against the actions of the Organised Crime Police. "At the Prosecutor's Office he was asked to write an additional statement on his faith and religious activity." The Prosecutor's Office, however, "refused to give him a note that he was asked to write a statement and that it had received his complaint."
      The Prosecutor's Office has "not responded to this complaint to this day either".
      Arrest, pre-trial detention
      On 26 February, 19 days after his second complaint, Police arrested Khakimov and put him in custody "despite his advanced age and poor health".
      The following day, on 27 February, the Organised Crime Police went to Khakimov's flat again. "Without showing identification documents - in the absence of Khakimov and the presence of his roommate - seized Khakimov's international passport without drawing up a record of it," Jehovah's Witnesses said.
      On 28 February, at the request of the Sogd Regional Prosecutor's Office, Judge Abruniso Mirasilzoda of Khujand City Court ordered that Khakimov be held in pre-trial detention. He is being held in the Investigation Prison in Khujand.
      Judge Mirasilzoda told Forum 18 from the court on 19 March that "his custody may last up two months while the investigation proceeds, and if need be his arrest can be prolonged." She refused to explain why Khakimov needs to be held in custody. Asked why he cannot be at home while his case is being investigated, she told Forum 18: "I gave my decision, and it entered into force."
      Asked why she did not take into account that Khakimov is an old man who recently underwent an operation on his leg, Judge Mirasilzoda replied: "His lawyer informed us about this orally, but did not present documents." Asked whether had Khakimov had the documents, she would not have ordered the pre-trial detention, she responded: "I do not want to discuss my decision further."
      Jehovah's Witnesses say the court was fully aware of Khakimov's medical condition. "On 28 February our lawyer did not yet have the documents from the doctors on Khakimov's operation, so they told Judge Mirasilzoda that Khakimov can open the bandage on his leg and show the wound, as well as producing the documents later. But she went ahead with her decision."
      Khakimov's address in Investigation Prison:
      Ya/S 9/2 Investigation Prison
      Khujand
      Sogd Region
      Tajikistan
      Why pre-trial detention?
      Jehovah's Witnesses appealed against the 28 February decision to place Khakimov in pre-trial detention. They presented in court documentation on his operation and health condition. But on 12 March, a panel of three judges at Sogd Regional Court, Ismoil Rakhmatzoda, Maftuna Rakhmatillozoda and Khotamsho Sattorzoda, upheld Khakimov's pre-trial detention.
      Asked on 20 March why the Court upheld the pre-trial detention of Khakimov, an ailing old man, Makhrambek Jumazoda, Secretary of Judge Rakhmatzoda, took down the question and Forum 18's name. Then, after consulting with an official in Judge Rakhmatzoda's office, claimed to Forum 18 that the Judge is "busy in a meeting". He then refused to talk further.
      Judge Rakhmatillozoda on 20 March also refused to explain their decision. Asked why the Court did not take into account the official records of Khakimov's condition and upheld his pre-trial detention, she responded: "I just came into my office. Can you call back in 15 minutes?" Called back later, she told Forum 18 "I cannot talk to you," and put the phone down.
      Judge Sattorzoda was adamant that the Court "correctly took the decision to put Khakimov in custody". Reminded that Khakimov presented to the Court the documents confirming his medical condition and that he is an old man, Sattorzoda repeated his previous response: "We took the decision correctly." He refused to explain the decision to Forum 18 and to answer further questions.
      Inciting hatred?
      Nosirkhuja Dodokhonzoda, Investigator of serious crimes at Sogd Regional Prosecutor's Office, is leading the case against Khakimov. On 7 March, one week after Khakimov's arrest, Dodokhonzoda officially informed him of the charges against him.
      Dodokhonzoda is investigating Khakimov under Criminal Code Article 189, Part 2 ("Inciting national, racial, local or religious hatred or dissension, humiliation of national dignity, as well as propaganda of the superiority of citizens based on their religion, national, racial, or local origin, if committed in public or using the mass media" when performed repeatedly, by a group or by an individual using their official position). Punishment is imprisonment of between five and ten years, with the possibility also of a five-year ban on specified activity.
      Prisoner of conscience Pastor Bakhrom Kholmatov, who led a Protestant Church in Khujand, was punished under Criminal Code Article 189, Part 1 for allegedly "singing extremist songs in church and so inciting 'religious hatred'". Khujand City Court sentenced him to three years' imprisonment in July 2017.
      Asked why the Prosecutor's Office asked for Khakimov's pre-trial detention, and why it did not respond to Khakimov complaints on the Police illegal actions, the official (who did not give his name) who on 19 March answered the phone of Khobibullo Vokhidov, Prosecutor of Sogd Region, took down Forum 18's name and asked it to wait on the line. Moments later, he told Forum 18 that "Prosecutor Vokhidov is busy; call back in an hour or so."
      Called back later, the Prosecutor's phone numbers were all switched to a fax machine.
      Prosecutor's Office Investigator Dodokhonzoda did not answer his phones on 20 March.
      Health concerns
      Jehovah's Witnesses express concern over Khakimov's health. "He recently had an operation on the veins in his legs and suffers from high blood pressure," they told Forum 18 on 19 March. "At the moment he is still suffering from high blood pressure, and the doctors have told him not to stand for too long because of the operation."
      Jehovah's Witnesses added that although Khakimov is "doing well", he still feels pain in his leg after the surgery. "Our lawyer talked to the prison doctor and he said that he will make sure that Shamil Khakimov would not have to stand up every time officers enter the cell for checking."
      Earlier raids, interrogations
      The Organised Crime Police Department of Sogd Region interrogated about 17 Jehovah's Witnesses for periods of up to 14 hours in January and February across the northern Sogd Region, including in Khujand and Konibodom. Police also confiscated mobile phones, personal computers or tablets, and internal passports from those they interrogated.
      One female Jehovah's Witness was interrogated two days running for 14 hours. Because of the extreme stress imposed on her, she suffered a stroke, leaving her unable to walk or speak. She was then taken to hospital.
      Jehovah's Witnesses lodged a formal complaint about the police actions and torture to Sogd Regional Prosecutor's Office. "But it has taken no action and given no response to this day," Jehovah's Witnesses complained to Forum 18.
      "After the female Witness complained to President Emomali Rahmon, the General Prosecutor's Office informed her in early February in writing that it is investigating the complaint," Jehovah's Witnesses told Forum 18. "However, she has not been informed on the course or the results of the investigation to this day."
      Asked on 20 March about the investigation of this case and Khakimov's case, officials at the General Prosecutor's Office reception (who did not give their names) referred Forum 18 to its international relations section's Makhmudzoda and Karimzoda (first names were not given). The officials' phones went unanswered the same day. Called back, the reception officials refused to put Forum 18 through to any other officials to discuss the cases. (END)

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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      An EU citizen has been placed in solitary confinement, denied visitation with his wife and subjected to a grueling daily regimen while awaiting trial in central Russia, the Jehovah’s Witnesses told The Moscow Times.
      The federal penitentiary service of Kirov region did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
      Andrzej Oniszczuk, 50, was one of several adherents of the religious group detained in the Volga region of Kirov on extremism charges in October 2018. Russia labeled the Jehovah’s Witnesses an extremist organization in 2017, leading to raids nationwide and the sentencing of a Danish national last month.
      “Andrzej has been kept in solitary confinement for over five months,” Jehovah’s Witnesses spokesman Jarrod Lopes said in an emailed statement.
      Prison authorities prohibit Oniszczuk from lying down for 15 hours during the day, withhold the Bible and allow showers only once a week, the spokesman said. Oniszczuk’s wife has been denied several requests to visit him, Lopes told The Moscow Times.
      He said Polish diplomats were “finally” allowed to visit and assist the EU citizen despite Oniszczuk’s initial signature “under duress” to refuse visits from embassy staff.
      The organization said a total of 24 Jehovah’s Witnesses are currently held in pretrial detention in Russia, where 150 believers are under investigation on extremism charges.
      Lopes said in February that investigators in Siberia had stripped, suffocated, doused with water and applied stun guns on at least seven believers detained on extremism charges. Russia's Investigative Committee has denied the claims.

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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Were you or a loved one sexually abused by Gonzalo Campos, an elder with various Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations in the San Diego area?
      Legal Support For Alleged Victims Of Gonzalo Campos
      After admitting to molesting at least 8 children during the 1980s and 1990s, Campos fled to Mexico, evading criminal justice here in California, but some sexual abuse survivors may still be eligible to file suit against the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York.
       
      The Watchtower, the national organization for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, has already settled at least two lawsuits involving Campos’ misconduct. In March 2018, the organization came to terms with two of Campos’ victims, men who claimed the elder abused them decades ago. Neither the Watchtower nor the plaintiffs are allowed to disclose details of the settlement.
      Experienced Attorneys Launch Full Investigation
      Our compassionate sexual abuse attorneys believe that other victims of Campos may still be able to pursue justice, accountability and compensation by filing a civil lawsuit. We have opened a full investigation into the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society to understand how Campos was allowed to remain around children, even after serious sexual abuse allegations had been filed against him.
      We understand the powerful storm of emotions that sexual abuse can cause. You may still be struggling to deal with painful feelings of embarrassment and shame, rage or depression. You do not have to go through this alone. Our committed legal team is here to help.
      You may have powerful legal options. The prospect of stepping forward to report the abuse may seem terrifying, but it can be a powerful step on the road to recovery. You deserve justice. You may also be entitled to financial compensation. Filing a civil lawsuit can help you take control of this terrible situation. The Watchtower should be held accountable.
      Watchtower Hit By Court Penalty For Withholding Evidence
      The Watchtower has already been accused of hindering investigations into allegations of child sexual abuse. In the cases involving Gonzalo Campos, the Watchtower was ordered to pay a penalty of $4,000 every day because it refused to turn over internal documents containing information about church leaders who had been accused of child sexual abuse.
      This was not the first time the Watchtower failed to stand up for sexual abuse survivors.
      Critics say Gonzalo Campos was allowed to abuse at least 8 children in San Diego between 1982 and 1995, even though the Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations he belonged to were aware of his misconduct. After abusing a 7-year-old in 1994, Campos was removed from the Church, but he was reinstated by church elders who claimed he was a changed man.
      In their lawsuits, two men who said they had been abused by Campos accused church elders of knowing about Campos’ misconduct as early as 1982, but covering it up and allowing him to continue working with young children. We believe the victims.
       

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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Serena Williams’s daughter Alexis Olympia turns 1 this week – but we shouldn’t expect any extravagant party pictures on the ‘gram.
      The tennis legend has confirmed that she will not be celebrating her baby girl’s first birthday, due to her beliefs as a Jehovah’s Witness.
      Serena was speaking at a press conference at the when she was asked whether she has thought about she’d be celebrating Olympia’s first birthday.
      Responding to a reporter asking: ‘Is there a birthday party planned?’, the 36-year-old said: ‘Olympia doesn’t celebrate birthdays. We’re Jehovah’s Witnesses, so we don’t do that.’
      It is believed Serena’s husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, is now practicing with his wife, despite not growing up in a religious household.
      Advertisement Advertisement
      Speaking to Vogue last year, Serena said: ‘Being a Jehovah’s Witness is important to me, but I’ve never really practiced it and have been wanting to get into it.
      ‘Alexis didn’t grow up going to any church, but he’s really receptive and even takes the lead. He puts my needs first.’
      Jehovah’s Witnesses believe God is the Creator and Supreme Being, and reject the Trinity doctrine.
      They do not celebrate religious holidays like Christmas and Easter, and do not observe birthdays or national holidays, feeling that many of these customs have pagan origins and do not celebrate God.

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    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Based on official documentation dated March 1, 2019, the Russian federation has seized the Jehovah’s Witness administrative center campus worth $30.4 million US dollars. The property has been transferred to the Federal State-funded institution Almazov National Medical Research of the Ministry of Healthcare of the Russian Federation. According to a representative from JW, “the Russian government has schemed to effectively steal this property from our U.S. corp, claiming the U.S. corp’s ownership was invalid and that the property was really owned by JWs in Russia.”

      Read more at World Religion News: "Russia Confiscates $30.4 Million Property From Jehovah’s Witnesses" https://www.worldreligionnews.com/?p=59873
       

    • Guest Indiana
      By Guest Indiana
      Name: Khasan Abduvaitovich Kogut
      Born: 1983
      Current status: accused
      Detained since: 6 February 2019
      Time spent in prison: two days in the temporary holding facility in Berezovskiy
      Current restrictions: house arrest
      5 March 2019
       
      Case of Kogut in Berezovskiy
      Region: Kemerovo Region
      Locality: Berezovskiy
      Case number: 11907320001000083
      Current stage: preliminary investigation (pre-trial proceedings)
      Suspected of: according to the investigation they participated in religious services, which is interpreted as organising and participating in the activities of an extremist organisation (with reference to the decision of the Russian Supreme Court on the liquidation of all 396 registered organisations of Jehovah’s Witnesses)
      Article of the Russian Criminal Code: 282.2(2)
      Case initiated: 6 February 2019
      Investigating: Investigative Department of the Directorate of the FSB of Russia for the Kemerovo Region
       

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    • And to think that Utopia, the Thomas More book of the 1500s that coined the word, describes a society in which religion is integral, with the Christian (Catholic) faith preferred as the most reasonable. I didn’t know that about S Africa. Any thoughts on ‘Cry the Beloved Country’—a favorite of mine? I was surprised many years later to discover that the author opposed the ending of apartheid. To a friend from Europe years ago, a more naive me mentioned how now that China has come int
    • While I agree with you - the CIA atrocities and mingling in affairs of other countries is beyond our imagination - crooked and evil.  BUT China are spinning the above tale to their own people.  The propaganda inside china is now in top gear.  Everything in the west is bad.... just like the propaganda in the mosques. USA is the source of all problems in the world. (while I am sure they are - their exploitive behavior was also the source of China's wealth until now - especially when making Ap
    • They were actually very open about it. Western countries could share in the Chinese market, and make use of Chinese labor and factories and supply chains only if they agreed to turn over their technology and/or give up much of their long term profits. Capitalists often think in the short term. As you say they aren't good with long term plans. The financial services company I worked for for 20-some years wanted to open up offices in China and we had to consider their offers. (I had to work on sta
    • I have not read the 2005 version nor the 2016 version of this book (Confessions of an Economic Hitman, by John Perkins), but I have heard people for years corroborate and document exactly what he claims has been done. I have no idea if he himself was personally involved in so much of it, of course, but this has been documented for years. I once listened to many hours of the "secret recordings" from the White House phone of Lyndon Johnson. These were once aired on a Cable C-Span channel ma
    • I would say the press is more sympathetic to cultural communist ideas.  I see too much evidence of it. While our prisons are every inch as bad as any other due to privatization, so far the constitution still protects our right to freedom of religion - I guess not for long - because the constitution has been eroded over the past 25 years by congress with many laws which have taken away our personal liberties. Patriot Act is one of them.  They can put JWs in jail under this law without due pr
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    • Eric Ouellet

      Apprenons à connaître et accomplissons les voies de Jéhovah 
      “ Fais-moi connaître tes manières agir, [...] pour que je te connaisse. ” — EXODE 33:13.

      MOÏSE avait été élevé dans la maisonnée de Pharaon et instruit dans la sagesse prisée par la noblesse égyptienne. Cependant, il savait qu’il n’était pas égyptien : ses parents étaient hébreux. Alors qu’il était dans sa quarantième année, il alla rendre visite à ses frères, les fils d’Israël. La vue d’un Égyptien en train de maltraiter un Hébreu lui fut insupportable : il tua l’Égyptien. Moïse choisit d’épouser la cause du peuple de Jéhovah, persuadé que Dieu se servait de lui pour délivrer ses frères (Actes 7:21-25 ; Hébreux 11:24, 25). Lorsque l’incident vint à se savoir, la maison royale d’Égypte considéra Moïse comme un hors-la-loi, et il ne dut son salut qu’à la fuite : pour être utilisé par Jéhovah, il lui faudrait d’abord apprendre à mieux connaître Ses voies (Exode 2:11-15). Mais se laisserait-il enseigner ? — Psaume 25:9.
      Au cours des 40 années suivantes, Moïse vécut en exil et fut berger. Au lieu de s’aigrir du fait que ses frères hébreux ne l’avaient apparemment pas reconnu à sa juste valeur, il accepta cette situation permise par Dieu. De nombreuses années passèrent sans que personne ne semble prêter attention à lui, mais Jéhovah le façonnait. Plus tard Moïse écrirait, non de son propre chef, mais sous l’influence de l’esprit saint de Dieu : “ Or, Moïse était de beaucoup le plus humble de tous les hommes vivant sur la terre. ” (Nombres 12:3). Jéhovah l’a effectivement utilisé en lui confiant des responsabilités extraordinaires. Si, nous aussi, nous cherchons l’humilité, Jéhovah nous bénira. — Sophonie 2:3.
      Chargé d’une mission
      Un jour, près du mont Horeb, dans la péninsule du Sinaï, un ange parla à Moïse au nom de Jéhovah. “ Vraiment, j’ai vu là détresse  de mon peuple qui est en Égypte, lui dit-il, et j’ai entendu leur cri de plainte de ceux qui les poussent aux travaux forcés. Je connais bien les douleurs "qu’ils subissent". Aussi je descends pour les délivrer de la main des Égyptiens et pour les faire monter de ce pays vers un pays bon et vaste, vers un pays ruisselant de lait et de miel. ” (Exode 3:2, 7, 8). Dans cette perspective, Jéhovah avait une mission à confier à Moïse, mission à remplir, cette fois, selon Ses instructions.
      L’ange de Jéhovah ajouta : “ Maintenant viens ; que je t’envoie vers Pharaon, et fais sortir d’Égypte mon peuple les fils d’Israël. ” Moïse hésita. Il ne se sentait pas à la hauteur, et en cela il n’avait pas tort. Toutefois, Jéhovah lui fit cette promesse : “ Je serai avec toi. ” (Exode 3:10-12). Jéhovah allait lui accorder le pouvoir d’accomplir des signes miraculeux attestant qu’il était bien son messager. Aaron, le frère de Moïse, l’accompagnerait et lui servirait de porte-parole. Et puis Jéhovah leur enseignerait quoi dire et quoi faire (Exode 4:1-17). Moïse s’acquitterait-il fidèlement de cette mission ?
      Au début, les anciens d’Israël crurent Moïse et Aaron (Exode 4:29-31). Mais, peu après, “ les préposés des fils d’Israël ” les accusèrent de les avoir fait “ sentir mauvais ” devant Pharaon et devant ses serviteurs (Exode 5:19-21 ; 6:9). Tandis qu’ils sortaient d’Égypte, les Israélites frissonnèrent en voyant les chars égyptiens à leur poursuite. Avec devant eux la mer Rouge et derrière eux les chars de guerre ils se crurent pris au piège, et le reprochèrent encore à Moïse. Quelle aurait été votre réaction ? Les Israélites ne possédaient aucun bateau, et pourtant, conformément aux instructions de Jéhovah, Moïse leur ordonna de lever le camp. Dieu fit alors reculer les eaux de la mer Rouge. Le fond de la mer s’étant asséché, Israël put traverser. — Exode 14:1-22.
      Une préoccupation plus importante que la délivrance
      Lorsqu’il avait exposé sa mission à Moïse, Jéhovah avait souligné l’importance de Son nom. Il était capital de respecter ce nom et Celui qu’il représente. Moïse lui ayant demandé Son nom, Jéhovah avait répondu : “ Je deviendrai, ce que je décide. ” Moïse devait aussi dire aux fils d’Israël : “ Jéhovah le Dieu de vos ancêtres, le Dieu d’Abraham, le Dieu d’Isaac et le Dieu de Jacob, m’a envoyé vers vous. ” Jéhovah avait ajouté : “ C’est là mon nom pour des temps indéfinis et c’est là mon mémorial de génération en génération. ” (Exode 3:13-15). Aujourd’hui encore, Jéhovah est le nom par lequel Dieu est connu de ses serviteurs sur toute la terre. — Isaïe 12:4, 5 ; 43:10-12.
      Face à Pharaon, Moïse et Aaron transmirent leur message au nom de Jéhovah. Mais Pharaon leur répondit avec arrogance : “ Qui est Jéhovah pour que j’obéisse à sa voix en renvoyant Israël ? Je ne connais pas du tout Jéhovah ; d’ailleurs je ne renverrai pas Israël. ” (Exode 5:1, 2). Pharaon avait beau se révéler impitoyable et fourbe, Jéhovah ordonna à Moïse de lui délivrer message après message (Exode 7:14-16, 20-23 ; 8:1, 2, 20). Moïse voyait bien que Pharaon était irrité. Était-il vraiment judicieux de retourner le voir encore et encore ? Israël rêvait de liberté ; Pharaon s’obstinait à la lui refuser. Qu’auriez-vous fait à la place de Moïse ?
      Moïse délivra de nouveau un message, par ces mots : “ Voici ce qu’a dit Jéhovah le Dieu des Hébreux : ‘ Renvoie mon peuple pour qu’il me serve. ’ ” Dieu dit également : “ J’aurais déjà pu avancer ma main pour te frapper, toi et ton peuple, par la peste, afin que tu sois effacé de la terre. Mais, en fait, c’est pour cela que je t’ai laissé exister : c’est pour te faire voir ma force et afin qu’on proclame mon nom dans toute la terre. ” (Exode 9:13-16). Compte tenu de ce qu’il réservait à l’impitoyable pharaon, Jéhovah se proposa de faire la démonstration de sa puissance d’une manière telle qu’elle servirait d’avertissement à tous ceux qui le défient ; à Satan le Diable, entre autres, celui que Jésus Christ surnomma plus tard “ le chef du monde ”. (Jean 14:30 ; Romains 9:17-24.) Comme prédit, le nom de Jéhovah fut proclamé sur toute la terre. Grâce à sa patience, les Israélites furent préservés, et une foule immense et bigarrée se joignit à eux pour l’adorer (Exode 9:20, 21 ; 12:37, 38). Depuis lors, la proclamation du nom de Jéhovah a permis à des millions d’autres personnes d’embrasser le vrai culte.
      En relation avec un peuple difficile
      Les Hébreux connaissaient le nom divin. En effet, lorsqu’il s’adressait à eux, Moïse employait ce nom. Mais ils ne firent pas toujours preuve du respect qui convient envers Celui qui le porte. Peu après que Jéhovah les eut délivrés miraculeusement d’Égypte, que se passa-t-il quand les Israélites ne trouvèrent pas rapidement d’eau potable ? Ils murmurèrent contre Moïse. Ensuite, ils se plaignirent de la nourriture. Moïse les avertit que ce n’était pas seulement contre Aaron et lui qu’ils murmuraient, mais contre Jéhovah lui-même (Exode 15:22-24 ; 16:2-12). Au mont Sinaï, Jéhovah donna au peuple la Loi dans un déploiement de manifestations surnaturelles. Pourtant, les Israélites désobéirent en adorant un veau d’or qu’ils avaient fabriqué, tout en prétendant donner “ une fête pour Jéhovah ”. — Exode 32:1-9.
      Quelle ligne de conduite Moïse devait-il adopter face à un peuple que Jéhovah lui-même qualifiait de peuple au cou raide ? Moïse adressa à Jéhovah cette requête : “ S’il te plaît, si j’ai trouvé faveur à tes yeux, fais-moi connaître tes voies, s’il te plaît, pour que je te connaisse, afin que je trouve faveur à tes yeux. ” (Exode 33:13). Aujourd’hui, les surveillants chrétiens qui prennent soin des Témoins de Jéhovah font paître un troupeau bien plus humble. Ce qui ne les empêche pas de faire cette même prière : “ Fais-moi connaître tes voies, ô Jéhovah ! Enseigne-moi tes sentiers. ” (Psaume 25:4). La connaissance des voies de Jéhovah leur permet de traiter des situations d’une manière conforme à sa Parole et à sa personnalité.
      Ce que Jéhovah attend de son peuple
      Ce que Jéhovah attendait de son peuple, il le révéla d’abord oralement au mont Sinaï. Moïse reçut plus tard deux tablettes de pierre sur lesquelles étaient écrits les Dix Commandements. Tandis qu’il descendait de la montagne, il vit les Israélites en train d’adorer le veau en métal fondu. Sous le coup de la colère, il brisa les tablettes en les jetant par terre. Jéhovah écrivit de nouveau les Dix Commandements, sur des tablettes que Moïse avait cette fois-ci taillées lui-même (Exode 32:19 ; 34:1). Ces commandements n’avaient pas changé par rapport à la première fois. Moïse devait en tenir compte dans ses manières d’agir. Dieu a aussi bien fait comprendre à Moïse quel genre de personne Il est, pour lui montrer comment devait se conduire son représentant. Les chrétiens ne sont pas sous la Loi mosaïque, mais dans ce que Jéhovah a dit à Moïse on trouve de nombreux principes fondamentaux qui n’ont pas changé et qui demeurent valables pour tous Ses adorateurs (Romains 6:14 ; 13:8-10). Examinons-en quelques-uns.
      Accorder à Jéhovah un attachement exclusif. La nation d’Israël était présente lorsque Jéhovah déclara qu’il exigeait un attachement exclusif (Exode 20:2-5). Pour en avoir eu de nombreuses preuves, les Israélites savaient que Jéhovah est le vrai Dieu (Deutéronome 4:33-35). Jéhovah établit clairement qu’il ne tolérerait aucune forme d’idolâtrie ou de spiritisme de la part de ses serviteurs. Peu importaient les pratiques des autres nations. L’attachement à Dieu n’était pas une simple formalité : tous devaient aimer Jéhovah de tout leur cœur, de toute leur âme et de toute leur force vitale (Deutéronome 6:5, 6). Cela devrait se remarquer dans leurs paroles, dans leur conduite, à vrai dire dans chaque aspect de leur vie (Lévitique 20:27 ; 24:15, 16 ; 26:1). Jésus Christ fit, lui aussi, clairement comprendre que Jéhovah exige un attachement exclusif. — Marc 12:28-30 ; Luc 4:8.
      Obéir strictement aux commandements de Jéhovah. Les Israélites avaient besoin qu’on leur rappelle qu’en concluant une alliance avec Jéhovah ils avaient fait le vœu de lui obéir strictement. Ils bénéficiaient d’une grande liberté individuelle, mais, dans les domaines où Jéhovah leur avait donné des commandements, ils étaient tenus d’y obéir pleinement. Ce faisant, ils montreraient leur amour pour Dieu et en retireraient des bienfaits, eux et leurs descendants, car toutes les exigences de Jéhovah étaient pour leur bien. — Exode 19:5-8 ; Deutéronome 5:27-33 ; 11:22, 
      Accorder la priorité aux choses spirituelles. Les Israélites ne devaient pas laisser la satisfaction de leurs besoins physiques détourner leur attention des activités spirituelles. Ils ne devaient pas axer leur vie uniquement sur des objectifs profanes. Jéhovah délimita une période hebdomadaire qu’il déclara sacrée, période destinée exclusivement aux activités liées au vrai culte (Exode 35:1-3 ; Nombres 15:32-36). Il fallait également prendre le temps d’assister, chaque année, à de saintes assemblées décrétées par Jéhovah (Lévitique 23:4-44). C’était là l’occasion de se remémorer les actes de puissance de Jéhovah, de se rappeler ses voies et de lui exprimer sa gratitude pour toute sa bonté. En exprimant son attachement à Jéhovah, le peuple augmenterait sa crainte et son amour pour lui, et cela l’aiderait à marcher dans ses voies (Deutéronome 10:12, 13). Les principes salutaires contenus dans ces instructions sont bénéfiques aux serviteurs de Jéhovah encore aujourd’hui. — Hébreux 10:24, 25.
      Une juste appréciation des qualités de Jéhovah
      Autre chose allait aider Moïse à traiter correctement le peuple : une bonne connaissance des qualités de Jéhovah. En Exode 34:5-7 on lit que Dieu passa devant la face de Moïse en proclamant : “ Jéhovah, Jéhovah, Dieu miséricordieux et compatissant, lent à la colère et abondant en bonté de cœur et en vérité, conservant la bonté de cœur à des milliers, pardonnant la faute et la transgression et le péché, mais en aucun cas il n’accordera l’exemption de punition, faisant venir la punition pour la faute des pères sur les fils et sur les petits-fils, sur la troisième génération et sur la quatrième génération. ” Prenez le temps de méditer sur ces paroles. Demandez-vous : ‘ Quel sens revêt chacune de ces qualités ? Comment Jéhovah les a-t-il manifestées ? Comment les surveillants chrétiens peuvent-ils les mettre en œuvre ? Comment chacune d’elles devrait-elle influencer notre manière d’être ? Arrêtons-nous simplement sur quelques exemples.
       
      Jéhovah est un “ Dieu miséricordieux et compatissant ”. Si vous possédez l’ouvrage de référence Étude perspicace des Écritures, pourquoi ne pas lire ce qui est dit sous l’entrée “ Miséricorde ” ? Où bien, faites des recherches à ce sujet à l’aide de la bibliothèque Jw.org. Servez-vous des outils de recherche pour trouver des versets qui traitent de la miséricorde. Vous constaterez que la miséricorde de Jéhovah non seulement permet parfois un allégement de la punition, mais s’accompagne d’une tendre compassion. Elle pousse Dieu à prendre des mesures pour apporter le soulagement à son peuple. La preuve en est que Dieu combla les besoins physiques et spirituels des Israélites durant leur périple vers la Terre promise (Deutéronome 1:30-33 ; 8:4). Jéhovah fit preuve de miséricorde à l’égard de ses serviteurs d’autrefois : il leur accorda son pardon lorsqu’ils commirent des fautes. À combien plus forte raison devrions-nous nous témoigner de la compassion aujourd’hui ! — Matthieu 9:13 ; 18:21-35.
      La miséricorde de Jéhovah est associée à la compassion. Si vous possédez un dictionnaire, lisez la définition de “ compatissant ”. Puis rapprochez-la de versets qui montrent que Jéhovah est compatissant. Dans la Bible, la compassion manifestée par Jéhovah est teintée d’un intérêt plein d’amour pour les défavorisés au sein de son peuple (Exode 22:26, 27). Quel que soit le pays, les étrangers, mais aussi d’autres personnes, se trouvent parfois désavantagés. En enseignant à ses serviteurs d’autrefois l’impartialité et la bonté à l’égard des étrangers, Jéhovah leur rappela expressément qu’eux aussi avaient été étrangers, en Égypte (Deutéronome 24:17-22). Qu’en est-il de nous, qui forme le peuple de Dieu aujourd’hui ? En faisant preuve de compassion nous contribuons à nous unir et à attirer d’autres personnes vers le culte de Jéhovah. — Actes 10:34, 35 ; Révélation 7:9, 10.
      Cependant, l’empathie à l’égard des gens d’autres nations ne devait pas passer avant l’amour pour Jéhovah et pour ses normes morales. Les Israélites avaient d’ailleurs reçu la consigne de ne pas adopter les coutumes des nations voisines, ni leurs traditions religieuses, ni leur conduite immorale (Exode 34:11-16 ; Deutéronome 7:1-4). Cela s’applique à nous aujourd’hui encore. Nous sommes censés être un peuple saint, comme notre Dieu, Jéhovah, est saint. — 1 Pierre 1:15, 16.
      Afin que Moïse ait une juste appréciation de Ses voies, Jéhovah lui a fait clairement comprendre que, s’il n’approuve pas le péché, il est néanmoins lent à la colère. Il laisse aux gens le temps d’apprendre ses exigences et de s’y conformer. Dès lors qu’il y a repentance, Jéhovah pardonne le péché, même s’il n’exempte pas de la punition pour les fautes graves. Il a prévenu Moïse que la conduite des Israélites aurait une incidence, bonne ou mauvaise, sur les générations à venir. S’ils comprennent bien les voies de Jéhovah, ses serviteurs seront moins tentés de lui attribuer la responsabilité de situations dans lesquelles ils se sont placés eux-mêmes, ni de conclure qu’il tarde à agir.
      Si vous souhaitez approfondir votre connaissance de Jéhovah et de ses voies, continuez à faire des recherches et à méditer lorsque vous lisez la Bible. Examinez attentivement les aspects fascinants de la personnalité de Jéhovah. Réfléchissez dans la prière à la façon de l’imiter et de mieux conformer votre vie à son dessein. Il vous sera ainsi plus facile d’éviter les pièges, d’entretenir de bonnes relations avec vos frères et sœurs qui suivent la Parole de Dieu comme guide d'action, de pensée, de sagesse et d’aider d’autres personnes à connaître et à aimer notre Dieu majestueux.
      Le peuple de la terre que Dieu uni ensemble à son amour véritable sont tous ceux qui chaque jour, lisent la Parole de Dieu et inclus dans leur coeur la sagesse essentielle venant de Jéhovah le Très Haut. Chaque serviteur de Dieu se purifie intérieurement d'une eau purifiante que garde chaque serviteur à l'affût des danger de ce monde et qu'il modèle ses pas vers la voie que Dieu lui à donner pour préserver l'espoir de la promesse de notre Dieu.

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    • Eric Ouellet

      Mettez votre confiance en Jéhovah
       
      Ouvrons nos bibles en Psaumes 37:3,4 regardons un conseil de notre Dieu Jéhovah:
      “Aie confiance en Jéhovah et fais le bien; (...) délecte-toi en Jéhovah.” — PSAUME 37:3, 4.
      AU PREMIER siècle de notre ère, les chefs religieux juifs prétendaient adorer Dieu, mais ils n’avaient pas confiance en lui: ils violaient ses commandements et persécutaient ses représentants (Matthieu 15:3; Jean 15:20). En conséquence, "leur maison fut abandonnée" par Jéhovah (Matthieu 23:38). En l’an 66, les armées romaines détruisirent Jérusalem et son temple, ce qui entraîna la mort d’un grand nombre de chefs religieux et de leurs disciples. Cependant, les personnes qui avaient confiance en Jéhovah furent protégées, car elles avaient suivi l’avertissement de ses porte-parole et elles étaient allées se réfugier dans un lieu sûr. — Matthieu 24:15-22; Luc 21:20-24.
      En ces derniers jours du système de choses,  mettons-nous notre confiance en Jéhovah, le vrai Dieu? Obéissons-nous à ses commandements et fesons-nous sa volonté, ou bien imiton-nous les chefs religieux du Ier siècle que Dieu abandonna? Quelle mode de vie avons-nous de besoin à notre époque, pour espérer bénéficier de la protection divine parce que nous avons confiance en Jéhovah et que nous agissons pour le bien’? — Psaume 37:3.
      Il y a plusieurs années, le pape Jean-Paul II a déclaré que “la survie de l’humanité tout entière était gravement menacée”. Il a mis l’accent sur “les résultats qu’obtiennent divers groupements religieux lorsqu’ils s’unissent pour tenter de conjurer cette menace”. C’est la volonté de Dieu, a-t-il dit, que les responsables religieux “travaillent ensemble” à “la paix et [à] la réconciliation”. Toutefois, si telle est sa volonté, pourquoi Dieu n’a-t-il pas béni les efforts qui sont accomplis en ce sens depuis des siècles? Parce que ces religions ne mettent pas véritablement leur confiance dans le moyen que Dieu a prévu pour instaurer la paix: son Royaume céleste (Matthieu 6:9, 10). Au lieu de cela, elles accordent leur soutien à la politique et aux guerres des nations. En conséquence, au cours des guerres, les croyants d’une nation ont tué les croyants d’une autre nation, et ils ont même tué certains de leurs coreligionnaires. Ainsi, des catholiques ont tué des catholiques, des protestants ont tué des protestants, et il en fut de même dans bien d’autres religions. Cependant, de véritables frères spirituels peuvent-ils s’entre-tuer, tout en prétendant servir Dieu?
      Jésus a établi le critère d'un mode vie qui apporte l'Amour et la protection de son Père,  lorsqu'ils a dit à ses disciples: “Je vous donne un commandement nouveau: que vous vous aimiez les uns les autres, et que, comme je vous ai aimés, vous aussi aimez les uns les autres. Par là tous saurons que vous êtes mes disciples: si vous avez de l’amour entre vous.” (Jean 13:34, 35). Par conséquent, ceux qui pratiquent le vrai mode de vie spirituel doivent s’aimer les uns les autres. Il s’agissait "d’un commandement nouveau”, car Jésus a déclaré: “Que, comme je vous ai aimés, vous aussi vous vous aimiez les uns les autres.” Jésus était disposé à se dessaisir de sa vie pour ses disciples; et ceux-ci doivent être prêts à faire de même: non pas ôter la vie à leurs compagnons dans la foi, mais sacrifier si nécessaire leur vie. C’est en ce sens que ce commandement était nouveau, car la Loi mosaïque n’allait pas si loin.
      Voici ce qu’on peut lire dans la Parole de Dieu: “Si quelqu’un déclare: ‘J’aime Dieu’, mais qu’il haïsse son frère, c’est un menteur. En effet, celui qui n’aime pas son frère, qu’il a vu, ne peut pas aimer Dieu, qu’il n’a pas vu. Et voici le commandement que nous tenons de lui: que celui qui aime Dieu aime aussi son frère.” (1 Jean 4:20, 21). Grâce à cet amour, ceux qui placent leur confiance en Jéhovah connaissent une véritable unité internationale. Paul déclare, en effet, en 1 Corinthiens 1:10: “Je vous exhorte, frères, (...) à parler tous en parfait accord, et à ce qu’il n’y ait pas de divisions parmi vous, mais que vous soyez étroitement unis dans le même esprit et dans la même pensée.” — Voir 1 Jean 3:10-12.
      Selon une encyclopédie (The World Book Encyclopedia), 55 millions de personnes ont été tuées lors de la Seconde Guerre mondiale, exceptés les Témoins de Jéhovah, des membres de toutes les grandes religions ont pris part à ce massacre. Aucune de ces vies humaines n’a été ôtée par un témoin de Jéhovah, car les témoins ont obéi au commandement de s’aimer les uns les autres et ils ont refusé de prendre part aux guerres des nations. Nombre d’entre eux ont été livrés au martyre en raison de leur neutralité, mais ils avaient pu dire, reprenant les paroles de l’apôtre Paul: ‘Nous sommes purs du sang de tous les hommes.’ — Actes 20:26.
      L’aumônier catholique appartenant à l’unité qui a lâché la bombe atomique sur le Japon en 1945 a récemment déclaré: “Depuis 17 siècles, l’Église présente la guerre sous un jour respectable. Elle fait croire aux gens qu’il s’agit là d’une honorable profession chrétienne. Ce n’est pas vrai. On nous a endoctrinés. (...) Jésus n’a jamais enseigné le dogme de la guerre juste. (...) Rien dans la vie ou l’enseignement du Christ ne laisse supposer que s’il est condamnable d’utiliser la bombe atomique pour réduire en cendres les humains, il n’est pas condamnable de le faire au moyen du napalm ou d’un lance-flammes.”
      Voici ce qu’on pouvait lire dans un quotidien londonien (Catholic Herald): "Les premiers chrétiens (...) respectaient scrupuleusement les paroles de Jésus et refusaient, même au prix de leur vie, de se laisser enrôler dans l’armée romaine. L’Histoire du monde aurait-elle été différente si l’Église était restée attachée à ce principe? (...) Si, aujourd’hui, les Églises toutes ensemble condamnaient la guerre (...), et qu’ainsi tous leurs membres se sentent tenus d’être, comme les premiers chrétiens, des objecteurs de conscience, la paix régnerait sur la terre. Toutefois, nous savons que cela n’arrivera."
      Les multiples religions du monde ont donc gravement transigé avec les lois de Dieu. Elles n’ont pas montré plus de confiance que les Pharisiens. “Publiquement ils déclarent connaître Dieu, mais ils le renient par leurs œuvres, car ce sont des gens détestables, désobéissants et non approuvés pour quelque œuvre bonne que ce soit.” (Tite 1:16). En conséquence, comme il avait abandonné le judaïsme hypocrite du Ier siècle, de même, à notre époque, Dieu a abandonné ces religions qui agissent contre les lois morales de Dieu. — Matthieu 15:9, 14.
      Ceux qui ont confiance en Jéhovah survivront
      Ne mettez pas votre confiance dans les solutions humaines aux problèmes du monde. Bien plutôt, confiez-vous en Celui qui peut tenir ses promesses (Josué 23:14). Voyez, par exemple, les événements qui se sont produits au VIIIe siècle avant notre ère, aux jours du roi Ézéchias de Juda. À son sujet, la Bible déclare: “Il faisait ce qui est droit aux yeux de Jéhovah.” (2 Rois 18:3). À l’époque d’Ézéchias, l’imposante Puissance mondiale assyrienne se dressa contre Jérusalem. Le porte-parole de Sennachérib, roi d’Assyrie, vint exiger la reddition de Jérusalem. Il déclara: “Voici ce qu’a dit le roi: ‘Qu’Ézéchias ne vous trompe pas, car il ne peut vous délivrer de ma main! Et qu’Ézéchias ne vous fasse pas vous confier en Jéhovah.’” — 2 Rois 18:29, 30.
      Que fit Ézéchias? La Bible nous dit: “Ézéchias se mit à prier devant Jéhovah et dit: ‘Ô Jéhovah, Dieu d’Israël, qui es assis sur les chérubins, toi seul tu es le vrai Dieu de tous les royaumes de la terre. Tu as fait, toi, les cieux et la terre. Incline ton oreille, ô Jéhovah, et entends. Ouvre tes yeux, ô Jéhovah, et vois, et entends les paroles de Sennachérib, qu’il a envoyées pour provoquer le Dieu vivant. (...) ô Jéhovah, notre Dieu, s’il te plaît, sauve-nous de sa main, pour que tous les royaumes de la terre sachent que toi, ô Jéhovah, tu es Dieu, toi seul.’” — 2 Rois 19:15-19.
      Jéhovah a entendu cette prière et a envoyé le prophète Ésaïe auprès d’Ézéchias pour lui dire: “Voici ce qu’a dit Jéhovah au sujet du roi d’Assyrie: ‘Il n’entrera pas dans cette ville, et il n’y lancera pas de flèche, et il ne se présentera pas devant elle avec un bouclier, et il n’élèvera pas contre elle un rempart de siège.’” Ézéchias devait-il rassembler une armée pour affronter l’Assyrie? Non, il devait placer sa confiance en Jéhovah; et c’est ce qu’il fit. Que se passa-t-il? “L’ange de Jéhovah sortit et abattit dans le camp des Assyriens cent quatre-vingt-cinq mille hommes.” En outre, Sennachérib fut châtié pour avoir défié Jéhovah et ses serviteurs; en effet, il fut plus tard assassiné par ses propres fils. Ainsi, conformément à la parole de Jéhovah, pas une flèche ne fut lancée contre Jérusalem. — 2 Rois 19:32-37.
      Alors que doivent faire les gens de toutes les nations pour survivre à la fin de l’actuel système de choses?
      Des événements semblables vont se produire à notre époque. Ceux qui se confient en Jéhovah survivront aux attaques et à la destruction du monde. “Ceux qui connaissent ton nom se confieront en toi, car tu ne quitteras assurément pas ceux qui te cherchent, ô Jéhovah!” (Psaume 9:10). Néanmoins, avant de détruire ce monde cruel, Jéhovah invite tous les humains sincères à s’approcher de lui pour trouver la sécurité. Ceux qui acceptent son invitation constituent une “grande foule” de personnes qui “viennent de la grande tribulation” et qui sont issues de toutes les nations. Ces personnes survivront à la fin du système de choses actuel parce qu’elles ont confiance en Jéhovah et le servent “jour et nuit”. — Révélation 7:9-15.
      La “grande foule” répond à l’appel qui retentit de plus en plus puissamment dans le monde entier, conformément à la prophétie consignée en Ésaïe 2:2, 3: “Et il adviendra sans faute, dans la période finale des jours, que la montagne de la maison de Jéhovah [son véritable culte] se trouvera solidement établie (...). Et assurément de nombreux peuples iront et diront: ‘Venez et montons à la montagne de Jéhovah (...) et il nous instruira de ses voies, et nous marcherons dans ses sentiers.’”  verset 4 dit: “Et ils devront forger leurs épées en socs de charrue et leurs lances en cisailles à émonder. Une nation ne lèvera pas l’épée contre une nation, et ils n’apprendront plus la guerre.”
      Un bel avenir
      Jéhovah offre le plus bel avenir qu’on puisse imaginer à ceux qui mettent leur confiance en lui. Lorsqu’il remplacera les vieilles structures de la société par de nouvelles, les humains qui vivront sur la terre ne connaîtront ni la crainte, ni la méfiance, ni la misère, ni l’injustice, ni le crime. Il n’y aura plus de guerres ou d’avortements pour priver les humains de la vie. Révélation 21:4 promet même que “la mort ne sera plus; ni deuil, ni cri, ni douleur ne seront plus”, cela pour toujours.
      Comme Jésus l’a promis, avec le temps la terre deviendra un paradis (Luc 23:43). Ceux qui mettent leur confiance en Jéhovah pourront vivre éternellement dans ce Paradis, car la mort disparaîtra. Les paroles de Michée 4:4 se réaliseront: “Ils seront assis chacun sous sa vigne et sous son figuier, et il n’y aura personne qui les fasse trembler.” Vous imaginez-vous vivre dans une société où vous pourriez avoir confiance en tout le monde? Pourquoi en sera-t-il ainsi? Parce que, comme le dit Ésaïe 54:13, “tous tes fils seront des personnes enseignées par Jéhovah, et la paix de tes fils sera abondante”.
      Toutefois, la confiance que les millions de Témoins de Jéhovah portent à Dieu leur procure dès aujourd’hui des bienfaits. Par exemple, les serviteurs de Jéhovah ont moins de risques de contracter le cancer du poumon parce qu’ils obéissent à ses lois et à ses principes relatifs au tabac. Vivant dans un milieu moralement pur, ils sont moins menacés par l’épidémie mondiale des maladies sexuellement transmissibles, telles que le SIDA. Parce qu’ils ne se droguent pas, ils sont à l’abri de maladies que de nombreux toxicomanes par voie intraveineuse ont contractées, maladies qui peuvent altérer les facultés mentales et entraîner la mort. Étant donné qu’ils n’acceptent pas de transfusions sanguines, les serviteurs de Jéhovah sont bien mieux protégés contre les maladies véhiculées par le sang. Chaque année, aux États-Unis, l’une de ces maladies, l’hépatite virale, tue ou lèse de façon permanente plus de dix mille personnes ayant reçu du sang.
      Même si certains de ceux qui se confient en Jéhovah meurent à cause de leur âge, de la maladie ou bien des suites d’un accident, Jéhovah viendra à leur secours. Il les ramènera à la vie par le moyen de la résurrection. C’est pourquoi l’apôtre Paul nous encourage à ‘avoir confiance, non pas en nous-mêmes, mais dans le Dieu qui relève les morts’. — 2 Corinthiens 1:9.
      Jéhovah soutiendra toujours ses serviteurs fidèles
      Souvenez-vous que “le monde entier gît au pouvoir du méchant”, Satan le Diable (1 Jean 5:19). Par conséquent, si vous vous confiez en Dieu, Satan et le monde qu’il domine s’opposeront à vous; ils essaieront de saper votre foi en vous ridiculisant ou en vous persécutant, comme ils l’ont fait à Jésus. Après qu’il eut été cloué sur le poteau de supplice, “les passants parlaient de lui en mal, hochant la tête et disant: ‘(...) Si tu es fils de Dieu, descends du poteau de supplice!’ Pareillement les prêtres en chef aussi se moquaient de lui, ainsi que les scribes et les anciens, et disaient: ‘Il en a sauvé d’autres; il ne peut pas se sauver lui-même! (...) Il a mis sa confiance en Dieu; qu’Il le délivre maintenant, s’Il veut de lui.’” — Matthieu 27:39-43.
      Trois jours après ces événements, Dieu a délivré Jésus en le ressuscitant d’entre les morts. Les moqueurs de la génération d’alors ont été quant à eux massacrés ou emmenés en esclavage par les armées romaines. Puisque le Christ, en sa qualité de Roi du Royaume céleste de Dieu, présidera à la résurrection, si ces individus sont ressuscités, il leur faudra se soumettre à celui-là même dont ils se seront moqués 2 000 ans auparavant! Oui, Jéhovah défend ses serviteurs, qui diront: “En Dieu j’ai mis ma confiance. Je n’aurai pas peur. Que peut me faire l’homme tiré du sol?” — Psaume 56:11.
      Voici ce que Jéhovah déclare à propos de ses serviteurs: “Béni l’homme valide qui met sa confiance en Jéhovah, et dont Jéhovah est devenu l’assurance! Et certes il deviendra comme un arbre planté près des eaux, qui envoie ses racines près du cours d’eau; et il ne verra pas quand la chaleur arrivera, mais son feuillage restera touffu. Et dans l’année de la sécheresse il ne s’inquiétera pas, et il ne cessera pas de produire du fruit.” Il dit également: “Maudit l’homme valide qui met sa confiance dans l’homme tiré du sol et qui fait de la chair son bras, et dont le cœur se détourne de Jéhovah! Et assurément il deviendra comme un arbre solitaire dans la plaine déserte et il ne verra pas quand le bien arrivera.” — Jérémie 17:5-8.
      En ces temps décisifs, donc, "ayons confiance en Jéhovah et faisons le bien; résidons sur la terre et agissons avec fidélité. De plus, délectons-nous en Jéhovah, et il nous donnera les demandes de notre cœur". (Psaume 37:3, 4.) Que soient exaucées les demandes que vous ferez, entre autres celle de goûter le don de la vie éternelle dans le monde nouveau et juste promis par Dieu, Celui en qui nous pouvons avoir confiance!

      · 0 replies
    • folens  »  Eric Ouellet

      Bonjour Eric, merci pour cet exposé sur Hanna, Bonne journée. Michel
      ENTRETIEN AVEC DIEU.pptx
      · 3 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      LA FOI D'HANNA ENVERS DIEU APPORTE SA RÉCOMPENSE
      UNE femme de foi adresse une prière à Jéhovah. Convaincue que c’est Dieu qui l’a relevée de la poussière, transformant son abattement en exultation, elle le loue à haute voix.
      Cette femme, c’est Hanna. Qu’est-ce qui explique son spectaculaire changement d’état d’âme ? Pourquoi est-elle à présent si joyeuse ? En quoi ce qu’elle a vécu peut-il nous être utile ? Intéressons-nous à son histoire.
      Une famille sous pression
      Hanna est l’une des deux femmes d’Elqana, un Lévite de la région d’Éphraïm (1 Samuel 1:1, 2a ; 1 Chroniques 6:33, 34). Bien que n’entrant pas dans le dessein originel de Dieu pour l’humanité, la polygamie est autorisée et réglementée sous la Loi mosaïque. Elle est néanmoins une source fréquente de discorde. La vie de cette famille, qui pourtant adore Jéhovah, en témoigne.
      Hanna est stérile, tandis que Peninna, l’autre femme d’Elqana, a plusieurs enfants. Peninna se comporte en rivale. — 1 Samuel 1:2b.
      Pour une Israélite, la stérilité est un déshonneur, et même un signe de la défaveur divine. Mais, dans le cas de Hanna, rien n’indique que son incapacité de procréer soit liée à la désapprobation de Dieu. Peninna ne la console pas pour autant ; elle se prévaut au contraire de son statut de mère pour l’humilier.
      Au sanctuaire de Jéhovah
      Malgré ces tensions, la famille entreprend le voyage annuel en direction du sanctuaire de Jéhovah, à Shilo, pour y offrir des sacrifices. L’aller-retour de quelque 60 kilomètres se fait vraisemblablement à pied. Cet événement doit être particulièrement pénible pour Hanna. En effet, Peninna et ses enfants reçoivent plusieurs portions du sacrifice de communion, alors que Hanna, elle, n’en reçoit qu’une seule. Peninna trouve là une opportunité supplémentaire de la blesser et de la mettre dans l’embarras ; il semble que Jéhovah ait “ fermé sa matrice ”, et elle ne manque pas de le lui rappeler. Tous les ans, c’est le même calvaire. Tous les ans, Hanna pleure et cesse de manger. Ces voyages qui normalement devraient la mettre en joie la plongent dans une profonde détresse. Hanna se rend néanmoins chaque année au sanctuaire de Jéhovah. — 1 Samuel 1:3-7.
      Voyez-vous en quoi Hanna est un bel exemple ? Comment réagissez-vous lorsque vous êtes déprimé ? Vous isolez-vous et évitez-vous les contacts avec vos compagnons chrétiens ? Ce n’est pas ce qu’a fait Hanna. Les rassemblements avec les adorateurs de Jéhovah étaient pour elle une habitude de vie. Même face à des circonstances éprouvantes, il devrait en être de même pour nous. — Psaume 26:12 ; 122:1 ; Proverbes 18:1 ; Hébreux 10:24, 25.
      Elqana tente de réconforter Hanna et il l’amène à exprimer ses sentiments profonds. “ Hanna, pourquoi pleures-tu et pourquoi ne manges-tu pas ? Pourquoi ton cœur a-t-il mal ? lui demande-t-il. Est-ce que je ne vaux pas mieux pour toi que dix fils ? ” (1 Samuel 1:8). Peut-être n’a-t-il pas conscience de la malveillance de Peninna. Et peut-être Hanna préfère-t-elle se taire plutôt que de se plaindre. Quoi qu’il en soit, cette femme spirituelle se tourne vers Jéhovah dans la prière pour retrouver la paix intérieure.
      Le vœu de Hanna
      Les sacrifices de communion étaient consommés dans le sanctuaire. Après avoir quitté la salle à manger, Hanna prie Dieu (1 Samuel 1:9, 10). “ Ô Jéhovah des armées, implore-t-elle, si tu ne manques pas de regarder l’affliction de ton esclave et si vraiment tu te souviens de moi, si tu n’oublies pas ton esclave et si vraiment tu donnes à ton esclave un descendant mâle, oui je le donnerai à Jéhovah pour tous les jours de sa vie, et le rasoir ne viendra pas sur sa tête. ” — 1 Samuel 1:11.
      La prière de Hanna est précise. Elle demande un fils, et elle fait le vœu que cet enfant sera toute sa vie un naziréen de Dieu (Nombres 6:1-5). Ce vœu nécessite l’approbation de son mari, et certaines actions ultérieures d’Elqana montrent qu’il approuve l’engagement pris par sa chère femme. — Nombres 30:6-8.
      À cause de la manière dont Hanna prie, le grand prêtre Éli la croit ivre. Il voit effectivement ses lèvres frémir, mais il ne l’entend pas parler. C’est qu’en fait Hanna prie dans son cœur, avec ferveur (1 Samuel 1:12-14). Imaginez ce qu’elle ressent lorsque le grand prêtre l’accuse d’être ivre ! Pourtant, elle lui répond respectueusement. Comprenant alors que Hanna était en train de prier “ dans l’abondance de [son] inquiétude et de [son] dépit ”, il lui dit : “ Que le Dieu d’Israël accorde ta requête. ” (1 Samuel 1:15-17). Sur ces paroles, Hanna s’en va ; elle mange et “ son visage ne par[aît] plus soucieux ”. — 1 Samuel 1:18.
      Que nous enseigne tout cela ? Lorsque nous prions Jéhovah à propos de nos inquiétudes, nous pouvons lui exprimer ce que nous ressentons et lui adresser des requêtes sincères. Si nous avons fait tout notre possible pour résoudre le problème, alors nous devrions laisser les choses entre ses mains. C’est ce qu’il y a de mieux à faire. — Proverbes 3:5, 6.
      Après une prière fervente, il est fréquent que des serviteurs de Jéhovah ressentent une sérénité comparable à celle que Hanna a éprouvée. Voici ce qu’a écrit l’apôtre Paul au sujet de la prière : “ Ne vous inquiétez de rien, mais en tout, par la prière et la supplication avec action de grâces, faites connaître vos requêtes à Dieu ; et la paix de Dieu, qui surpasse toute pensée, gardera vos cœurs et vos facultés mentales par le moyen de Christ Jésus. ” (Philippiens 4:6, 7). Après nous être déchargés de notre fardeau sur Jéhovah, nous devons le laisser s’en occuper. Puis, comme dans le cas de Hanna, il n’y a plus lieu de s’inquiéter. — Psaume 55:22.
      Un fils “ prêté ” à Jéhovah
      Dieu se tourne alors vers Hanna. Peu après, elle porte un enfant. Elle met au monde un garçon (1 Samuel 1:19, 20). C’est l’une des rares fois où la Bible fait état de la responsabilité de Dieu dans la naissance de l’un de ses serviteurs. L’enfant d’Elqana et de Hanna, Samuel, deviendra effectivement le prophète de Jéhovah, un prophète qui jouera un rôle important dans la mise en place de la monarchie d’Israël.
      Il est certain que Hanna parle de Jéhovah à Samuel dès sa petite enfance. Mais oublie-t-elle le vœu qu’elle a fait ? Absolument pas ! “ Dès que le garçon sera sevré, je devrai l’amener ; il devra paraître devant Jéhovah et habiter là pour des temps indéfinis ”, déclare-t-elle. Et en effet, une fois l’enfant sevré — peut-être à l’âge de trois ans ou un peu plus —, elle l’amène au sanctuaire, comme elle l’avait promis. — 1 Samuel 1:21-24 ; 2 Chroniques 31:16.
      Après avoir offert un sacrifice à Jéhovah, Hanna et son mari présentent Samuel à Éli. Hanna tient certainement la main de son petit garçon lorsqu’elle dit à Éli : “ Pardon, mon seigneur ! Par la vie de ton âme, mon seigneur, je suis la femme qui se tenait près de toi, en ce lieu, pour prier Jéhovah. C’est à propos de ce garçon que je priais, pour que Jéhovah m’accorde ma requête, ce que je lui demandais. Et moi, à mon tour, je l’ai prêté à Jéhovah. Oui, tous les jours qu’il sera, c’est quelqu’un de demandé pour Jéhovah. ” Ainsi commence, pour Samuel, une vie au service de Dieu. — 1 Samuel 1:25-28 ; 2:11.
      Le temps passe ; bien sûr Hanna n’oublie pas son fils. Les Écritures relatent : “ Sa mère avait coutume de lui faire un petit manteau sans manches, et elle le lui montait, d’année en année, quand elle montait avec son mari pour sacrifier le sacrifice annuel. ” (1 Samuel 2:19). Hanna prie sans aucun doute pour Samuel. Tous les ans, lorsqu’elle lui rend visite, elle l’encourage à coup sûr à demeurer fidèle dans son service pour Dieu.
      Pendant l’une de ces visites, Éli bénit les parents du garçon. Il déclare à Elqana : “ Que Jéhovah t’assigne une descendance de cette femme, à la place du prêt qui a été prêté à Jéhovah. ” C’est ainsi que le couple est récompensé par la naissance de trois autres fils et de deux filles. — 1 Samuel 2:20, 21.
      Quel formidable exemple pour les parents chrétiens ! Beaucoup de mères et de pères se montrent, eux aussi, disposés à prêter, figurément parlant, leurs enfants à Jéhovah ; en effet, ils les encouragent à entreprendre une forme de service à plein temps, même si cela implique que leur fils, ou leur fille, vive loin d’eux. De tels parents aimants méritent des louanges pour les sacrifices qu’ils font. Jéhovah les récompensera.
      Une prière qui déborde de joie
      Comme Hanna est heureuse, elle que la stérilité affectait tant autrefois ! Les Écritures ne contiennent que peu de prières faites par des femmes. Mais, en ce qui concerne Hanna, elles en rapportent deux. La première expose ses sentiments alors qu’elle est humiliée et affligée. La seconde exprime son exultation et son action de grâces ; elle commence par ces mots : “ Oui, mon cœur exulte en Jéhovah. ” Hanna se réjouit ensuite que ‘ même la stérile ait mis au monde ’. Et elle loue Jéhovah, celui “ qui élève [...], qui relève le petit de la poussière ”. Vraiment, il est celui qui “ de la fosse aux cendres [...] fait remonter le pauvre ”. — 1 Samuel 2:1-10.
      Cet épisode de la vie de Hanna, dont le récit a été inspiré par Dieu, montre que les imperfections, voire la malveillance, des autres peuvent nous blesser. Toutefois, nous ne devons pas permettre à ce genre d’épreuves de nous priver de notre joie de servir Dieu. Jéhovah est, par excellence, Celui qui entend la prière, qui répond aux appels à l’aide de ses fidèles et qui les délivre de l’affliction. Il leur accorde une paix profonde et de nombreuses autres bénédictions. — Psaume 22:23-26 ; 34:6-8 ; 65:2.

      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      1 Samuel 2 : 1-10
      Hannah pria Dieu en ces mots:
      Mon cœur se réjouit au sujet de Jéhovah
      ma force grandit grâce à Jéhovah.
      Ma bouche s’ouvre toute grande contre mes ennemis,
      car je me réjouis de tes actes sauveurs.
      Il n’y a personne qui soit saint comme Jéhovah,
      il n’y a personne qui soit comme toi,
      il n’y a pas de rocher comme notre Dieu.
      Arrêtez de parler avec orgueil ;
      que rien d’arrogant ne sorte de votre bouche,
      car Jéhovah est un Dieu qui sait tout
      et il juge les actions avec justice.
      Les arcs des hommes forts sont brisés,
      mais les hommes faibles reçoivent de la force
      Ceux qui mangeaient bien doivent trouver du travail pour avoir du pain,
      mais les affamés ne souffrent plus de la faim.
      La femme stérile a donné naissance à sept fils,
      mais celle qui avait beaucoup de fils est devenue stérile.
      Jéhovah tue et il garde en vie,
      il fait descendre dans la Tombe et il en fait remonter.
      Jéhovah fait devenir pauvre et il fait devenir riche,
      il abaisse et il élève.
      Il relève le petit de la poussière
      et fait remonter le pauvre du tas de cendres
      pour les faire asseoir avec les princes
      et leur offrir une place d’honneur.
      À Jéhovah appartiennent les fondations de la terre ;
      sur elles, il pose le monde
      Il veille sur les pas de ses fidèles,
      mais les méchants seront tués dans l’obscurité,
      car ce n’est pas par la force que l’homme triomphe. 
      Jéhovah anéantira ceux qui combattent contre lui ;
      pour exprimer sa colère, il fera gronder le tonnerre dans le ciel.
      Jéhovah jugera jusqu’aux extrémités de la terre,
      il donnera du pouvoir à son roi et il fera grandir la force de son oint.
       
       
       


      · 1 reply
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