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‘Impure to Islam’: Leaflets handed to Manchester residents call for dog ban

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Dog owners have been given leaflets telling them to keep their pets off the streets for religious reasons. The handouts were published by a movement called ‘for public purity’, it claims the area has a large Muslim population who would be upset with seeing dogs on the streets.
 

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    • By Kurt
      INTRODUCTION: The following was written in response to the accusation that Jehovah's Witnesses only hold their position of non-participation in political wars because they live in free and democratic countries that will respect that choice; the implication being that Jehovah's Witness do not practise their religion nor could they possibly maintain such a position in Islamic countries.
      There are currently just over 8 million Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide and this includes in countries with a predominently (over 50%) Muslim population, for example there are currently 26,741 Jehovah's Witnesses in Indonesia which is 88% Muslim, 2829 in Turkey (99% Muslim), 1,263 Witnesses in Senegal which has a 94% Muslim population.
      Are there any Jehovah's Witnesses in extremist Islamic states?
      There are approximately dozen or so countries that claim the totality or near total of its citizens are Muslim (95-100%). There are for the most part absolute monarchies or totalitarian regimes that do not ascribe to the principal of freedom of worship. Noteworthy however is the fact that nearly all of them (with the possible exception of the Islands of the Maldives) have had a small Witness presence at some time during their modern day history (see fig 1). The 1974 yearbook of Jehovah's Witesses states the following, regarding the Arab-speaking countries "Here we find very small groups of JehovahÂ’s witnesses [...]. These are all preaching the Kingdom good news, but under very severe difficulties. Trying to present the message of GodÂ’s kingdom to Moslems is most difficult. Furthermore, conditions continue to be very tense in the Middle East" - yb74 page 21 para 2. For example the yearbook of 1975 gives the example of the North African country of Morocco with a 99% Muslim population that "the work in Morocco continues in its second year under ban, but the brothers are very strong spiritually. It was necessary for quite a few Europeans to move out, so there was a decrease of about twenty publishers during the year." - yb 1975 p.8 par 5.

      Why are there no current figures for extremist or totalitarian Islamic States? 
      Many of the countries now viewed as estremist Islamic republics were, during some period in their recent history, relatively liberal. The women in Iran for example in the 1970s were free to dress as the liked and the countries accepted Christian missionaries. In such climates the Jehovah's Witnesses religion generally discretely introduced to the areas. With war, politcal upheaval or a change in religious climate in most of the arab world, things changed, missionaries were forced to leave many of the countries and no figures have been published since (for the most part) the early to mid 1970s. This however does NOT mean there are is no longer a Witness presence in the country. 
      Out of sight but still active
      History testifies that even if literature and foreign missionaries are banned interested native residents once contacted (either from letters or calls from overseas relatives or another means) generally continue to make progress and in turn preach to family, friends and discreetly to acqaintences and colleagues. The JWs numbers have historically continued to grow even under total ban or blanket oppression. For example the 1992 yearbook, report of the activity in Yemen: "field service and meeting reports are sketchy, but meetings continue to be held. A sister from another country, though separated from the other publishers, conducts several Bible studies. Thus, in fulfillment of Matthew 24:14, even in this country some witness is being given." of Qatar, the 1971 yearbook (p. 194) explains "The one brother in Qatar has carried on by himself during the year preaching the Kingdom good news to those who will listen. In this Moslem land the preaching of Christianity is not looked upon kindly, and the brother is not able to work openly from house to house. But through personal contacts he is able to spread the truth and place some literature, thus opening the way for further calls." 
      The Jehovah's Witness leadership often continue to receive reports from these regions and support these ones as best they can but the Watchtower Society will not publish specific figures or inform their members of what measures are taken to help their brethren under ban. These figures,if available would come under the heading "other countries" in their public reports. According to the 2017 Report there are 31 Other lands where the witnesses are active but their work is restricted (R) or banned. The number of Witnesses in these lands totals 41,775. (see post above)

      LEGAL BATTLES IN ISLAMIC STATES
      It should be noted that the majority of countries in the above catagory do not guarantee freedom of religion and/or are failed States, in States that are more politically stable or Islamic States that are democratic in nature such as Turkey, Pakistan and Senegal the Witnesses numbers are higher despite the country being almost exclusively Muslim. That said in a number of these countries (such as Egypt, Eritrea, and countries that were formerly part of the Soviet Union such as Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Georgia and most famously Russia) the Witnesses have still faced imprisonment and restrictions and/or are presently engaged in legal battles to protect the rights of their membership (links provided). The relevance of this is that these legal battles themselves constitute proof that the Jehovah's Witnesses continue to practise their faith in these predominently Muslim countries. The 1980 report on Syria well illustrates the situation in all these countries, stating: "What the political and social future of this troubled land will be is uncertain. But it is certain that Jehovah will continue to accomplish the preaching of the good news in Lebanon and Syria until the “great tribulation” ushers in his peaceful new system of things. The brothers in these countries pray that Jehovah will continue to use them in that work until it is finished"
      - yb 1980 p. 209 par 1


      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. When a State completely fails or war threatens the lives of the population the Witnesses like others may have to flee for their lives or go into hiding; they carry their faith with them and will even in those extreme circumstances look for opportunities to share their hope even if physically isolated from their brotherhood. Jehovah's Witnesses remain politically neutral even during ethnic conflicts.
      POLITICAL NEUTRALITY IN ISLAMIC STATES
      Jehovah's Witnesses take a very firm stand against violence and do not engage in military service. This position is not exclusive to democratic countries or countries with a predominently Christian population. For example in the African country of Eritrea (50% Muslim) 55 of it's members are currently in prison (some in perpetuality for 24 years) a number of whom were arrested for their position as consciensous objectors. This is also the case in countries such as Kyrgyzstan (80% Muslim) and Turkmenistan (89% Muslim) all of which have failed to comply with the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The exitence of these prisoners prove that the Jehovah's Witness position is held in Christian and Muslim countries no matter what the personal cost may be.


      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. CONCLUSION: The available data indicates that Jehovah's Witnesses practice their religion in both free and democratic countries as well as in countries which have a predominently Muslim population and which do not respect internationally recognized human rights. The facts testify that their position as regard to the refusal to engage in military service (as well as what they see as the divine instruction to meet together for prayer and fellowship and preach the bible) continues even if their literature is banned and they are driven underground. Their experiences under totalitarian regimes such as under Hilter or in Stalin's Russia, testifies that being cut off from the free world does not mean that, as a people compromise their position. The accusation that Jehovah's Witnesses should "Go to [an] Islam[ic]" country before they have the right to speak about neutrality, as if they are cowardly restrict their activities to where they know their rights will be respect, displays an ignorance of the facts.

       
       
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
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      “What you hear in the media is not always a fair representation or a correct picture,” Gebril explained.
      “What we want to tell people is that we're just like you...we're doctors and engineers and businessmen. We are all about peace.”
      The congregation acquired the building in May after it outgrew its previous home on Stanley Avenue.
      The new location, former home of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, will give members an opportunity to expand its services to include youth sports programs and a tutoring program for high school students.
      The mosque plans to hold a food drive in the near future as well as offer a soup kitchen for those less fortunate.
      “Our beliefs say that we're here to give. We're here to help,” Gebril added. “If we don't do this, then we haven't fulfilled our mission.”

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Jehovah's Witnesses have been severely criticised by the Charity Commission for allowing a convicted sex offender to interrogate his victims.
      The commission's report said the women had endured "inappropriate and demeaning questioning".
      And Jonathan Rose had challenged them during a meeting with Church elders, after he was released from prison.
      A Jehovah's Witness statement said "appropriate restrictions" were imposed on anyone guilty of abuse.
      Rose was convicted in 2013 of the historical sexual abuse of two girls, aged five and 10, and sentenced to nine months in prison.
      Both he and the girls, at the time of the assaults, were members of the New Moston Kingdom Hall, in Manchester.
      At the time of his conviction, Rose was a senior member, or "elder", of the Jehovah's Witnesses.
      He appealed against a move to expel him, a process known as "disfellowshipping".
      In order to decide his fate, a group of elders had called the two women to a meeting at the Kingdom Hall, along with a third woman who had alleged in the 1990s that Rose had assaulted her, the report said.
      'Very intimidating'
      Over three hours in April 2014, the women were individually questioned by Rose and a room full of male elders.
      In an audio recording made by one of the women and passed to the BBC, Rose is heard saying to one woman: "Give me one reason why I would touch you?"
      He is heard challenging the woman, accusing her of making up the allegations and asking her to relive the assault.
      "What I am saying to you is this didn't happen," he says.
      "What was I supposed to have done to you that night?"
      One of the elders asks: "Did you ever egg him on?"
      "It was worse than the court case," another of the women told the BBC.
      "I felt everyone was on his side. I felt I was in the wrong. I felt very intimidated that it was all men, very, very intimidating. I was shocked he was able to talk to me.
      "He kept making out that I was lying. He kept saying why did I make it up, why would I say something like that, and at no point did I feel he was going to admit it.
      "I got to the point where I thought, 'He genuinely believes he's not done anything wrong.'"
      She added that another of the women had burst out of her meeting in tears, claiming Rose had asked if "she'd enjoyed it".
      In 2014, the Charity Commission, which regulates both the New Moston Kingdom Hall and the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Britain - the main UK Jehovah's Witness organisation, opened an investigation into how the trustees of the church had handled the case.
      The movement launched several legal actions to stop the inquiry, claiming the commission was acting beyond its remit.
      Eventually, the challenges were thrown out by the courts, and the report says: "The trustees of the charity... acting on legal advice, declined to engage with the commission following the opening of its inquiry."
      'Mismanagement'
      The report also found the charity's trustees had failed to tell the commission about the allegation against Rose from the 1990s, as they should have done.
      In a subsequent letter to the regulator, the trustees described the incident as merely "a matter between two teenagers", evidence, says the report, that they did not properly take account of the earlier incident when considering the new allegations.
      The report said they also failed to fully enforce the restrictions they had put on Rose's activities, allowing him to continue participating in the Church, and they "did not deal adequately" with the appeal meeting, allowing the questioning to take place, and therefore failing in their duties to protect people from harm.
      Taken together, the failures "constitute misconduct or mismanagement in the administration of the charity" by the trustees, the report said.
      "This has to be dealt with in a way that is sensitive to the victims who have gone through this terrible ordeal," said Michelle Russell, director of investigations at the Charity Commission. "In this case, they let the victims down."
      'No unsupervised contact'
      A statement from Watch Tower said: "Jehovah's Witnesses abhor child abuse in all of its forms and do not shield wrongdoers from the authorities or from the consequences of their actions. All allegations of abuse are thoroughly investigated and appropriate restrictions are imposed on any person who is guilty of child sexual abuse.
      "For years, Jehovah's Witnesses have had a robust child safeguarding policy. The trustees followed the policy by imposing restrictions on the perpetrator and by ensuring that he had no unsupervised contact with children during congregation meetings.
      "The trustees will continue to concentrate on doing all that they can to safeguard children and to care for the spiritual needs of the congregation."
      Jonathan Rose told the BBC he had no comment to make.
      The commission is now undertaking a wider inquiry into how Jehovah's Witnesses across the UK handle allegations of child sexual abuse.
      One particular concern is the Church's policy of dismissing an allegation if it fails its two-witness policy, which states two people need to have seen the abuse for the Church to proceed with a full investigation.
      There are also calls for the independent child abuse inquiry to examine the Church's policy.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      An expected audience of around 3,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses and members of the public are beginning to arrive at the Westpoint Arena for their three day annual Exeter Convention.
      This year’s Convention theme is “Don’t Give Up!”
      “Challenges in life can rob us of peace and even cause some to think about giving up,” states David A. Semonian, spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses at their world headquarters in Warwick, New York. “Our convention this year will benefit both Witnesses and non-Witnesses because it promises to empower individuals not only to keep enduring but also to cope with challenges productively.”
      Last weekend 3,800 Witnesses and others from Cornwall and South Devon attended their Convention at Westpoint, this weekend it is the turn of delegates from across Somerset, North, and Mid Devon to enjoy the same uplifting program. It is one of 21 such Conventions across the UK, in total the program will be presented in 24 different languages. Last year over 13 million persons attended the Witnesses Conventions worldwide, more are expected to attend this year.
      The program is divided into 52 parts and will be presented in a variety of formats, including brief discourses, interviews, and short videos. Additionally, one segment of a three-part feature film designed to help families will be shown each afternoon. Of special interest will be a discourse especially for the public at 11.20 on Sunday morning entitled “Never Give Up Hope!”, as well as the public Baptism of new believers on Saturday at 11,45 a.m. The program lasts from Friday through to Sunday and begins at 9.20 each morning.
      Admission was free and no collections are taken
      Watch a video about our conventions and see a complete program schedule at jw.org

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    • Guest Nicole
    • By The Librarian
      NORTH KENSINGTON, London – Not less than four members of Jehovah’s Witnesses survived the inferno that ravaged the 24 storey Grenfel Tower, London killing at least 79 people.

      None of the witnesses died in the inferno, which has led to revolution and evacuation of about 25 other blocks that have failed fire resistant test in London.
      The 4 witnesses however lost their apartments and properties in the fire. 
      “Witnesses that live near the now fire-gutted apartment building provided food, clothing, and monetary aid to their fellow members and their families that were affected. The Witnesses are also offering spiritual comfort to the grieving members of the North Kensington community”, the JWs said on their website.Jehovah’s Witnesses are known worldwide for their speed in mitigating the affliction of their neighbours worldwide.See full statement below.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses are assisting victims of a catastrophic fire that engulfed the Grenfell Tower, a 24-story apartment building in the North Kensington area of London, in the early morning hours of June 14, 2017. Authorities are reporting that at least 79 people were killed.
      Four Witnesses were evacuated from the apartment building, two of which were residents of Grenfell Tower. Fortunately, none of them were injured, although the Witnesses’ apartments were among those completely destroyed in the blaze.
      Witnesses that live near the now fire-gutted apartment building provided food, clothing, and monetary aid to their fellow members and their families that were affected. The Witnesses are also offering spiritual comfort to the grieving members of the North Kensington community.

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    • By Jack Ryan
      In Newcastle town centre. UK.
      The Chronicle Live. 15 June 2017.
      A council worker will stand trial after he was accused of being drunk at the wheel of his road sweeper in Newcastle city centre.
      John Paul Carruthers, who has since resigned from his post at Newcastle City Council, was allegedly over the legal drink-drive limit when he ploughed into a Jehovah’s Witness stand on Northumberland Street near to Haymarket Metro Station.
      Prosecuting, James Long told Newcastle Magistrates’ Court: “The allegation is that he was driving a Newcastle City Council road sweeper when he collided first with a Jehovah’s Witness stand next to Haymarket Metro Station. He carried on then a short while later was detained on Ridley Place and was said to be aggressive.

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