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    • By Isabella
      Authorities in Russia’s Far East have charged eight Jehovah’s Witnesses with extremism earlier this month, bringing the number of worshippers facing criminal prosecution there to 22, the religious organization said Tuesday.
      Birobidzhan, a city in the Jewish autonomous district, was among a handful of cities to label the Jehovah’s Witnesses as an “extremist” group in 2016. A year later, Russia’s Supreme Court declared the religious group to be “extremist” and banned its estimated 400 branches across the country.
       

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    • By Isabella
      On February 6, 2020, in Orenburg, officers of Penal Colony No. 1 beat believers Budenchuk, German, Gridasov, Makhammadiyev, and Miretskiy with clubs and legs. As a result, one of them, Feliks Makhammadiyev, was hospitalized. The rest were falsely charged and sent to a punishment cell.
      Believers were beaten upon admission to a penal colony located in the Krymsky lane, Orenburg. The next day, the doctors examined them. Only after Feliks Makhammadiyev wrote a document stating that he had “hit himself in the toilet” was an ambulance called in. He was hospitalized, underwent surgery, and a drainage tube was inserted into his lung to drain the fluid. Among other things, the tests showed that Makhammadiyev’s body was starving (he suffers from gluten intolerance, and the colony’s staff members had taken away his prescribed special food). The remaining believers were sent to a punishment cell on false accusations, for example, “for smoking in the wrong place.” (Jehovah's Witnesses do not smoke for religious reasons.)

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    • By Isabella
      Late in the evening of February 10, 2020, Vadim Kutsenko, 31, was tortured in the forest, leaving him in pain and weakness. Law enforcement officers repeatedly beat and choked him and applied electric shocks to his stomach and leg.
      They demanded that he give them information about other Jehovah’s Witnesses. When the officers realized that Vadim Kutsenko would not divulge any information, they took him to the investigator’s office for further interrogation. He remains in custody. On February 15, 2020, the Ingodskiy District Court will determine what, if any, restrictions they will impose on him.
      The condition of other detained Jehovah’s Witnesses, Sergey Kirilyuk, and Pavel Mamalimov, is unknown.
      The Trans-Baikal Territory is the territory where during the Stalinist repressions Jehovah's Witnesses were massively exiled to a special settlement. Believers were later rehabilitated and recognized as victims of political repression.
      A year ago, on February 15, 2019, seven peaceful Jehovah's Witnesses in Surgut were tortured with electric shocks, suffocation, and beatings. Under torture, investigators forced them to answer questions about their religion and fellow believers. According to the messages of believers, an investigation is under way.

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    • By Isabella
      MOSCOW, February 11 (RAPSI) – Investigative authorities of Russia’s Zabaikalsky Krai region in Siberia have initiated a criminal case over activities of a chapter of banned Jehovah’s Witnesses, according to a statement of Russia’s Investigative Committee.
      Investigators believe that a local chapter of Jehovah’s Witnesses has been operating in the town of Chita and several districts of the Zabaikalsky Krai for some years; the case was opened on the grounds that this religious society had been banned by a court decision as an extremist organization.
      In April 2017, the Supreme Court of Russia ordered liquidation of the Jehovah's Witnesses managing organization and all its 395 local branches. In August, the Administrative Centre of Jehovah's Witnesses was added to the list of banned extremist organizations.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses religious organization has had many legal problems in Russia. Since 2009, 95 materials distributed by the organization in the country have been declared extremist and 8 Jehovah's Witnesses’ branches have been liquidated, according to the Justice Ministry.
      Jehovah's Witnesses is an international religious organization based in Brooklyn, New York. Since 2004 several branches and chapters of the organization were banned and shut down in various regions of Russia.

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    • By Isabella
      Federal Financial Monitoring Service of the Russian Federation (Rosfinmonitoring) has included more than 200 innocent believers in the list of individuals involved in extremism and terrorism. They lose their jobs, business, pensions, bank accounts and even the opportunity to buy a SIM card or get insurance.

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    • By MeekSpaceNG
      Materials to help you prepare and participate at our Christian meetings.
    • By Isabella
      Two Jehovah’s Witnesses have been convicted of extremism in Russia’s Far East, the group said Tuesday amid what activists say is an escalating crackdown on the religious group.
      The ruling to hand the two worshippers in the Khabarovsk region a two-year suspended sentence comes after Russia’s Supreme Court declared the Jehovah’s Witnesses an “extremist” organization in 2017.
      A court found Jehovah’s Witnesses Nikolai Polevodov and Stanislav Kim guilty of membership in an extremist organization, the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia group said. 
      Polevodov and Kim are also among six fellow believers currently awaiting a verdict on charges of organizing an extremist organization. They were detained during a raid on what the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia called a non-religious gathering at a cafe in 2018. 

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    • By Isabella
      Fifty Russian citizens have been awarded compensation totaling more than 1 million euros ($1.1 million) for police brutality and illegal searches, according to four European human rights court rulings issued Tuesday.
      Russia paid more than 600 million rubles ($9.5 million) to its citizens in compliance with European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) rulings in 2019, officials said. Russia’s payouts over 20 years, they said, totaled 200 million euros.
       
      Three of the latest ECHR rulings award 29 Russian citizens 835,000 euros on claims of torture through electric shocks, needles in nails and beatings with truncheons, according to a tally by the MBKh News website.
      In its fourth ruling, the ECHR awarded 21 Russian lawyers 180,000 euros on claims of unlawful searches.
      Russian law enforcement has been rocked by several torture scandals in recent years, with reported victims including LGBT people in Chechnya, Jehovah's Witnesses and prisoners. 
      President Vladimir Putin in 2015 allowed the Russian Constitutional Court to overrule decisions issued by the Strasbourg-based judiciary. Putin’s recent constitutional shake-up includes a proposal for Russian law to take precedence over international rulings, a clause that experts viewed as targeting the ECHR.
      The share of Russian cases in Europe’s top human rights court reached a seven-year high in 2019, according to its recently released annual report.
       

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    • By Isabella
      The rebel Luhansk People's Republic – which denies registration to many religious communities including all Protestants – threatens to cut off gas, electricity and water to places of worship belonging to unrecognised communities. The rebel authorities have allowed the only Catholic priest to return to the territory, but have not said if he can remain permanently or only for three months.
      In 2019 the rulers of the unrecognised self-declared Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) in eastern Ukraine cut off or threatened to cut off gas, electricity and water supplies to religious communities which had a recognised place of worship but which failed to gain registration under LPR laws. Gas supplies were cut off in 2019. In late 2019 the LPR authorities also threatened to cut off electricity and water supplies.
      "Officials argue that they cannot supply gas, electricity and water to organisations that don't officially exist, as they can't have contracts with them," Baptist Pastor Serhii Moroz told Forum 18 (see below).

      In December 2019 Culture, Sport and Youth Minister Dmitry Sidorov, revealed that of the 195 registered religious organisations, 188 are from the Russian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate. The others are Muslim, Old Believer, Jewish and Catholic. No Protestant, Jehovah's Witness, Hare Krishna or other communities are allowed to get registration 
      No registration – no gas, electricity, water
      Religious communities which had a recognised place of worship but which failed to gain registration under LPR laws had their gas cut off in 2019, Baptist Pastor Serhii Moroz, who is originally from the region but now lives in the Ukrainian capital Kiev, told Forum 18 on 4 February 2020. In late 2019 came the threat that electricity and water too would be cut off.

      "Officials argue that they cannot supply gas, electricity and water to organisations that don't officially exist, as they can't have contracts with them," Pastor Moroz told Forum 18.

      Communities which met in church members' homes have not had gas, electricity and water supplies cut, Pastor Moroz added.

      Inna Sheryayeva, head of the Religious Organisations and Spirituality Department of the Culture, Sport and Youth Ministry in Luhansk, told Forum 18 she had not heard that gas, electricity and water supplies have been or are threatened with being cut off to places of worship that have not been able to gain registration.
       

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    • By ...
      2006 - AND THE ENFORCEMENT OF U.N. RESOLUTION - A/RES/60/288

       

      In September 2006 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a GLOBAL COUNTER-TERRORISM STRATEGY resolution (A/RES/60/288).  Although not a binding resolution, it was hailed as a landmark U.N. plan of action designed to enhance national, regional and international efforts to counter terrorism. (See page 1, 2 of 60/288)   Please note that this resolution began to link the combating of religious intolerance, discrimination and defamation with counter-terrorist initiatives.  Governments involved would report back to the U.N. on the progress made in regards to its implementation.   In “Pillar 1”, this resolution outlined several “MEASURES TO ADDRESS THE CONDITIONS CONDUCIVE TO THE SPREAD OF TERRORISM”.  Please note some of these measures:

       

      We resolve to undertake the following measures aimed at addressing the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, including  . . . religious discrimination

       

      2. To continue to arrange under the auspices of the United Nations initiatives and programs to promote dialogue, tolerance and understanding among civilizations, cultures, peoples and religions, and to promote mutual respect for and prevent the defamation of religions, religious values, beliefs and cultures.

       

      3. To promote a culture of peace, justice and human development, ethnic, national and religious tolerance and respect for all religions, religious values, beliefs or cultures by establishing and encouraging, as appropriate, education and public awareness programs involving all sectors of society. In this regard, we encourage the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization to play a key role, including through inter-faith and intra-faith dialogue and dialogue among civilizations;

       

      Progress reports of the countries that implemented 60/288 can be found on the UN website.  For example:  There is a 2010 U.N. progress report entitled “With Consensus Resolution, General Assembly Reiterates Unequivocal Condemnation of Terrorism, Reaffirms Support for 2006 UN Global Counterterrorism Strategy” (GA/10977).   Also there is a 2014 report entitled “Activities of the United Nations system in implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy” (A/68/841) that can be found on that website.   As you view these documents notice how the “engagement of civil society” was part of that implementation strategy. (See page 2 of GA/10977)

       

      Democratic Western powers including America implemented the GLOBAL COUNTER-TERRORISM STRATEGY (A/RES/60/288) as can be seen in the documents cites above, but they repeatedly rejected the need to “prevent  defamation of religions, religious values, beliefs and cultures” as a means to combat conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism.  For example in a speech given in September 2012 by America’s National Security Advisor Denis McDonough on “International Religious Freedom” (See page 7, 12-13 “Remarks by Denis McDonough on International Religious Freedom | whitehouse.gov”) he summed up how these types of resolutions “sought to penalize defamation which undermined free speech and expression”.  Also The Mission of the United States Geneva press statement by Hillary Clinton reiterates this point. Despite these kinds of objections by Western democratic governments, the U.N. continued to support counter terrorism measures to prevent religious defamation. 

       

      Consider what the Russian Federation represented by Alexander A. Pankin said at the U.N. in 2010 regarding its support for the U.N. Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.  He stated “since the United Nations Global Strategy had been adopted (in Sept 2006), the President of his country had signed a document that outlined Russia’s approach to the effective implementation of that initiative”. (Page 8)   Approximately three years later around June 2013 the Russian Federation passed laws against religious blasphemy. (See articles on Russia’s legislation of blasphemy laws)  Keep in mind that some countries in Africa, Asia, the Baltics, Europe, the East and many in the Middle East share similar religious defamation or blasphemy legislation, whether they are Christian/ Jewish Orthodox or Islamic nations.  The UN’s consideration for such countries contributed to the development of U.N. resolution 60/288 which urged the combating the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism by preventing blasphemy of religions and religious values.   

       

      2011 - THE IMPLEMENTATION OF U.N. RESOLUTION 16/18

       

      In March 2011, UN Resolution A/HRC/RES/16/18 was born as a result of Western democratic governments including Britain and the US working together with human rights organizations and religious organizations such as the “Organisation of the Islamic Conference” (Also called: Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) and the Vatican.  Although this was not a binding resolution it too was touted as a “landmark” resolution because it dropped or excluded the need to prevent “defamation” as a condition conducive to the spread of terrorism.  (See: Mission of the United States Geneva; “Joint Statement on Combating Intolerance, discrimination and violence”- July 15, 2011)

       

      Resolution A/HRC/RES/16/18 was titled:  “COMBATING INTOLERANCE, NEGATIVE STEREOTYPING AND STIGMATIZATION OF, AND DISCRIMINATION, INCITEMENT TO VIOLENCE AND VIOLENCE AGAINST, PERSONS BASED ON RELIGION OR BELIEF”.  This resolution was designed to “prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion or belief and to implement measures to guarantee the equal and effective protection of the law”. (Page 1)   However, it omitted the phrase “prevent the defamation of religions, religious values, beliefs and cultures” and called on Member States to “Understand the need to combat denigration and negative religious stereotyping of persons, as well as incitement to religious hatred”.  (page 3 [G])  Note the following conditions it addressed:

       

      ·          incidents of intolerance, discrimination and violence against persons based on their religion or belief in all regions of the world

       

      ·         any advocacy of discrimination or violence on the basis of religion or belief

       

      ·         actions that willfully exploit tensions or target individuals on the basis of their religion or belief”

       

      ·         any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, whether it involves the use of print, audio-visual or electronic media or any other means

       

      On page 2 of resolution 16/18 it makes “note” of a speech by the “Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Conference at the fifteenth session of the Human Rights Council” and “draws on his call  for states to take the following actions to foster a domestic environment of religious tolerance, peace and respect, by”:

       

      (b) Creating an appropriate mechanism within Governments to, inter alia, identify and address potential areas of tension between members of different religious communities, and assisting with conflict prevention and mediation;

      (c) Encouraging training of Government officials in effective outreach strategies;

      (d) Encouraging the efforts of leaders to discuss within their communities the causes of discrimination, and evolving strategies to counter these causes

       

      On July 15, 2011, a clarification was requested in a “Statement” by the Secretary General of the “Organization of Islamic Conference”. (Page 1, 2 of the “statement”)   He pointed out the “need to squarely address and develop a common understanding on some of the grey areas. They include the exact nature and scope of the complementarities between the freedom of opinion and expression and the prohibition of incitement to hatred on racial, national and religious grounds as stipulated in articles 19 and 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”. (ICCPR).   The “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” is a treaty of the United Nations General Assembly that commits its signatories to respect the civil and political rights of individuals, including freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.  Likely in response to the request of the OIC, on September 12, 2011, (six months after resolution 16/18 was adopted) the U.N. Human Rights Committee issued “General comment No. 34” in regard to Article 19 of the ICCPR.   Note point 48:

       

      United Nations Human Rights Committee - “General comment No. 34” of the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”

      48. Prohibitions of displays of lack of respect for a religion or other belief system, including blasphemy laws, are incompatible with the Covenant, except in the specific circumstances envisaged in article 20, paragraph 2, of the Covenant. Such prohibitions must also comply with the strict requirements of article 19, paragraph 3, as well as such articles as 2, 5, 17, 18 and 26. Thus, for instance, it would be impermissible for any such laws to discriminate in favour of or against one or certain religions or belief systems, or their adherents over another, or religious believers over non-believers. Nor would it be permissible for such prohibitions to be used to prevent or punish criticism of religious leaders or commentary on religious doctrine and tenets of faith.

       

      Point 48 of “General comment No. 34” indicated that although “prohibitions of displays of lack of respect for a religion or other belief system, including blasphemy laws, are incompatible with the Covenant”, under Article 20 paragraph 2 of the Covenant there are “specific circumstances” that allow an exception that permits prohibitions on the freedom of expression such as “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence”.  Also Article 19 paragraph 3 of the Covenant allows for the freedom of expression or assembly to be “subject to certain restrictions  . . . as provided by law and are necessary” for “the protection of national security or of public order or of public health or morals”.  For your convenience Articles 19 and 20 are provided below:

       

      International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: 

       

      Article 20 

      1.       Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law. 

       

      2. Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law. 

       

      Article 19

      1.       Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.

       

      2.       Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

       

      3.       3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:

       

      (a)   For respect of the rights or reputations of others;

       

      (b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.

       

      Prior to this “The Permanent Mission of the United States of America” sent a letter to the United Nations on November 3, 2010 entitled: “UNITED STATES RESPONSE TO THE UNITED NATION OFFICE OF THE HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS CONCERNING EXPERT WORKSHOPS ON THE INCITEMENT TO NATIONAL, RACIAL OR RELIGIOUS HATRED”.  This was part of the United States contribution toward the development of resolution 16/18.  Please note that in 2010 this letter disclosed that “the United States has entered a reservation to Article 20, according to which the Article does not authorize or require legislation or other action by the United States that would restrict the right of free speech and association protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States”.  The letter pointed out that “the United States does not, therefore implement Article 20 prohibitions, in the spirit of open dialog.”  (See Pages 1-3, of the letter) 

       

      Note that the U.S. “reservation” to Article 20 favored “open dialog” rather than enacting laws that prohibit freedom of expression, however it did not make a reservation to Article 19 which could be enacted to protect national security and public order in the event of war or serious act(s) of terrorism or religious chaos.  This should help us appreciate the United States implementation of resolution 16/18 over minority religions is only a pro-active measure taken to avoid the dire conditions where freedom of expression or assembly would need to be restricted by law. 

       

      Consider this carefully, a worldwide ban of all religion is not prohibited by either Article 19 or 20, provided the reasons for such a ban are sufficient enough to warrant it.  However, in the United States and other democratic countries that reject blasphemy laws, a ban on Jehovah’s Witnesses alone or a ban on all religions except Jehovah’s Witnesses would not be in accord with these articles of the UN covenant, but a ban that restricts religious free speech equally is very possible under the right circumstances. 

       

       

      APPROACHING MINORITY RELIGIONS IN AMERICA TO IMPLEMENT U.N. RESOLUTION 16/18

       

      On December 14, 2011, at a meeting called the “Istanbul Process for Combating Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief,” Hillary Clinton then American Secretary of State revealed that “the United States has made a commitment to support the 1618 implementation efforts” and hoped to “take practical steps to engage with members of religious minority groups” in order to have “anti-discrimination laws” in America “enforced equally”.  (Remarks at the Istanbul Process for Combating Intolerance, Page 1, 3)  

      A very important report of this meeting was published entitled:  “REPORT OF THE UNITED STATES ON THE FIRST MEETING OF EXPERTS TO PROMOTE IMPLEMENTATION OF UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL RESOLUTION 16/18 – DECEMBER 2011”. Notice the opening comments of this report on page 4 which highlighted the meetings objective and its purpose: 

       

       At the invitation of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, representatives of 26 governments and four international organizations met in Washington, D.C. on December 12-14, 2011 to discuss the implementation of United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution (UNHRC) 16/18 on "Combating Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping and Stigmatization of, and Discrimination, Incitement to Violence and Violence Against, Persons Based on Religion or Belief." 

       

      The implementation meeting focused on two elements of the steps set forth in Resolution 16/18: prohibiting discrimination based on religion or belief and 2) training government officials, including on how to implement effective outreach to religious communities 

       

      The Executive Summary of the U.S. report stated: “Presenters and participants in the interactive sessions were law enforcement and anti-discrimination experts. Presenters included experts from invited countries and international organizations, as well as personnel from the United States Departments of Homeland Security and Justice”.  Please note how outreach to religious minorities was being actively demonstrated at this meeting, as reported under the subheading “PLENARY SESSION II: Roundtable Demonstration: Engagement with Religious Minority Communities in the United States”:  Pertinent excerpts are provided below:  (See page 7, 8 of the report)

       

      Description: A participant from the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) at the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) described his office’s responsibility to protect the United States from foreign and domestic threats while guaranteeing that the protection of national security is carried out without infringing upon constitutional freedoms. DHS/CRCL relies on a number of tools to accomplish this mission, including regular engagement with diverse ethnic and religious communities in cities across the United States. This session familiarized participants with DHS/CRCL’s engagement process and set the stage for subsequent discussions of engagement strategies. Participants had the opportunity to witness a re-creation of a community engagement roundtable where community stakeholders raised civil rights concerns with DHS personnel. Meeting participants were also able to ask questions of the community stakeholders and DHS personnel to propose suggestions and best practices of their own.

       

      The DHS participant continued by elaborating on the goals of the roundtable process. These include: reaching broader audiences, providing access to community events, and obtaining information about community interests and concerns. DHS/CRCL roundtables have helped assure that communities have accurate information about government policies and practices, both by conveying information to the representatives and by identifying gaps in public information.

       

      Participants from a diverse set of religious communities, civil rights advocates, and participants from the United States Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice, engaged in a roundtable discussion with representatives of various religious and faith-based communities as well as civil rights and civil liberties groups.

       

      The above clearly demonstrates how DOJ or affiliated agencies would use “roundtable discussion” with religious communities to “assure that communities have accurate information about government policies and practices, both by conveying information to the representatives and by identifying gaps in public information”.  (See also U.S. Report -Page 5, 19)  Note the motive for engagement with religious minorities and these roundtable discussions and is not just to protect constitutional freedoms but to protect the national security of the United States. (See U.S. Report page 7, 9, 25)  The following excerpts are found under the subheading “GOVERNMENT OUTREACH AND TRAINING INTERACTIVE SESSION II: Government engagement with communities in conflict. (U.S. Report -pages 21-22)

       

      The DHS participant noted that the United States endeavors to engage with faith communities and minority communities, especially those in which members feel alienated.  A participant from the United States Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Community Relations Service (CRS) talked about other resources that the government can offer to help communities address conflict peacefully. “While other parts of the DOJ enforce civil rights laws in the United States, DOJ/CRS works with communities in conflict to address tension associated with allegations of discrimination by facilitating dialogue, providing training, and conducting mediation.

       

      The DOJ/CRS participant stressed that his office intervenes when its services are requested, and sometimes on its own initiative if need be. The mediation agreements produced during this process are not legally enforceable, but parties may choose to issue a public statement outlining their shared commitment to take certain remedial action. DOJ/CRS conciliators are required under United States law to conduct their activities in confidence, without publicity, and are prohibited from disclosing confidential information. The participant from DOJ/CRS explained that in his experience, if an event occurs in the United States or overseas that may lead to tension in the United States, engaging early and discussing the issue with the relevant community or communities is important.

       

      As indicated in the U.S. report, in the event of a religiously motivated terrorist attack that threatens U.S. national security, the DOJ/DHS or affiliated agencies can “intervene” with relevant religious communities without being requested.  According to the report, national security concerns require the DOJ/DHS to carry out these kinds of roundtable discussions with religious minorities to provide them with pertinent information, communicate changes in policy or mediate “conflict prevention”.  In practical terms it means that after a serious terrorist event these US agencies may want the leaders of minority religions to appreciate the need to refrain from publishing something that might heighten or incite tensions, hatred or violence between faiths or religions.

       

      At this point in the research, it is important to keep in mind how the January 15, 2001 Watchtower referenced below portrayed the governing body as a representative of the faithful slave and that the resolutions being discussed in this research began to be implemented in America at a time when we still identified the faithful slave as follows:

       

      *** w01 1/15 pp. 30-31 How the Governing Body Differs From a Legal Corporation ***

       ‘The faithful slave’ has been ‘appointed over all his master’s belongings.’ These include facilities at headquarters in New York State, U.S.A., and the 110 branches now operating worldwide. The members of the slave class know that they will be called upon to render an account for the way in which they have used what has been entrusted to them. (Matthew 25:14-30) Yet, this does not prevent the ‘slave’ from allowing qualified overseers from among the “other sheep” to care for legal and administrative responsibilities. In fact, this allows members of the Governing Body to devote more time “to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”—Acts 6:4.

      As long as conditions in this world permit, the Governing Body, representing “the faithful and discreet slave,” will make use of legal entities. These are convenient, but they are not indispensable. If a legal entity is dissolved by government decree, the preaching work will still go on. Even now, in lands where restrictions are in effect and no legal entities are used, the Kingdom message is being proclaimed, disciples are being made, and theocracy’s increase continues. That is happening because Jehovah’s Witnesses plant and water, and ‘God keeps making it grow.’—1 Corinthians 3:6, 7.

      *** w01 1/15 p. 31 A Special Announcement ***

      “The faithful and discreet slave’ and its Governing Body have had entrusted to them interests that are higher and far more encompassing than those granted to legal corporations. Making a very significant point, Brother Barr stated: “Set out in the chartered purposes of each of such entities are matters that are limited in their scope. Our Master, Jesus Christ, however, has appointed the faithful slave class over all his ‘belongings, or Kingdom interests here on earth.”

       

       

      IMPOSSIBLE TO MEDIATE CONFLICT PREVENTION WITH ALL MEMBERS OF THE SLAVE CLASS 

       

       In the DHS’s resolve to protect national security, we as Jehovah’s Witnesses would not be viewed as exempt from the implementation of Resolution 16/18 or other related resolutions.  We were likely viewed as a “community in conflict” because of our position toward false religion as demonstrated by the tract “The End of False Religion is Near” proclaimed throughout the world in 2006 (Kingdom news NO. 37).  Keep in mind this tract was circulated at the time when the UN GLOBAL COUNTER-TERRORISM STRATEGY (resolution 60/288) was adopted by the UN and was beginning to be implemented by governments around the world including Britain, the EU, Russia, the United States and eastern Islamic countries.  Remember too, this UN global counter-terrorism strategy endorsed the need “to promote mutual respect for and prevent the defamation of religions, religious values, beliefs and cultures” as “measures to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism”.   On the other hand, UN resolution 16/18 was implemented in 2011 by the United States out of regard for its constitutional guarantees.  To ‘prevent conflict’ the US preferred dialog and discussion with any offending minority religions rather than enacting laws that prohibit freedom of expression.   

       

      At the time of the implementation of UN resolution 16/18  in 2011-2012, our publications still portrayed the anointed remnant as the faithful slave who was “appointed over” the preaching work and all legal entities and the branches including those in the U.S.   During a time of heightened national security would the DOJ/ DHS be frustrated trying to mediate “conflict prevention” with a faithful slave class made up of thousands of members with most living in other countries? 

       

      It’s only reasonable to think that in order to mediate “conflict prevention” with the faithful slave the DOJ/ DHS would have to inform the anointed remnant of such through the legal entities that were said to represent their kingdom interests.  Why hadn’t the anointed remnant heard anything about the implementation of resolution 16/18?   The w11 8/15 p. 22 Questions From Readers  briefly stated regarding the number of memorial partakers:  “We thus have no way of knowing the exact number of anointed ones on earth; nor do we need to know. The Governing Body does not keep a list of all partakers, for it does not maintain a global network of anointed ones.”  This statement indicates the United States DHS/DOJ would not be able to convey important policy information or mediate “conflict prevention” with all the individuals making up the faithful slave through the governing body.  Also American policies would have no jurisdiction over anointed ones living abroad.  

       

       

      OCTOBER 2012 - A CHANGE THAT COINCIDES WITH THE IMPLEMENTATION OF 16/18

       

      Just 10 months after “the United States had made a commitment to support  the implementation of 16/18” and demonstrated in a report how agencies of the DOJ would help in its implementation, the governing body announced the new identity of the faithful slave at the October 2012 Annual Corporate Meeting.  Ironically at the time of this announcement, the study article “Are You a Trusted Steward!” (w12/12/15 p. 9, pars 2, 3) which spoke of the “faithful steward class” in the old sense was available to read online at jw.org.  The fact that this Watchtower was posted on our website during the October 2012 Annual Corporate Meeting, helps us identify the approximate time period when the governing body decided conclusively to identify itself as the faithful slave.  It appears, this decision to change the identity of the slave occurred shortly before the w12/12/15 was finally edited, possibly around August/ September 2012.  This was likely the reason why it wasn’t until approximately six months after the 2012 Annual Corporate Meeting (around April 2013) that the July 15, 2013 Watchtower study article which detailed the change was available on our website.

       

      The July 15, 2013 Watchtower on page 23 paragraph 14 stated:  “The faithful and discreet slave is thus charged with the responsibility to manage the household of faith. That responsibility includes overseeing material assets, the preaching activity, assembly and convention programs, and the production of Bible literature for use in the field ministry and in personal and congregation study. The domestics depend on all the spiritual provisions dispensed by the composite slave.”   In Paragraphs 11-13, this Watchtower described the faithful slave as being appointed over “the domestics” since early 1919 and those domestics were identified as “all anointed ones” as well as “the other sheep.  Accordingly from early 1919 all members of the congregation were identified as part of the “belongings” the governing body was ‘appointed over’.  Reliance on this arrangement was summed up in a paragraph 2 which stated:  “It is vital that we recognize the faithful slave.  Our spiritual health and our relationship with God depend on this channel”.  

       

      In summary,  the governing body members working together as the faithful slave were identified as the ones responsible for all means of public dissemination in America and abroad; whether by print, public assembly, website or door to door.   Coincidentally, defining the faithful slave in this manner allowed for direct communication between the governing body acting as the faithful slave and federal agents of the DOJ/DHS intent on implementing UN resolution 16/18.   Through roundtable discussions with DOJ/DHS personnel, any mediation agreements reached in regard to “conflict prevention” related to U.N. resolution 16/18 could be voluntarily applied by the governing body to all methods of publicizing the good news of the kingdom, including all our literature.   Today if a major religiously motivated terrorist event occurs the DHS/DOJ can easily intervene as necessary with the new faithful slave for further “conflict prevention” with the goal of having the faithful slave volunteer to moderate public expressions even further to protect its national security and keep public order.  

       

       

      “CONFLICT PREVENTION” CREATES A CONFLICT OF INTEREST

       

      It is important to note when agencies of the DHS are involved in these roundtable discussions with representatives of minority religions “conciliators are required under United States law to conduct their activities in confidence, without publicity, and are prohibited from disclosing confidential information”.  There is strong circumstantial evidence that representatives of US federal agencies had nation security concerns in regard to their ability to communicate with an anointed remnant acting as the faithful slave.  The probability of their communicating this frustration to the governing body is very high.    

       

      For example:  Did DOJ/ DHS personnel inquire as to the identity of the faithful slave?  Were they concerned about the inability of the governing body to identify or communicate with all members of the faithful slave/remnant?  Were DOJ/ DHS personnel made aware in confidence by a few brothers that the governing body was in the process of discussing a change in the identified of the faithful slave?   Answering yes to any of these questions could indicate confidential discussions with the DHS surrounding the faithful slave may have tilted the decision in favor of the governing body identifying itself as the faithful slave. 

       

      The U.S. report states:  “The mediation agreements produced during this process are not legally enforceable, but parties may choose to issue a public statement outlining their shared commitment to take certain remedial action.”  (See page 22 of the U.S. report)  When it comes to who is responsible for what is preached, was identifying the governing body as the faithful slave part of the “remedial action” needed for “conflict prevention”?  This is very possible.  The brothers involved in these mediation agreements may not have been aware that these roundtable discussions with federal agencies involved the implementation of a UN resolution.  Still regardless of whether they were informed of this or not, the DOJ/DHS was tasked with implementing principles of resolution 16/18 over minority religion in America, including ours.  The brothers have been affected by the implementation of resolution 16/18 and its successor resolution A/RES/67/178 adopted by the UN in March 2013 in two specific ways:    

       

      #1 -A conflict of interest exists whereby the new doctrine of the faithful slave can be used to shelter governing body members from serious questions related to that doctrine.  For example: Regardless of legitimate and serious concerns or questions about the doctrinal change, elders would feel obligated to support the governing body in their decision and remove any elders who refused to teach the new doctrine.  Escalating further, anointed brothers and sisters who continue to question the change in their heart might feel forced to remain silent, otherwise if they persist in pursuing clarification before they accept the change they could be disfellowshiped as apostates.

       

      #2 - Another conflict of interest exists whereby the governing body is voluntarily involved in the implementation process of UN resolutions with US federal authorities, which restrains the governing body’s freedom of speech to inform the brothers of a connection between UN resolutions and the persecution taking place in Russia.  It also retrains their freedom of speech in helping the brothers make a possible connection between “the disgusting thing . . . standing in the holy place” and the implementation of U.N. resolutions over Jehovah’s Witnesses.  (Mt 24:15)   

       

      These two conflicts of interest are related, especially if the governing body’s decision to identify itself as the faithful slave was tilted in that direction because of confidential roundtable discussions with US federal authorities concerned about the logistics of mediating “conflict prevention” with the anointed remnant.  If anointed brothers and sisters are allowed to be disfellowshiped from the congregation for pursuing answers to serious scriptural flaws and doctrinal conflicts found in connection with this new teaching of the faithful slave, without any further clarification forthcoming, this is a telling sign of a secular influence on the decision to identify the governing body as the slave.

       

       

      SEPTEMBER 2014-  U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 2178 ACCELERATES THE PERSECUTION OF OUR BROTHERS IN RUSSIAN

       

      In September 2014 a very serious mandatory or binding U.N. Security Council Resolution 2178 was adopted by the UN in response to ISIS or the “Islamic State”.  It recognized “the threat posed by foreign terrorist fighters requires comprehensively addressing underlying factors”, including “countering incitement to terrorist acts motivated by extremism or intolerance”. (Page 2 of 2178)  It’s important to note that this resolution referred back too and underlined “the need to address the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, as outlined in “Pillar 1” of the United Nations “Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy”. (Page 2 of resolution 2178)   By way of this reference the “defamation of religions, religious values, and beliefs” could be associated with “extremism” and should be prevented.  This development is at the heart of our problems in Russia from 2014 onward.  The July 2011 clarification made by the U.N. Human Rights Committee in paragraph 48 of “General Comment No. 34” did nothing to change this but seemed to justify use of national blasphemy laws to restrict all expressions critical of other religions.      

       

      Please closely consider the Russian Federation’s own description of its implementation of the U.N.  Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy (60/288) in the 2014 U.N. report entitled “Activities of the United Nations system in implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy”. (A/68/841 page 92, 93)  Russia reports on their ongoing efforts to “eliminate conditions fostering the spread of terrorism” and they outlined how “measures are being taken to prevent the spread of religious and political extremism as a factor contributing to the terrorist threat”.   They report that “work is under way to counter the propaganda of terrorist and extremist ideas, including the internet, as well as the dissemination of material advocating terrorist activity or defending or justifying such activity”. Clearly this effort involves the blasphemy and counter-extremism legislation which supports Russia‘s cultural policy.   These actions by Russia were surreptitiously supported by UN resolutions; particularly resolutions 60/288, 2178 and perhaps even the clarification made regarding the ICCPR on paragraph 48 of “General comment No. 34”.

       

      To speak or publish anything about the elimination of false religion including the culturally supported Russian Orthodox Church is viewed as blasphemous and “extremist” and this relates to identifying ourselves as the true religion.  Likewise to speak or publish anything that points to the elimination of human government by God’s kingdom is also considered “extremist”.    Brothers deserve to understand how U.N. resolutions along with Russian blasphemy laws are involved in this assault upon our faith in Russia.  Even though the United Nations “Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy” declares “effective counter-terrorism measures and the protection of human rights are not conflicting goals”, this research proves such a statement is confusing if not hypocritical, because non-binding U.N. resolutions have encouraged both defamation laws and dialog as ways of combating the conditions that lead to spread of terrorism . 

       

      Something else to seriously consider is how the Russian authorities were affected when they discovered that the faithful slave was now essentially a religious body subject to American policy which is divergent from Russia’s cultural policy.  This faithful slave was said to be a manager appointed over all our legal entities, the preaching activity and all the brothers as domestics, which would obviously include Russia.  As a result of this change in doctrine, they might have viewed our activities in Russia as an American influence more so than ever before.  Did identifying the governing body as the faithful slave factor into the Russia’s Supreme Court decision on April 20, 2017 to criminalize our faith as extreme?  This decision completely removed what the Russians perceived as an American influence in Russia while justifying their actions by the supposed implementation of U.N. resolutions that justify blasphemy laws under certain circumstances.  

       

       

      (LET THE READER USE DISCERNMENT)  - Mt 24:15

       

      There is a difference between Russia’s approach to extremist ideology and the Anglo Americas approach to extremist ideology, but both reach the same eventuality.  Russia’s approach is solidly built on anti-defamation legislation that supports its cultural policy and the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC).  It is backed by laws designed to fight terrorism and prevent the spread of extremist ideas. (This would apply to Islamic nations as well).  Anglo America’s approach to the spread of terrorism and extremist ideology is more fluid; it reacts to terrorist events in a measured way.  In other words, the bigger the threat to their nation security the more restrictions they can apply.  Opposition toward the preaching work will escalate if war or religious chaos mounts.  In America laws to restrict freedom of speech and assembly can be enforced if they are deemed “necessary” and in accordance with “Article 19” of the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”, but it would be hard to justify banning the speech of Jehovah’s Witnesses alone.   It is likely the UN would only support countries, regional and state laws with its own resolutions if religious free speech was restrict across all religions.  A ban on their freedom of assembly would likely follow if religions were to cause an uprising in response to restriction of their speech.   

       

      Please examine the following points made in the references provided below:

       

      *** w87 9/1 p. 20 par. 13 On Guard Against “Peace and Security” as Devised by Nations ***

      13 The United Nations is actually a worldly confederacy against Jehovah God and his dedicated Witnesses on earth. It is really a conspiracy, with the worldly nations getting their heads together and scheming up what they may do against the visible organization of Jehovah God on earth. During this “conclusion of the system of things,” it was foreshadowed by the conspiracy referred to at Isaiah 8:12.—Matthew 24:3.

       

      *** w53 9/15 p. 561 par. 17 Flight to Safety with the New World Society ***

      The world alliance known as the United Nations is the chief and most powerful expression of this religio-political conspiracy against the Messianic kingdom of God. We say “religio-political,” because the religions of this world are in on this world conspiracy against the Kingdom, especially the religions of Christendom.

      Recall that it is religious organizations such as the Vatican, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation among others that are helping or helped to implement these U.N. resolutions over minority religions today.  This is a reality.  Evidently mainstream segments of false religion have been a part of this U.N. conspiracy steering this wild beast and the world rulers against Jehovah’s Witnesses.   We can easily observe how the UN has been used to targeted true worship in Russia and the idea of one true religion.  But understanding how US federal authorities have implemented UN resolutions 16/18 and 67/178 over minority religions in America and its affects upon God’s people takes more discernment.  Has this UN conspiracy targeted Jehovah’s Witnesses by helping foment dissension over the question of “Who really is the faithful and discreet slave faithful slave?” (Mt 24:45)  Has the public preaching been voluntarily moderated to ‘prevent conflict’ with other religions, cultures and people of differing backgrounds in accordance with these resolutions?   Do these developments fit with Jesus warning about “the disgusting thing that causes desolation, as spoken about by Daniel the prophet, standing in a holy place? (Mt 24:15  What more is to come? 

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    • By MeekSpaceNG
      Jesus recognized the value of preaching with a companion. So when he dispatched 70 of his disciples to go ahead of him and preach, he sent them out in pairs. (Luke 10:1) A companion can provide needed support if his fellow publisher encounters a difficult situation or is unsure of how to answer a householder. (Eccl. 4:9, 10) 
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      In November, Russia angered the West with by announcing a law that allows the Kremlin to label journalists and ordinary people as foreign agents if they collaborate with foreign media organisations and receive financial or other material support from them.
      Last week, one of Russia’s elite universities, announced it is considering banning its students and staff from performing political speech.

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    • By MeekSpaceNG
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    • By Isabella
      An 89-year-old former maths teacher faces up to ten years in a Russian prison on charges of religious extremism in a crackdown on Jehovah’s Witnesses.
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    • By Isabella
      MOSCOW (Reuters) - A court in the Russian Far East on Tuesday handed a six-year suspended jail sentence to a Jehovah’s Witness, Grigoriy Bubnov, after finding him guilty of extremist activity, a spokesman for the religious group said.
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      Read more: 
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    • By Isabella
      On the morning of January 19, 2020, in Kazan, law enforcement officers detained about 15 believers, including two children and two women over the age of 80. All of them were interrogated using psychological pressure about who forces them to read the Bible. Some believers have been searched and detained.

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    • By The Librarian
      The Coming of the Name Jehovah's Witnesses - Talk by A.H. MacMillan (Editor of the Watchtower with C.T. Russell) 
      Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity.[3]

      Jehovah's Witnesses are directed by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses, a group of elders in Brooklyn, New York, which establishes all doctrines[7][8][9] based on its interpretations of the Bible;[10][11] They prefer to use their own translation, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures.[12][13][14][15] They believe that the destruction of the present world system at Armageddon is imminent, and that the establishment of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  on earth is the only solution for all problems faced by humanity.[16]
      See also: Jehovah's Witnesses vs. Jehovah's witnesses
      The group emerged from the Bible Student movement—founded in the late 1870s by Charles Taze Russell with the formation of Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society—with significant organizational and doctrinal changes under the leadership of Joseph Franklin Rutherford.[17][18] The name Jehovah's witnesses, based on Isaiah 43:10–12,[19] was adopted in 1931 to distinguish ourselves from other Bible Student groups and symbolize a break with the legacy of Russell's traditions. The name appears to be first coined by H.A. Ironside in 1911 in "Lectures on Daniel the Prophet" when referring to the Jews whom the promises of Isa.43 would be fulfilled, noted on page 152:
       
      "These shall be Jehovah's witnesses, testifying to the power and glory of the one true God, when brother Christendom shall have been given up to the strong delusion to believe the lie of the Antichrist."
      Jehovah's Witnesses are best known for their door-to-door preaching, distributing literature such as  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  and Awake!, and refusing military service and blood transfusions. They consider use of the name Jehovah vital for proper worship. They reject Trinitarianism, inherent  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , which they consider to be unscriptural doctrines. They do not observe Christmas, Easter, birthdays, or other holidays and customs they consider to have pagan origins incompatible with Christianity.[20] They commonly refer to our body of beliefs as "the truth" and consider ourselves to be "in the truth".[21][22] They consider secular society to be morally corrupt and under the influence of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and most limit thier social interaction with non-Witnesses.[23] Congregational disciplinary actions include  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , their term for formal expulsion and  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .[24] Baptized individuals who formally leave are considered disassociated and are also shunned. Disfellowshipped and disassociated individuals may eventually be  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  if deemed repentant.

      The religion's position regarding conscientious objection to military service and refusal to salute national flags has brought it into conflict with some governments. Consequently, some Jehovah's Witnesses have been persecuted and it's activities are  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Persistent legal challenges by Jehovah's Witnesses have influenced legislation related to civil rights in several countries.[25]
      History
      Background (1870–1916)
      In 1870, Charles Taze Russell and others formed an independent group in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to study the Bible.[26] During the course of his ministry, Russell disputed many beliefs of mainstream Christianity including  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ,  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , predestination, the fleshly return of Jesus Christ, the Trinity, and the burning up of the world.[27] In 1876, Russell met Nelson H. Barbour; later that year they jointly produced the book Three Worlds, which combined restitutionist views with end time prophecy. The book taught that God's dealings with humanity were divided dispensationally, each ending with a "harvest," that Christ had returned as an invisible spirit being in 1874[27] inaugurating the "harvest of the Gospel age," and that  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  would mark the end of a 2520-year period called "the Gentile Times,"[28] at which time world society would be replaced by the full establishment of God's kingdom on earth.[29][30][31] Beginning in 1878 they jointly edited a religious journal, Herald of the Morning.[32] In June 1879 the two split over doctrinal differences, and in July, Russell began publishing the magazine  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ,[33] stating that its purpose was to demonstrate the world was in "the last days," and that a new age of earthly and human restitution under the reign of Christ was imminent.[34]

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

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

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

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

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

      As their interpretations of scripture developed, Witness publications decreed that saluting national flags is a form of idolatry, which led to a new outbreak of mob violence and government opposition in the United States, Canada, Germany, and other countries.[79][80]
      Worldwide membership of Jehovah's Witnesses reached 113,624 in 5,323 congregations by the time of Rutherford's death in January 1942.[81][82] 
       
      Continued development (1942–present)
      Nathan Knorr was appointed as third president of the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  in 1942. Knorr commissioned a new translation of the Bible, the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, the full version of which was released in 1961. He organized large international assemblies, instituted new training programs for members, and expanded missionary activity and branch offices throughout the world.[83] Knorr's presidency was also marked by an increasing use of explicit instructions guiding Witnesses in their lifestyle and conduct, and a greater use of congregational judicial procedures to enforce a strict moral code.[84][85]

      From 1966, Witness publications and convention talks built anticipation of the possibility that Christ's thousand-year reign might begin in late 1975[86][87] or shortly thereafter.[88][89][90][91] The number of baptisms increased significantly, from about 59,000 in 1966 to more than 297,000 in 1974. By 1975, the number of active members exceeded two million. Membership declined during the late 1970s after expectations for 1975 were proved wrong.[92][93][94][95] Watch Tower Society literature did not state dogmatically that 1975 would definitely mark the end,[88] but in 1980 the Watch Tower Society admitted its responsibility in building up hope regarding that year.[96][97]

      The offices of elder and ministerial servant were restored to Witness congregations in 1972, with appointments made from headquarters[98] (and later, also by branch committees). In a major organizational overhaul in 1976, the power of the Watch Tower Society president was diminished, with authority for doctrinal and organizational decisions passed to the Governing Body.[99] Reflecting these organizational changes, publications of Jehovah's Witnesses began using the capitalized name, Jehovah's Witnesses. Prior to this, witnesses was consistently uncapitalized, except in headings and when quoting external sources.
      Since Knorr's death in 1977, the position of president has been occupied by Frederick Franz (1977–1992) and Milton Henschel (1992–2000), both members of the Governing Body, and since 2000 by Don A. Adams, not a member of the Governing Body. In 1995, Jehovah's Witnesses abandoned the idea that Armageddon must occur during the lives of the generation that was alive in 1914.[100][101][102]

      After the death of Governing Body member Jack Barr in 2009 the organization relaxed many of the previous taboos such as dancing in Kingdom halls and Assembly Halls as well as a more "fun" party like atmosphere at official meetings. Previously avoided evangelistic style choirs were embraced for the first time to entertain the delegates and even used at the Annual meeting. Children's choirs began to appear at the Annual meeting and other events. Formerly corporate and somewhat secretive Annual meetings changed. Starting in 2013 they began to be events where releases were made of publications and other media. In October 2014 televangelism, which was previously avoided and even scorned by the witnesses for decades, was embraced with the new tv.jw.org known as JW Broadcasting. Most witnesses embraced the sudden change pointing out the difference that JW TV does not ask for donations to be sent in such as other TV evangelists have traditionally done to enrich themselves.
       
       
      Rejection of blood transfusions
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      Jehovah's Witnesses refuse blood transfusions, which they consider a violation of God's law based on their interpretation of Acts 15:28, 29 and other scriptures.[268][269][270] Since 1961 the willing acceptance of a blood transfusion by an unrepentant member has been grounds for expulsion from the religion.[271][272] Watch Tower Society literature directs Witnesses to refuse blood transfusions, even in "a life-or-death situation".[273][274][275] Jehovah's Witnesses accept non-blood alternatives and other medical procedures in lieu of blood transfusions, and the  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  provides information about current non-blood medical procedures.[276]

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

      In the United States, their persistent legal challenges prompted a series of state and federal court rulings that reinforced judicial protections for civil liberties.[310] Among the rights strengthened by Witness court victories in the United States are the protection of religious conduct from federal and state interference, the right to abstain from patriotic rituals and military service, the right of patients to refuse medical treatment, and the right to engage in public discourse.[311] 
      See also:
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      Similar cases in their favor have been heard in Canada.[312]

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


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

      Watchtower Real Estate News and an example of it's  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
      Explanatory notes
      Twelve members as of September 2005 (See The Watchtower, March 15, 2006, page 26) Schroeder died March 8, 2006. (See The Watchtower, September 15, 2006, page 31) Sydlik died April 18, 2006. (See The Watchtower, January 1, 2007, page 😎 Barber died April 8, 2007. (See The Watchtower, October 15, 2007, page 31) Jaracz died June 9, 2010. (See The Watchtower, November 15, 2010, page 23) Barr died December 4, 2010. (See The Watchtower, May 15, 2011, page 6) Sanderson appointed September 1, 2012. (See The Watchtower, July 15, 2013, page 26) Raymond Franz (In Search of Christian Freedom, 2007, p.449) cites various  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  that stress loyalty and obedience to the organization, including: "Following Faithful Shepherds with Life in View", The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, page 591, "Make haste to identify the visible theocratic organization of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ. It is essential for life. Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect."; The Watchtower, September 1, 2006, pg 15, "Have we formed a loyal attachment to the organization that Jehovah is using today?"; "Your Reminders Are What I Am Fond Of", The Watchtower, June 15, 2006, pg 26, "We too should remain faithful to Jehovah and to his organization regardless of injustices we suffer and regardless of what others do."; "Are You Prepared for Survival?", The Watchtower, May 15, 2006, pg 22, "Just as Noah and his God-fearing family were preserved in the ark, survival of individuals today depends on their faith and their loyal association with the earthly part of Jehovah’s universal organization."; Worship The Only True God (Watch Tower Society, 2002), pg 134, "Jehovah is guiding us today by means of his visible organization under Christ. Our attitude toward this arrangement demonstrates how we feel about the issue of sovereignty ... By being loyal to Jehovah’s organization, we show that Jehovah is our God and that we are united in worship of him." 2013 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. p. 178. "During the 2012 service year, Jehovah’s Witnesses spent over $184 million in caring for special pioneers, missionaries, and traveling overseers in their field service assignments." A common example given is a baptized Witness who dates a non-Witness; see The Watchtower, July 15, 1999, p. 30. Raymond Franz cites numerous examples. In Crisis of Conscience, 2002, pg. 173, he quotes from "They Shall Know That a Prophet Was Among Them", (The Watchtower, April 1, 1972,) which states that God had raised Jehovah's Witnesses as a prophet "to warn (people) of dangers and declare things to come" He also cites "Identifying the Right Kind of Messenger" (The Watchtower, May 1, 1997, page 😎 which identifies the Witnesses as his "true messengers ... by making the messages he delivers through them come true", in contrast to "false messengers", whose predictions fail. In In Search of Christian Freedom, 2007, he quotes The Nations Shall Know That I Am Jehovah—How? (1971, pg 70, 292) which describes Witnesses as the modern Ezekiel class, "a genuine prophet within our generation". The Watch Tower book noted: "Concerning the message faithfully delivered by the Ezekiel class, Jehovah positively states that it 'must come true' ... those who wait undecided until it does 'come true' will also have to know that a prophet himself had proved to be in the midst of them." He also cites "Execution of the Great Harlot Nears", (The Watchtower, October 15, 1980, pg 17) which claims God gives the Witnesses "special knowledge that others do not have ... advance knowledge about this system's end".
       
      Citations
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Superior Court of the State of California. February 22, 2012. "I am general counsel for the National Organization of Jehovah's Witnesses out of  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . ... We are a hierarchical religion structured just like the Catholic Church." 2014 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. 2013. pp. 185–186. Sources for descriptors:
      • Millenarian: Beckford, James A. (1975). The Trumpet of Prophecy: A Sociological Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. pp. 118–119, 151, 200–201. ISBN 0-631-16310-7.
      • Restorationist: Stark et al.; Iannaccone, Laurence (1997). "Why Jehovah's Witnesses Grow So Rapidly: A Theoretical Application". Journal of Contemporary Religion 12 (2): 133–157. doi: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .
      • Christian:  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .
      • Denomination:  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . . . . Holden, Andrew (2002). Jehovah's Witnesses: Portrait of a Contemporary Religious Movement. Routledge. p. 22. ISBN 0-415-26609-2. Beckford, James A. (1975). The Trumpet of Prophecy: A Sociological Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. p. 221. ISBN 0-631-16310-7. "Doctrine has always emanated from the Society's elite in Brooklyn and has never emerged from discussion among, or suggestion from, rank-and-file Witnesses." Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . The Watchtower: 20. July 15, 2006. Retrieved 2012-06-16. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . The Columbia Encyclopedia. Columbia University Press. 2011. ISBN 978-0-7876-5015-5. "The Witnesses base their teaching on the Bible." Chryssides, George D. (1999). Exploring New Religions. London: Continuum. p. 100. ISBN 0-8264-5959-5. "Predictably, mainstream Christians accuse the New World Translation of inaccuracy, as if their own translations were thoroughly reliable. Jehovah's Witnesses will engage in discussion with others using whatever translation is available." Alan Rogerson (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die. Constable. pp. 70, 123. "This was the Witnesses' own translation of the New Testament ... now that the Society has decreed that they should use the New World Translation of the Bible in preference other versions, they are convinced their translation is the best." Tess Van Sommers, Religions in Australia, Rigby, Adelaide, 1966, page 92: "Since 1870, the Watch Tower Society has used more than seventy Bible translations. In 1961 the society released its own complete Bible in modern English, known as The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. This is now the preferred translation among English-speaking congregations." Edwards, Linda (2001). A Brief Guide to Beliefs. Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 438. ISBN 0-664-22259-5. "The Jehovah's Witnesses' interpretation of Christianity and their rejection of orthodoxy influenced them to produce their own translation of the Bible, The New World Translation." Our Kingdom Ministry, November 1992, "When we read from our Bible, the householder may comment on the clarity of language used in the New World Translation. Or we may find that the householder shows interest in our message but does not have a Bible. In these cases we may describe the unique features of the Bible we use and the reasons why we prefer it to others." "Jehovah's Witness". Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 2007. ISBN 978-1-59339-293-2. Michael Hill, ed. (1972). "The Embryonic State of a Religious Sect's Development: The Jehovah's Witnesses". Sociological Yearbook of Religion in Britain (5): 11–12. "Joseph Franklin Rutherford succeeded to Russell's position as President of Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society, but only at the expense of antagonizing a large proportion of the Watch Towers subscribers. Nevertheless, he persisted in moulding the Society to suit his own programme of activist evangelism under systematic central control, and he succeeded in creating the administrative structure of the present-day sect of Jehovah's Witnesses." Leo P. Chall (1978). "Sociological Abstracts". Sociology of Religion 26 (1–3): 193. "Rutherford, through the Watch Tower Society, succeeded in changing all aspects of the sect from 1919 to 1932 and created Jehovah's Witnesses—a charismatic offshoot of the Bible student community." Isaiah 43:10–12 Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. pp. 274–5. ISBN 0-914675-16-8. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 64 Singelenberg, Richard (1989). "It Separated the Wheat From the Chaff: The 1975 Prophecy and its Impact Among Dutch Jehovah's Witnesses". Sociological Analysis 50 (Spring 1989): 23–40, footnote 8. doi: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . "'The Truth' is Witnesses' jargon, meaning the Society's belief system." Penton, M.J. (1997). Apocalypse Delayed: The Story of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 280–283. ISBN 0-8020-7973-3. "Most Witnesses tend to think of society outside their own community as decadent and corrupt ... This in turn means to Jehovah's Witnesses that they must keep themselves apart from  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  "doomed system of things." Thus most tend to socialize largely, although not totally, within the Witness community." Chryssides, George D. (1999). Exploring New Religions. London: Continuum. p. 5. ISBN 0-8264-5959-5. "The Jehovah's Witnesses are well known for their practice of 'disfellowshipping' wayward members." Gary Botting, Fundamental Freedoms and Jehovah's Witnesses (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 1993), pg 1–13 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. p. 6. ISBN 978-0094559400. Beckford 1975, p. 2 Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. pp. 37–39. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. Bible Examiner October, 1876 "Gentile Times: When Do They End?" pp 27–8: "The seven times will end in  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ; when Jerusalem shall be delivered forever ... when Gentile Governments shall have been dashed to pieces; when God shall have poured out of his fury upon the nations and they acknowledge him King of Kings and Lord of Lords." Studies in the Scriptures volume 4, "The Battle of Armageddon", 1897, pg xii C. T. Russell, The Time is at Hand, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1889, page 101 Heather and Gary Botting, The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses(Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1984, p. 36. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 18 Zion's Watch Tower, July 1, 1879, pg 1: "This is the first number of the first volume of "Zion's Watch Tower," and it may not be amiss to state the object of its publication. That we are living "in the last days"—"the day of the Lord"—"the end" of the Gospel age, and consequently, in the dawn of a "new" age." 1975 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses, Watch Tower, pages 38–39 Zion's Watch Tower, September 1884, pp. 7–8 Studies in the Scriptures volume 6 "The New Creation" pp. 195–272 C.T. Russell, "A Conspiracy Exposed", Zion's Watch Tower Extra edition, April 25, 1894, page 55–60, "This is a business association merely ... it has no creed or confession ... it is merely a business convenience in disseminating the truth."] Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses by George D. Chryssides, Scarecrow Press, 2008, page xxxiv, "Russell wanted to consolidate the movement he had started. ...In 1880, Bible House, a four-story building in Allegheny, was completed, with printing facilities and meeting accommodation, and it became the organization's headquarters. The next stage of institutionalization was legal incorporation. In 1884, Russell formed the Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society, which was incorporated in Pennsylvania... Russell was concerned that his supporters should feel part of a unified movement." Religion in the Twentieth Century by Vergilius Ture Anselm Ferm, Philosophical Library, 1948, page 383, "As the [unincorporated Watch Tower] Society expanded, it became necessary to incorporate it and build a more definite organization. In 1884, a charter was granted recognizing the Society as a religious, non-profit corporation." Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 19 A Chronology and Glossary of Propaganda in the United States Greenwood Press: 1996. pg. 35: "Russell is naturally media literate, and the amount of literature he circulates proves staggering. Books, booklets, and tracts are distributed by the hundreds of millions. This is supplemented by well-publicized speaking tours and a masterful press relations effort, which gives him widespread access to general audiences." The Overland Monthly, January 1910 pg. 130 Penton 1997, p. 26–29 W.T. Ellis, The Continent, McCormick Publishing Company, vol. 43, no. 40, October 3, 1912 pg. 1 Religious Diversity and American Religious History by Walter H. Conser, Sumner B. Twiss, University of Georgia Press, 1997, page 136, "The Jehovah's Witnesses...has maintained a very different attitude toward history. Established initially in the 1870s by Charles Taze Russell under the title International Bible Students Association, this organization has proclaimed..." The New Schaff–Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, 1910, vol 7, pg 374 Penton 1997, p. 26 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. p. 31. ISBN 978-0094559400. Penton 1997, p. 53 A.N. Pierson et al, Light After Darkness, 1917, page 4. Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. p. 101. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. Penton 1997, pp. 58, 61–62 The Bible Students Monthly, vol. 9 no. 9, pp 1, 4: "The following article is extracted mainly from Pastor Russell's posthumous volume entitled "THE FINISHED MYSTERY," the 7th in the series of his STUDIES IN THE SCRIPTURES and published subsequent to his death." Lawson, John D., American State Trials, vol 13, Thomas Law Book Company, 1921, pg viii: "After his death and after we were in the war they issued a seventh volume of this series, entitled "The Finished Mystery," which, under the guise of being a posthumous work of Pastor Russell, included an attack on the war and an attack on patriotism, which were not written by Pastor Russell and could not have possibly been written by him." Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. pp. 84–85. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. "One of Rutherford's first actions as president ... was, without reference either to his fellow directors or to the editorial committee which Russell had nominated in his will, to commission a seventh volume of Studies in the Scriptures. Responsibility for preparing this volume was given to two of Russell's close associates, George H. Fisher and Clayton J. Woodworth. On the face of it, their brief was to edit for publication the notes left by Russell ... and to draw upon his published writings ... It is obvious ... that it was not in any straightforward sense the result of editing Russell's papers, rather it was in large measure the original work of Woodworth and Fisher at the behest of the new president." "Publisher's Preface". The Finished Mystery. "But the fact is, he did write it. This book may properly be said to be a posthumous publication of Pastor Russell. Why?... This book is chiefly a compilation of things which he wrote and which have been brought together in harmonious style by properly applying the symbols which he explained to the Church." Penton 1997, p. 55 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. p. 44. ISBN 978-0094559400. Franz, Raymond (2007). "Chapter 4". In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. ISBN 0-914675-16-8. Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. 1993. pp. 72–77. Chryssides, George D. (2010). "How Prophecy Succeeds: The Jehovah’s Witnesses and Prophetic Expectations". International Journal for the Study of New Religions 1 (1): 39. doi: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . ISSN  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Franz, Raymond (2007). In Search of Christian Freedom. p. 144. ISBN 0-914675-16-8. Salvation, Watch Tower Society, 1939, as cited in Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, page 76 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. Constable & Co, London. pp. 39, 52. ISBN 978-0094559400. Herbert H. Stroup, The Jehovah's Witnesses, Colombia University Press, New York, 1945, pg 14,15: "Following his election the existence of the movement was threatened as never before. Many of those who remembered wistfully the halcyon days of Mr Russell's leadership found that the new incumbent did not fulfill their expectations of a saintly leader. Various elements split off from the parent body, and such fission continued throughout Rutherford's leadership." Reed, David,  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  Christian Research Journal, Summer 1993, pg 27: "By gradually replacing locally elected  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  with his own appointees, he managed to transform a loose collection of semi-autonomous, democratically run congregations into a tight-knit organizational machine controlled from his office. Some local congregations broke away, forming such groups as the Chicago Bible Students, the Dawn Bible Students, and the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement, all of which continue to this day." Thirty Years a Watchtower Slave, William J. Schnell, Baker, Grand Rapids, 1956, as cited by Rogerson, page 52. Rogerson notes that it is not clear exactly how many Bible Students left, but quotes Rutherford (Jehovah, 1934, page 277) as saying "only a few" who left other religions were then "in God's organization". The Present Truth and Herald of Christ's Epiphany, P.S.L. Johnson (April 1927, pg 66). Johnson stated that between late 1923 and early 1927, "20,000 to 30,000 Truth people the world over have left the Society." Tony Wills (A People For His Name, pg. 167) cites The Watch Tower(December 1, 1927, pg 355) in which Rutherford states that "the larger percentage" of original Bible Students had by then departed. Penton 1997, p. 50 Rogerson 1969, p. 37 Rogerson, Alan (1969). Millions Now Living Will Never Die: A Study of Jehovah's Witnesses. London: Constable. p. 55. "In 1931, came an important milestone in the history of the organisation. For many years Rutherford's followers had been called a variety of names: 'International Bible Students', 'Russellites', or 'Millennial Dawners'. In order to distinguish clearly his followers from the other groups who had separated in 1918 Rutherford proposed that they adopt an entirely new name—Jehovah's witnesses." Beckford 1975, p. 30 "A New Name". The Watch Tower: 291. October 1, 1931. "Since the death of Charles T. Russell there have arisen numerous companies formed out of those who once walked with him, each of these companies claiming to teach the truth, and each calling themselves by some name, such as "Followers of Pastor Russell", "those who stand by the truth as expounded by Pastor Russell," "Associated Bible Students," and some by the names of their local leaders. All of this tends to confusion and hinders those of good will who are not better informed from obtaining a knowledge of the truth." Beckford 1975, p. 31 Penton 1997, pp. 71–72 Crompton, Robert (1996). Counting the Days to Armageddon. Cambridge: James Clarke & Co. pp. 109–110. ISBN 0-227-67939-3. Beckford 1975, p. 35 Garbe, Detlef (2008). Between Resistance and Martyrdom: Jehovah's Witnesses in the Third Reich. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 145. ISBN 0-299-20794-3. 1943 Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. 1942. pp. 221–222. Jehovah's Witnesses in the Divine Purpose. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. 1959. pp. 312–313. Beckford 1975, pp. 47–52 Beckford 1975, pp. 52–55 Penton 1997, pp. 89–90 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Chryssides, George D. (2008). Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses. Scarecrow Press. p. 19.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.   Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Penton 1997, p. 95 Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. p. 46. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. Awake!. Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society. October 8, 1968. p. 14. "Does this mean that the above evidence positively points to 1975 as the complete end of this system of things? Since the Bible does not specifically state this, no man can say... If the 1970s should see intervention by Jehovah God to bring an end to a corrupt world drifting toward ultimate disintegration, that should surely not surprise us." "How Are You Using Your Life?". Our Kingdom Ministry: 63. May 1974. "Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service. Certainly, this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world's end." Franz, Raymond.  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (PDF). Crisis of Conscience. pp. 237–253. ISBN 0-914675-23-0. Retrieved 2006-07-27. Singelenberg, Richard (1989). "The '1975'-prophecy and its impact among Dutch Jehovah's Witnesses". Sociological Analysis 50 (1): 23–40.doi: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . JSTOR  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Notes a nine percent drop in total publishers (door-to-door preachers) and a 38 per cent drop in pioneers (full-time preachers) in the Netherlands. Stark and Iannoccone (1997).  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (PDF). Journal of Contemporary Religion: 142–143. Retrieved 2013-07-16. Dart, John (January 30, 1982). "Defectors Feel 'Witness' Wrath: Critics say Baptism Rise Gives False Picture of Growth". Los Angeles Times. p. B4. Cited statistics showing a net increase of publishers worldwide from 1971 to 1981 of 737,241, while baptisms totaled 1.71 million for the same period. Hesse, Hans (2001). Persecution and Resistance of Jehovah's Witnesses During the Nazi-Regime. Chicago: Edition Temmen c/o. pp. 296, 298. ISBN 3-861-08750-2. The Watchtower. March 15, 1980. pp. 17–18. "With the appearance of the bookLife Everlasting—in Freedom of the Sons of God, ... considerable expectation was aroused regarding the year 1975. ... there were other statements published that implied that such realization of hopes by that year was more of a probability than a mere possibility. It is to be regretted that these latter statements apparently overshadowed the cautionary ones and contributed to a buildup of the expectation already initiated. ... persons having to do with the publication of the information ... contributed to the buildup of hopes centered on that date." Chryssides Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses, pp. 32,112 Chryssides Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses, p. 64 Joel P. Engardio (December 18, 1995),  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Newsweek Penton 1997, p. 317 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. ---------
      Penton 1997, p. i Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1989, pages 70–75. Holden & 2002 Portrait, p. 91 Muramoto, O. (January 6, 2001).  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . BMJ 322 (7277): 37–39.doi: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . PMC  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . PMID  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1993, page 183. United in Worship of the Only True God, Watch Tower Bible & Tract Society, 1983, pages 156–160. Bowman, R. M.; Beisner, E. C.; Ehrenborg, T. (1995). Jehovah's Witnesses. Zondervan. p. 13. ISBN 0-310-70411-1. Botting, Heather; Gary Botting (1984). The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. University of Toronto Press. pp. 29–30. ISBN 0-8020-6545-7. "How Blood Can Save Your Life," Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, pages 13–17 "Questions From Readers—Do Jehovah's Witnesses accept any medical products derived from blood?". The Watchtower: 30. June 15, 2000 Sniesinski et al.; Chen, EP; Levy, JH; Szlam, F; Tanaka, KA (April 2007)."Coagulopathy After Cardiopulmonary Bypass in Jehovah's Witness Patients: Management of Two Cases Using Fractionated Components and Factor VIIa"(PDF). Anesthesia & Analgesia 104 (4): 763–5.doi: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . PMID  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Retrieved 2008-12-30. "The Real Value of Blood". Awake!: 11. August 2006. Durable Power of Attorney form. Watch Tower Society. January 2001. p. 1.Examples of permitted fractions are: Interferon, Immune Serum Globulins and Factor VIII; preparations made from Hemoglobin such as PolyHeme and Hemopure. Examples of permitted procedures involving the medical use of one's own blood include: cell salvage, hemodilution, heart lung machine, dialysis,epidural blood patch, plasmapheresis, blood labeling or tagging and platelet gel (autologous) Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  (PDF). November 2006. pp. 5–6. Retrieved 2009-06-21. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . The Awake. November 22, 2003. Retrieved 2009-10-24. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watch Tower Society. 1996–2014. "Question Box–Should a family Bible study be reported to the congregation?".Our Kingdom Ministry (Watch Tower Society): 3. November 2003. "Question Box—May both parents report the time used for the regular family study?". Our Kingdom Ministry: 3. September 2008. U.S. Religious Landscape Survey Religious Affiliation: Diverse and Dynamic. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. February 2008. pp. 9, 30. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Jum Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . The next lowest retention rates, excluding those raised unaffiliated with any church, were Buddhism at 50% and Catholicism at 68%. Beckford 1975, pp. 92, 98–100 Beckford 1975, pp. 196–207 Bryan R. Wilson, "The Persistence of Sects", Diskus, Journal of the British Association for the Study of Religions, Vol 1, No. 2, 1993 Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . U.S. Religious Landscape Survey. Pew Research Center. Retrieved 15 August 2012. Jubber, Ken (1977). "The Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Southern Africa". Social Compass, 24 (1): 121,. doi: Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Penton, James (2004). Jehovah's witnesses and the third reich. Canada: University of Toronto Press. p. 376. ISBN 0802086780. Garbe, Detlef (2008). Between Resistance and Martyrdom: Jehovah's Witnesses in the Third Reich. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. p. 484. ISBN 0-299-20794-3. Shulman, William L. A State of Terror: Germany 1933–1939. Bayside, New York: Holocaust Resource Center and Archives. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Hesse, Hans (2001). Persecution and Resistance of Jehovah's Witnesses During the Nazi Regime. Edition Temmen. p. 12. ISBN 3-86108-750-2. Kaplan, William (1989). State and Salvation. Toronto: Univ. of Toronto Press. Yaffee, Barbara (1984-09-09). Witnesses Seek Apology for Wartime Persecution. The Globe in Mail. p. 4. Валерий Пасат ."Трудные страницы истории Молдовы (1940–1950)". Москва: Изд. Terra, 1994 (Russian) "Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom",chapter 22,page.490 "Yearbook of Jehovah's Witnesses 1991",page.221 Claims that Jehovah's Witnesses chose a deliberate course of martyrdom are contained in:
      Peters, Shawn Francis (2000). Judging Jehovah's Witnesses: Religious Persecution and the Dawn of the Rights Revolution. University Press of Kansas. pp. 82, 116–9. ISBN 0-7006-1008-1.
      Barbara Grizzuti Harrison, Visions of Glory, 1978, chapter 6.
      Whalen, William J. (1962). Armageddon Around the Corner: A Report on Jehovah's Witnesses. New York: John Day Company. p. 190.
      Schnell, William (1971). 30 Years a Watchtower Slave. Baker Book House, Grand Rapids. pp. 104–106. ISBN 0-8010-6384-1     Jehovah’s Witnesses—Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, 1993, pp. 679–701. Botting, Fundamental Freedoms and Jehovah's Witnesses, pp. 1–14; Shawn Francis Peters, Judging Jehovah's Witnesses, University Press of Kansas: 2000, pages 12–16. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Knocking.org. Retrieved 16 August 2012. Botting, Fundamental Freedoms..., pp. 15–201 "Following Faithful Shepherds with Life in View", The Watchtower, October 1, 1967, page 591, "Make haste to identify the visible theocratic organization of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ. It is essential for life. Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect ... in submitting to Jehovah's visible theocratic organization, we must be in full and complete agreement with every feature of its apostolic procedure and requirements." "Loyal to Christ and His Faithful Slave", The Watchtower, April 1, 2007, page 24, "When we loyally submit to the direction of the faithful slave and its Governing Body, we are submitting to Christ, the slave's Master." Beckford 1975, pp. 89, 95, 103, 120, 204, 221 "Exposing the Devil's Subtle Designs" and "Armed for the Fight Against Wicked Spirits", The Watchtower, January 15, 1983 "Serving Jehovah Shoulder to Shoulder", The Watchtower, August 15, 1981, page 28. "Jehovah's Theocratic Organization Today",The Watchtower, February 1, 1952, pages 79–81. "Avoid Independent Thinking". The Watchtower: 27. 15 January 1983. "From the very outset of his rebellion  Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  called into question God's way of doing things. He promoted independent thinking. ... How is such independent thinking manifested? A common way is by questioning the counsel that is provided by God's visible organization." "Avoid Independent Thinking". The Watchtower: 20. February 15, 1979. "In a world where people are tossed about by confusing winds of religious doctrine, Jehovah's people need to be stable, full-grown Christians. (Eph. 4:13, 14) Their position must be steadfast, not shifting quickly because of independent thinking or emotional pressures." The Watchtower: 277–278. May 1, 1964. "It is through the columns of The Watchtower that Jehovah provides direction and constant Scriptural counsel to his people, and it requires careful study and attention to details in order to apply this information, to get a full understanding of the principles involved, and to assure ourselves of right thinking on these matters. It is in this way that we "are thoroughly able to grasp mentally with all the holy ones" the fullness of our commission and of the preaching responsibility that Jehovah has placed on all Christians as footstep followers of his Son. Any other course would produce independent thinking and cause division."     "Will You Heed Jehovah’s Clear Warnings?", The Watchtower, July 15, 2011, page 15, "brothers are 'mentally diseased,' and they seek to infect others with their disloyal teachings. (1 Tim. 6:3, 4)."                   The Watchtower (8/15). August 1988. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , "Labeling the Jehovah's Witnesses as totalitarian trivializes the term totalitarian and defames the Jehovah's Witnesses."                       "Messengers of Godly Peace Pronounced Happy", The Watchtower, May 1, 1997, page 21 Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom, Watch Tower Society, 1993, page 708. "Execution of the "Great Harlot" Nears", The Watchtower, October 15, 1980, page 17
    • By Isabella
      On January 13, 2020, the Perm Regional Court upheld the decision of a lower court to punish Aleksey Metsger for practicing his religion. He will be fined 350,000 rubles.

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    • By Srecko Sostar
      In the OT, there is a direct command, “Thou shalt not kill (murder)!” This command should contain God's view of human life, which emphasizes that life is holy, sacred before God, but also that people must have the same feeling about the lives of other people around them.
      By reading the Bible, which describes the events before and after the occurrence of this commandment, we can see that this commandment has no absolute power. Within the same set of legal provisions, there are other commandments that were binding on the Israelites, too. For example, commands like; "Don't steal, don't lie, don't commit fornication ...". These commandments should never have been ignored or mitigated by some extraordinary circumstances.
      The specificity of this commandment, "You shall not kill," is evident in the fact that it was not of valid, obligation for all men and for all circumstances. Powerful individuals in Israel sometimes making their own decisions to go on military campaigns against others (Israelis and non-Israelis) The law also justified killing for revenge.
      In some other places, God commands the death penalty against an individual. Also, the Bible describes that God instituted great actions that justified killing of other people. These were most often military actions aimed at killing soldiers of the enemy army, but also their families. The killings of these other tribes and people were justified on the basis of several facts: 1) they were not Israelis  2) they lived in territory that the Israel nation were to conquer for themselves, 3) they belonged to other religions.
      The execution of the death penalty for a crime still exists today in some societies and legal systems. Obviously, the death penalty decision is based on balance. The one who killed must be killed. But from some other biblical examples we have seen that murder is not the only crime punishable by death. The disobedient child was also sentenced to death. Different religious affiliations or different religious beliefs also led to the death penalty. Adultery was punished by death.
      From what we have described so far, we can see how the command, "shall not kill," had a stretched meaning. It is therefore necessary to look at religious practices that are not new but may draw some parallels in symbolism and meaning. As you may already guessed, it is about an act of symbolic "killing" that is carried out in such a way to exclude (disfellowship) another person from a particular social (religious) group in a specific way - by ignoring aka shunning. Shunning (this is about JW organization in particular) can be made because of two conclusions.
      The first conclusion is reached by an individual JW member who believes that another member of the congregation has wronged/sinned against the Bible and its principles to the extent that he / she personally presents a spiritual anomaly (in the form of a spiritual illness or threat) and decides to "label" particular person as inappropriate for him to have socializing contacts. He seeks to avoid contact and minimize any literal and spiritual communion.
      In second conclusion, the conviction of the inappropriateness of a member is made by the body of the elders. The judgment may be based on the morally inappropriate behavior of an individual member, or it may be that an individual no longer agrees with the ideological and organizational structure or with the theological solutions of the organization what made him/her as "hostile element".
      This is when a person is removed from congregational members aka "spiritually killed" in such a way to excommunicate (dfd) them (he,she) from the community and impose a ban on almost every contact with the dfd person. The ban has few variations and interpretations of how the shunning should be carried out. But the very core of such a demand not to contact the excluded person is evident from the widespread practice that JW members have consistently implemented - the excluded (dfd) is not even greeted with the simplest “Good afternoon” greeting (hallo) on the street.
      JW's want to be peaceful people who go to jail in some countries because not want even to carry weapon in mandatory military service. They don't want take self-defense courses even for protect themselves when attacked. But they are motivated to be active in using spiritual weapons and warfare against ex members who are in a disagreement with doctrinal issues. And "killing" them with shunning.  
      What are your thoughts? 
       
       
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      Any questions?
      JW 'Niceberg' is what I heard it called.... LOL
    • By The Librarian
      Part of a series on:
      We didn't capitalize the "w" until the 1970's except in a title or a quotation from someone who didn't know the "rule."
      At the Bethel Library when it was at 124 Columbia Heights (before it moved to 25 and then Patterson) there was about 20 feet of shelf space dedicated to Jw court cases, and even on the outside cover you would see titles like "Supreme Court Cases of Jehovah's witnesses" and the outer spine of the cover would have it abbreviated as "Jw's" or "J.w.'s."
      Although my day-to-day assignment at Bethel was to do artwork, I sometimes 
      helped out the proofreaders and it turned out that the year I came to Bethel was the same year we made the change from J.w.'s to J.W.'s. Some of the writers weren't used to it yet, and there were also translation issues. There was a legal reason behind the change, too.
      If you check the Watchtower Library CD, you'll see that the change happened between the printing of the March 15 and April 1 issues of The Watchtower in 1976. (And between the March 8 and the March 22, 1976 Awake!) The lower case "w" rarely shows up any more unless a new publication is directly quoting an older publication in a place that has it, and even then we will sometimes go ahead and capitalize it in the quotation.
      For those who find such trivia interesting, here is a reference from that time period. Note the only exception to the rule in the following 6 examples:
      *** g76 3/8 pp. 21-22 A Conspiracy Thwarted in “the Land Down Under” ***
      He had written on behalf of the Methodist people of his district, who had . . . supported a Tasmanian government request . . . that Jehovah’s witnesses be declared illegal. . . . Another Australian clergyman, objecting to the zealous public preaching of Jehovah’s witnesses, wrote to Mr. W. M. Hughes, then Attorney-General of Australia: “The sect calling themselves Jehovah’s Witnesses are a distinctly disloyal lot of people and in my estimation ought to be declared as such.”
      These letters from clergymen did not contain any evidence of subversive or illegal acts on the part of Jehovah’s witnesses. . . ."
      The Commonwealth Archives show that the Attorney-General had been pressured also by the Catholic clergy to suppress freedom of religion enjoyed by Jehovah’s witnesses. However, in a direct reply to the then Catholic archbishop of Sydney, N. T. Gilroy (later elevated to be a cardinal), the Attorney-General confirmed that the government had no legal grounds to restrain the Christian activity of Jehovah’s witnesses.
      *** end of quote ***
      via @JW Insider
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    • By The Librarian
      In northern Russia, seven men have come forward to claim they were tortured by police because of their religious views. The men are all Jehovah’s Witnesses. Their organisation was banned by Russia’s Supreme Court in 2017 as extremist and dozens of Jehovah’s Witnesses have since been detained across the country. Officials in Surgut initially denied the reports of torture, but now say they will investigate. President Vladimir Putin has called the prosecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses ‘utter nonsense’ and asked the Supreme Court for clarification on how the law is applied. BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford reports.
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
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      Posted by Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. on November 9, 2019 at 4:20 am  
      The Supreme Court of Canada heard arguments Thursday in a lawsuit against a religious congregation’s “shunning” practice, but the congregation and several other groups contend the justices had no right to even take part in the case.
      Randy Wall, a real estate agent, filed the suit against the Highwood congregation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization in Calgary, Alberta.
      Wall was expelled from the congregation for getting drunk and not be properly repentant, court records said. He pursued an appeals process through the Jehovah’s Witnesses then went to court because he said the Witnesses’ “shunning” — the practice of not associating with him in any way — hurt his business.
      He explained his two occasions of drunkenness related to “the previous expulsion by the congregation of his 15-year-old daughter.”
      A lower court opinion said: “Even though the daughter was a dependent child living at home, it was a mandatory church edict that the entire family shun aspects of their relationship with her. The respondent said the edicts of the church pressured the family to evict their daughter from the family home. This led to … much distress in the family.”
      The “distress” eventually resulted in his drunkenness, Wall said.
       
      Wall submitted to the court arguments that about half his client base, members of various Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations, then refused to conduct business with him. He alleged the “disfellowship had an economic impact on the respondent.”
      During high court arguments Thursday, the congregation asked the justices to rule that religious congregations are immune to such claims in the judicial system.
      The lower courts had ruled that the courts could play a role in determining whether or not such circumstances rise to the level of violating civil rights or injuring a “disfellowshipped” party.
      The rulings from the Court of Queen’s Bench and the Alberta Court of Appeals said Wall’s case was subject to secular court jurisdiction.
      A multitude of religious and political organizations joined with the congregation in arguing that Canada’s courts should not be involved.
      The Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms said in a filing: “The wish or desire of one person to associate with an unwilling person (or an unwilling group) is not a legal right of any kind. For a court, or the government, to support such a ‘right’ violates the right of self-determination of the unwilling parties.”
      Previous case law has confirmed the right of religious or private voluntary groups to govern themselves and dictate who can be a member.
      But previously rulings also reveal there is room for the court system to intervene when the question centers on property or civil rights.
      The Association for Reformed Political Action described the case as having “profound implications for the separation of church and state.”
      It contends the court should keep its hands off the argument.
      “Secular judges have no authority and no expertise to review a church membership decision,” said a statement from Andre Schutten, a spokesman for the group. “Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere.”
      John Sikkema, staff lawyer for ARPA, said: “The issue in this appeal is jurisdiction. A state actor, including a court, must never go beyond its jurisdiction. The Supreme Court must consider what kind of authority the courts can or cannot legitimately claim. We argue that the civil government and churches each have limited and distinct spheres of authority. This basic distinction between civil and spiritual jurisdiction is a source of freedom and religious pluralism and a guard against civic totalism.”
      He continued: “Should the judiciary have the authority to decide who gets to become or remain a church member? Does the judiciary have the authority to decide who does or does not get to participate in the sacraments? Church discipline is a spiritual matter falling within spiritual jurisdiction, not a legal matter falling within the courts’ civil jurisdiction. The courts should not interfere. Here we need separation of church and state.”
      The Alberta Court of Appeal, however, suggested the case was about more than ecclesiastical rules.
      “Because Jehovah’s Witnesses shun disfellowshipped members, his wife, other children and other Jehovah’s Witnesses were compelled to shun him,” that lower court decision said. “The respondent asked the appeal committee to consider the mental and emotional distress he and his family were under as a result of his duaghter’s disfellowship.”
      The church committee concluded he was “not sufficiently repentant.”
      The ruling said “the only basis for establishing jurisdiction over a decision of the church is when the complaint involves property and civil rights,” and that is what Wall alleged.
      “Accordingly, a court has jurisdiction to review the decision of a religious organization when a breach of the rules of natural justice is alleged.”
       
                     
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.   The Supreme Court Rejected a Case About the Jehovah’s Witnesses and Sex Abuse
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. October 8, 2019   Yesterday, the Supreme Court announced that Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. concerning the organization that oversees the Jehovah’s Witnesses. We can breathe a huge sigh of relief that the case won’t be overturned. (In that link, it’s case 19-40 on page 42.)
       
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
      The case, which involved child molestation and religious secrecy, centered around an incident that took place on July 15, 2006.
      J.W., a nine-year-old girl with Jehovah’s Witness parents, was invited to her first slumber party at the home of Gilbert Simental. He had a daughter her age, so that wasn’t too weird. Two other girls (sisters) were also at the party. These families all knew and trusted Simental because, while he was no longer a local Witness leader, he had spent more than a decade as an elder in the faith. He was a religious leader who stepped down, he said, to spend more time with his son. They believed him. They all respected him. It’s why they allowed their girls into his home.
      During that party, everyone got into a pool in the backyard… including Simental. And he proceeded to molest J.W. and the sisters. He did it again later that night. The sisters eventually told their parents, who reported Simental to local Witness elders (which is what they’re taught to do in these situations).
      Simental confessed to some of the allegations, and the elders basically gave him a faith-based slap on the wrist: a reprimand that had no meaning outside church circles.
      Things changed only when the sisters’ school principal learned about what happened and, as required by law, reported the abuse to local law enforcement. Police soon contacted J.W.’s family asking for their story, but after consulting with the Witnesses, her father chose not to speak with the cops.
      It was a year later when J.W., then 10 years old, told her parents what Simental did to her in the pool. It infuriated them, and they told the Witness elders that they wanted a restraining order against him. The elders told him not to do that since it would require informing the police about what Simental did — and they preferred to keep his actions private.
      Here’s the bigger problem: There’s reason to believe the Witnesses were aware that Simental was a child molester… and they kept it from the families. Simental was allowed to be a religious leader — earning respect from the community — even though higher-ups in the religion knew that he shouldn’t be around children.
      It raised an important question: How much blame did the Witnesses deserve for what happened at that pool party?
      J.W.’s family eventually filed a criminal lawsuit against Simental and a separate civil suit against the Watchtower Society (the Witnesses’ governing organization). They basically said the Witnesses should have informed congregation members about Simental and stopped him from being around children. They never should have allowed him to be a religious leader.
      The Watchtower Society’s argument? They didn’t know Simental was a child molester, and the pool party occurred after he was no longer a religious leader, and the slumber party wasn’t a church-sponsored event, so leave them out of this.
      (To be clear, I’m simplifying the details of this case and the legal journey quite a bit.)
      When this case went to trial in California, J.W.’s family demanded that the Watchtower Society produce documents relating to what they knew about child molesters within the faith. The Witnesses had already admitted to keeping lists of problematic leaders along with their specific “crimes” — similar to the Catholic Church. If Simental was on that list — from 1997, nearly a decade before the pool incident — it would essentially be a smoking gun showing the Witnesses knew he was a threat to kids but did nothing about it.
      But the Witnesses refused to hand over that material. They treated it like Catholics treat confession: It’s private information, they argued, and to reveal what was said internally would violate their religious beliefs.
      J.W.’s family didn’t buy that argument. The information they wanted wasn’t bound by clergy-penitent confessional privilege. It’s not like Simental told the elders what he had done in order to confess his sins. He was caught. The Witnesses were merely shielding him from legal punishment.
      In the criminal trial, Witnesses elders were forced to admit their practices and that the private discussions they had about abusive clergy members were not considered confidential under the law.
      Mark O’Donnell, writing at JWSurvey, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. :
       
        Simental’s appeal got him nowhere. He’s in prison today. But there were still so many questions about what responsibility the Witnesses had in this whole matter.  
      J.W.’s family wanted to know why Simental, a known pedophile, was promoted within the Jehovah’s Witnesses. Why did they allow him to be around children? Why didn’t they warn families? Why did they just give him a slap on the wrist?
      In 2013, the civil trial began against the Watchtower Society, but again, the Witnesses didn’t want to provide necessary documents. They eventually lost the case. In 2015, the Riverside Superior Court of California awarded J.W. a judgment of $4,016,152.39. This past December, the Fourth District Court of Appeal in California Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. .
      You get the idea: The Witnesses refused to hand over internal data, presumably because it would’ve been like handing over a loaded gun. So the courts had no choice but to assume the plaintiff was telling the truth and the Watchtower Society was negligent in their handling of Simental.
      Earlier this year, in a Hail Mary attempt to reverse their punishment, the Watchtower Society Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . They wanted the justices to say that documents relating to child abuse within a religious group can be kept confidential.
      Here’s how the Witnesses’ attorney introduced his case to the justices. (You don’t need a law degree to see how he just completely dismissed the molestation.)
      Watchtower attorney Paul Polidoro said the Supreme Court needed to consider whether California violated the Constitution when it held the Jehovah’s Witnesses responsible for what Simental did “during non-church activity,” forced them to hand over internal communications, and punished them for protecting everyone’s “privacy rights.”
      J.W.’s attorney Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. asking the Court to flat-out reject this case.
      Indeed, that’s what the Court decided. When the first set of orders in the new term was released yesterday, there was this case among many many others, in the list of those which would not get heard this term.
       
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  
      It was the right move. There’s nothing further to debate here. Finally, this case has been put to rest.
      (Image via Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Large portions of this article were published earlier)
         
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