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Child sexual abuse has been found in most major UK religions


Srecko Sostar
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Yes, we have discussed this on the forum before. I think this issue is taken to be viewed from the secular perspective only. They, the secular authorities, designate JW elders as having a clerical role as ministers (of religion). Therefore, under official circumstances, such as in a court of law, elders are viewed as "clergy". Whether they themselves, or the congregation view them as clergy in the traditional sense or not is irrelevant in these secular circumstances. (JWs view everyone who is ba

Yes, I've caught wind this as well. They're calling it a pilot something or another for about two, maybe three months. For the most part, we can assume that children say under what I believe to be 12 years old, won't be attending these meetings because they have not been vaccinated for Covid-19. Being vaccinated is part of the requirements as far as showing up at these Kingdom Hall meetings. So unless the age limit changes to a lower age for receiving C-19 vaccinations, we can pretty much a

Laws and regulations about issue is available to see and you said well. Of course, when we speak about JW elders then it is notable to understand how we have to put clear picture on question; Do they, JW elders, clergy or not? If they are clergy then they have "right" to call themselves on Catholic Clergy privilege and ask for same "rights" as they do.  Is an elder in the JW congregation the same as a priest in the Catholic Church? Do they have the same role and obligations and status

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Thanks for posting this. On this forum one might even forget that the Catholics have a problem. Also, I've seen statistics that are surprisingly detailed for some religious organizations, reminding me that JWs aren't the only ones who keep records on such issues, including from among their congregants/laymen/parishioners.

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4 hours ago, JW Insider said:

records

Creating, collecting, using and storing records / documentation is not a problem in itself. The problem arises when one wants to deny the existence of documents. When it is used incorrectly or prohibits the use of documentation (public review or legal inspection of records according to regulations and legal acts). When it is not said how much documentation there is and what their content is. When it is not said what is the purpose of collecting and creating documents, and what is the future of records. And similar.

 

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One also might forget that Mormonism has a problem. 

The woman expressed, “As we have said in other investigations, what marks religious organisations out from other institutions is the explicit purpose they have in teaching right from wrong; the moral turpitude of any failing by them in the prevention of, or response to, child sexual abuse is therefore heightened.

If someone on the outside needs to remind a religion of their “moral” obligations, then, as is the case in the Wt., the religion is practicing immoral responses in the case of CSA.  

 What sets this organization apart from all other religions?  Nothing, all established religions have their roots in the world of immorality and corruption.  But the Wt. is also committing spiritual immorality as a holding ground to trample, persecute and destroy the anointed priesthood in Christ..and any who have joined them.  (Matt 24:15,16,24; 2 Thess 2:3,4; Rev 11:1,2; 13:1,2, ,5-7, 11,12,15; 16:13-16; 12:3,4,15,17)

Jesus purposefully said, worship that is approved by the Father is in “spirit and truth”, not through any earthly “mountainlike organization”.  (John 4:21-24)  He began His Temple arrangement/“organization” of anointed “living stones” in the first century. (John 2:19-21; Eph 4:4-6; 2:20-22; 1 Pet 2:5,9; 1 Cor 3:16,17) And it will be the “mountain”/spiritual organization that will rise above all corruption and immorality.  Isa 2:1-4; Zech 4:6,7) The greatest test against these “stones” is through an earthly organization established by men, that convinces millions that it belongs to God.  How can that be, when in this document there are two pages directed to the failures of the CCJW to practice morality? In this case, the Wt. is certainly “like the nations”.  Ezek 20:32

It is time to separate from the corruption and immorality of the Wt.  Rev 18:4-8 

"For on My holy mountain, the high mountain of Israel, declares the Lord GOD, there the whole house of Israel, all of them, will serve Me in the land. There I will accept them and will require your offerings and choice gifts, along with all your holy sacrifices.

    Hello guest!
When I bring you from the peoples and gather you from the lands to which you have been scattered, I will accept you as a pleasing aroma. And I will show My holiness through you in the sight of the nations. 
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Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the land that I swore to give your fathers.

    Hello guest!
There you will remember your ways and all the deeds with which you have defiled yourselves, and you will loathe yourselves for all the evils you have done. 
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Then you will know, O house of Israel, that I am the LORD, when I have dealt with you for the sake of My name and not according to your wicked ways and corrupt acts, declares the Lord GOD.”  Ezek 20:40-44

 

 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

Creating, collecting, using and storing records / documentation is not a problem in itself. The problem arises when one wants to deny the existence of documents. When it is used incorrectly or prohibits the use of documentation (public review or legal inspection of records according to regulations and legal acts). When it is not said how much documentation there is and what their content is. When it is not said what is the purpose of collecting and creating documents, and what is the future of records. And similar.

 

If I'm not mistaken, sharing some information, especially when it pertains to privileged and private information is not legal. I'm not even talking about sharing information about a perpetrator, I'm talking about the victim/survivor. Zalkin is sitting on a pile (he says about 100) of cases given to him by the org. which he is not allowed to use or make public by law. They are locked up in his safe. 

Also, I do not think the existence of such documentation/records has ever been denied.

 

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4 hours ago, Anna said:

If I'm not mistaken, sharing some information, especially when it pertains to privileged and private information is not legal.

Laws and regulations about issue is available to see and you said well.

Of course, when we speak about JW elders then it is notable to understand how we have to put clear picture on question; Do they, JW elders, clergy or not? If they are clergy then they have "right" to call themselves on Catholic Clergy privilege and ask for same "rights" as they do. 

Is an elder in the JW congregation the same as a priest in the Catholic Church? Do they have the same role and obligations and status according to biblical principles? Do they belong to the same kind of hierarchy (Catholic hierarchy, "Apostolic" hierarchy) as WTJWorg lawyers have sought before the courts?

4 hours ago, Anna said:

I'm talking about the victim/survivor. Zalkin is sitting on a pile (he says about 100) of cases given to him by the org. which he is not allowed to use or make public by law. They are locked up in his safe. 

I guess someone gave him that information and someone "forbade" him to use it. Or he got them on the condition that he shouldn’t use them. The source (WTJWorg) of the information would have the right to publish that information for the sake of “truth and justice”. But that wouldn't be of interest to the WTJWorg organization, would it? That would distort the image of a "spiritual paradise."

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There are SOooo many things that "look good on paper", that work well on paper, but in the REAL world, because all humans are flawed, some more than others, the "rules, regulations, protocols, and intentions" in the REAL world are. AS APPLIED, also deeply flawed.

It's the nature of the beast.

Those who don't get out of the basement much never realize this, and their inexperience, and lack of perception causes them to imagine a world where the way things SHOULD be is somehow attainable.

It's not

Get used to it.

Or have a stroke.

It's not so amazing that the dancing bear dances well ..... but that it can even dance at all.

In the Catholic World View, a Priest is the intermediary between God and mankind, and if you confess to the priest, whatever you confess is, in theory, known only between you and God.

The classic example of how this does NOT work is how, during World War II, in Germany, the Catholics were taking confessions of resistance fighters, and acting as an intelligence  network for whoever they thought would win the war, at any point in time.

Usually the Nazis, as former Cardinal Pachelli, who before the war was the Vatican Secretary of State, and who signed the "Holy Concordat" between the Vatican and the Third Reich, aligning the two governments in common cause.

So, a Catholic would confess to the Priest, and the info, if of tactical advantage to the Nazis, went to the Nazis.  Usually.

Among Jehovah's Witnesses, if a Brother or Sister confesses to the Elders some transgression, Matthew 18:15, in my experience, and the experiences of every account I have ever heard of, is NEVER invoked when it is time for "the rubber to meet the road".

Matthew 18 in general is completely ignored ...when it is needed the most.

Not only that, but they share details with the ENTIRE body of elders, who share it with their wives, and other elders in other Congregations they know well ... and make written reports to Headquarters, reviewed by many there. Lawyers, Secretaries, Clerks, and IT people when it is digitized.

Nothing new.  Nothing unusual. Same-Oh-Same-Oh.

It's just that the dancing bear has two left feet, and a balance problem.

Bears should not try and dance, but since the beginning of time, all figurative bears dress up in top hat and tails, and try to dance.

Anywhere on this planet, in every time and place, this is true, to a greater or lesser extent.

Recognizing REALITY, as it really is, is sad, discouraging, and then we die.

As each of us march without pause to our own eventual deaths, the important thing is to stay sane.

Sanity requires that we recognize that our "Spiritual Paradise" is not. It is, as applied, a very bad form of organization.

Sanity requires that we recognize that all the others are so much worse.

Matthew 18 is by far the most important book of the Bible, down here where the "rubber meets the road".

 

 

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10 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

Of course, when we speak about JW elders then it is notable to understand how we have to put clear picture on question; Do they, JW elders, clergy or not? If they are clergy then they have "right" to call themselves on Catholic Clergy privilege and ask for same "rights" as they do. 

Is an elder in the JW congregation the same as a priest in the Catholic Church? Do they have the same role and obligations and status according to biblical principles? Do they belong to the same kind of hierarchy (Catholic hierarchy, "Apostolic" hierarchy) as WTJWorg lawyers have sought before the courts?

Yes, we have discussed this on the forum before. I think this issue is taken to be viewed from the secular perspective only. They, the secular authorities, designate JW elders as having a clerical role as ministers (of religion). Therefore, under official circumstances, such as in a court of law, elders are viewed as "clergy". Whether they themselves, or the congregation view them as clergy in the traditional sense or not is irrelevant in these secular circumstances. (JWs view everyone who is baptized as minister, but obviously there is a distinction between roles and obligations, since elders also have the role of oversight and shepherding). I think in secular terms the word elder falls under the umbrella of clergy, despite the fact that our "clergy" do not hold matters confidential (as you and pudgy pointed out) to the same extent as a Catholic priest for example.

Legislators obviously have not made an exception to who exactly should be viewed as clergy. They have not, as far as I know, added a clause which says JW elders should not be viewed as clergy because they are not the same as Catholic priests and do not view confidential disclosure in the traditional sense. By law, they fall under the same umbrella regardless of differences of application by the particular religion.

If I remember right, the plaintiff in a recent lawsuit tried to use the difference of elders and clergy to his advantage by arguing that elders cannot be viewed as clergy because their brand of “confidentiality” includes a whole body of elders and the HQ. However, the judge deemed this irrelevant because he said it is a religions right of how they (JWs) apply their beliefs, and that it wasn't the courts business to tell a religion how to run their religious affairs, and then on that account make exceptions to secular rules. In the courts eyes an elder was clergy, period.

In saying this, I personally believe the org. should refuse the designation of clergy by secular authorities as applying to them. But I am not sure if this is possible legally? It might not be.
In any case, if it is possible, then I think they should do it. But law is so complex, rigid, and impersonal and doing something that is not according to the law can have bad repercussions down the road, even for an innocent party.

The JWs have been trying to, actually imploring, legislators to change the law and make ALL clergy mandatory reporters (all over the world). This is what all victims want too. Perhaps this is the real answer to solving the problem…. 

 

 

10 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

I guess someone gave him that information and someone "forbade" him to use it

 

 

The law forbids him to use it.  

10 hours ago, Srecko Sostar said:

The source (WTJWorg) of the information would have the right to publish that information for the sake of “truth and justice”.

I don't think the WT org. has the right to publish it or give anyone else the right. These papers involve specific cases, most of which have not even been proven, but are allegations (and these allegations would have to be proved as fact in court). To publish anything like this....well I am sure you can see this would be very wrong. Zalkin is not interested in publishing, (against the law anyway) as much as he is interested in wining specific cases. But unless a victim asks him to do so, he cannot open a case. So he has no choice but to keep the files locked up.

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Further about the situation with Zalkin.

From one website:

"He Zalkin) also has four years of redacted documents locked in a filing cabinet in his office. The judge’s protective order prevents him from saying how many documents he received or describing what they reveal about child abuse in Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations.

“It’s very frustrating to have seen what I’ve seen and to know what is going on in this institution and this organization,” he said. “It’s very frustrating when I’ve got a gag in my mouth. It’s pretty hard. We’re trying our best to expose this truth, and they’re doing everything they can to interfere with that effort, to block that effort.”

Who put the gag in his mouth? The judge.

And if you don't mind me saying, what has he seen, as he claims? And what does he know about the "institution"? In reality he knows nothing, only what he has heard or seen written down.  He is just saying words that will impress lay people, people who don't know much about JWs or the law. He himself knows, as a lawyer, he could never divulge information in these documents. He would lose his license immediately.

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1 hour ago, Anna said:

I think this issue is taken to be viewed from the secular perspective only.

So, we could say that it is a matter of decision, In this case by JW elders, how much they want to be principled. The three Jews from the book of Daniel were so principled that they were thrown into the furnace of fire. Some are principled and refuse blood transfusions or military service. But WTJWorg lawyers are the ones asking the court that JW elders should have the same status as Catholic priests. It is not the court that grants them that status (perhaps court try to understand and make comparison between payed and not-payed "ministers" . The JW elders invoke the right not to speak before the Court what a JW member has admitted to them.

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16 hours ago, Anna said:

They, the secular authorities, designate JW elders as having a clerical role as ministers (of religion). Therefore, under official circumstances, such as in a court of law, elders are viewed as "clergy"

I think you are a dreamer, but we've been down this road before and you will believe what you want to believe. 

If i remember rightly in one case, the Elders refused to testify against a fellow Elder, using that clergy privilege as the excuse.

Maybe Zalkin or the judge is being paid off by the GB and their Lawyers. 

But tell me please.

Australia had the Australian Royal Commission 

Here in the UK we have had the Charity Commission and the IICSA.

The Netherlands had an investigation and report. 

So what is America doing ? Where is the investigation in the USA ?

Canada, was trying to have a massive million dollar law suit, but I think it wasn't allowed. So what is Canada now doing ?

Seems strange that the Watchtower / JW Org isn't being investigated in it's 'home land'. 

( @Witness mentioned something about the Org making payment to a politician some time back )

The GB will do anything to keep their authority and power.  I think they are paying off someone in America to stop an investigation from happening. 

But of course if you know different. If you know of an investigation into religion in the USA ??? 

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      O’Donnell’s second appearance in front of the grand jury centered on Witness documents, some of which date back to the 1980s, that have been leaked by whistleblowers, and show how Witness leaders instructed their underlings to stymie law enforcement inquiries and withhold information about suspected pedophiles from unsuspecting congregations.
      The religion has faced increased scrutiny in recent years, from a 2018 episode of an A & E series, “Cults and Extreme Belief," to 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  last year that focused on O’Donnell’s efforts, and a recent Oxygen documentary, Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  which highlights ongoing reporting from Trey Bundy, a reporter at Reveal, from The Center for Investigative Reporting. For years, many ex-Witnesses had little choice but to grapple with their trauma silently. Survivors eventually began forming communities on social media — Reddit, YouTube, Facebook — and hoped that the religion’s leaders would be held accountable, either in a news story or a courtroom, for enabling abusers.
      Meanwhile, in Arizona, Brian Chase can still trace the fallout from the rape he survived. He was reprimanded by Witness elders who learned that he had been abused, and then kicked out of his house by his parents, who mistakenly believed he was abusing drugs. He was shunned by those closest to him, and had to muddle through a period of homelessness and years of heartache and confusion.
      He now works with nonprofits that advocate for legislation to benefit and protect abuse victims, a tangible way of healing and helping others who have had to dig out of their own personal hells.
      Traveling 2,000 miles back to Pennsylvania, to testify for the grand jury, offered another chance to make a difference.
        “I felt relief, and that I was doing a good thing,” he said. “I want to do whatever I can to prevent this from happening to other people."
       

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    • By Witness
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    • By Patiently waiting for Truth
      Jehovah’s Witnesses go to court to block sex abuse report publication

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    • By Jack Ryan
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Google "New York Court"

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Scroll down, under "e-COURTS"
      click
      "e-Filing"

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Left hand column, under "Login" click
      "Search as Guest"
      Then enter characters and click "Submit"

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Click "Name" then type in "Watchtower" and click Search
      Then click on the "Sort By" box
      Select "Received Date : newest to oldest"
      Then click "Sort"
      . . .
      JW CSA Survivors in ALL 50 States can seek justice under the New York Child Victims Act
      This law firm confirmed it. You can ask them :
      Jehovah's Witness Sex Abuse Lawyers

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Also, amongst other proof, Irwin Zalkin confirmed this on a video...links to that and other proof is in this video :
      The New York Child Victims Act is for JW CSA Survivors in ALL 50 States

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      "Although McDaniel's alleged abuse occurred in Oklahoma, her attorneys said they would argue that Watchtower, which is based in New York, enabled the conduct by way of negligent policies."

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    • By Witness
      A FORMER JEHOVAH'S WITNESS IS USING STOLEN DOCUMENTS TO EXPOSE ALLEGATIONS THAT THE RELIGION HAS KEPT HIDDEN FOR DECADES.  
       
      In an organization, what sort of prevailing spirit would enable and encourage its people to hide its dirty business?  The spirit of God, who always exposed the sins of His people?
      What spiritual atmosphere promotes child abuse by ignoring a child’s call for help and justice, from their own parents? 
      What sort of spirit promotes parents to threaten their children using disgusting ‘weaponry’ against them, and at the same time, teaching them of “Jehovah’s paradise” as a promise if they were good? 
      What spirit resides in the heart of an elder who would ask a child suffering from parental abuse, “If her mother did end up killing her, could that prevent Jehovah from resurrecting her at Armageddon? “Of course, I said no,” Kimmy said, rolling her eyes. “They told me, ‘Go home and obey your mother.’”
      How can the Watchtower call itself “Jehovah’s theocratic organization”, or “Jehovah’s spiritual temple” when at the inner core of its “whitewashed tomb”, “the bones of the dead and everything unclean” exists?  Matt 23:27
      Child abuse is everywhere, but it is a rampant evil sickness in an organization that proudly claims to belong to “Jehovah”, to be a protection in times of distress, and an ark of salvation.  What hypocrisy.    Has it ever occurred to a JW that God sees the sins of His people?  And when God sees His people sinning, He refuses to aid them in times of crisis?
      Remind yourself again of what is happening in Russia.  Since the organization obviously hides its sins; yet, blatantly practices idolatry by ignoring the true temple of God in the anointed ones, (1 Pet 2:5,9; 1Cor 3:16,17; Eph 2:20-22; 2 Thess 2:3,4) God has no interest in coming to  Watchtower’s aid in times of distress. 
      Tell me why He would.    Judges 2:6-23; Rom 1:18-25
       We have a deliverer, and it isn’t the GB or the organization who has refused to offer any aid to thousands who have suffered from abusive individuals residing in the “spiritual paradise”.  Our deliverer is the Father and Jesus Christ.  Judges 3:7-9; Rev 2:2-6,19-22; 3:17-21
      From The Atlantic:  
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    • By JOHN BUTLER
      I was having a discussion on here somewhere with someone, concerning the IICSA investigation into JW Org in the UK. 
      I've just received this email from them so thought I'd put it up on here for people to look at. 
      It doesn't copy and paste exactly as it looks on my email, but here it is anyway :- 
      Our reference: IICSA-0013979

       
      Dear Mr Butler
      Thank you for contacting the Inquiry on 3 February.
      As you may be aware, the Inquiry is investigating institutional failure to protect children from sexual abuse in the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches. In June 2015 it issued a retention order covering documents of interest to the Inquiry to the leaders of 18 prominent religious organisations, including the Jehovah's Witnesses.  
      The Inquiry has received correspondence from a considerable number of individuals raising concerns about child sexual abuse within Jehovah's Witnesses organisations. At present the Inquiry is committed to delivering its existing programme and is not currently launching any new investigations. However, as our work progresses, we will consider calls for a Jehovah's Witnesses specific investigation carefully.
      Any updates on our investigations, including scope and hearings can be found on our website at 
      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. The Inquiry has launched 13 investigations into a broad range of institutions identified on the basis of the Panel’s criteria for selection of investigations. The investigations will give a voice to victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, enable the Inquiry to understand how institutions have failed to protect children from sexual abuse and make practical recommendations to ensure better institutional protection for children in the future. www.iicsa.org.uk  
      I am sorry for the delay in responding to you and I hope that you have found this information useful. If you have any questions regarding the contents of this email, please do not hesitate to contact the Inquiry again.
      Yours sincerely
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      Jodie Yarborough
      Head of Correspondence & Engagement Team
      Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
       
    • By Shiwiii
      Why does it take the Inquisition into the CSA by governments around the world, lawsuits in many countries and  the threat of non-profit status in a few countries to FORCE the wt/gb to amend the CSA policy?  The article is in the May 2019 WT and the title of the article is "Love and Justice in the Face of Wickedness". 
       
       
      "13 Do elders comply with secular laws about reporting an allegation of child abuse to the secular authorities? Yes. In places where such laws exist, elders endeavor to comply with secular laws about reporting allegations of abuse....So when they learn of an allegation, elders immediately seek direction on how they can comply with laws about reporting it."
       
      I can see that they still won't enforce reporting to the police each and every CSA case only if required by law.  Key word is "REQUIRED" .
       
      "14 Elders assure victims and their parents and others with knowledge of the  matter that they are free to report an allegation of abuse to the secular authorities. But what if the report is about someone who is a part of the congregation and the matter then becomes known in the community? Should the Christian who reported it feel that he has brought reproach on God’s name? No. The abuser is the one who brings reproach on God’s name."
       
      Finally, they finally get it that it is the wrong doer who is the bad guy and not the reporter.......but, I'm sure this is just lip service. And here's why:
       
       
      16 When they learn that someone in the congregation is accused of child abuse, elders endeavor to comply with any secular laws about reporting the matter, and then they conduct a Scriptural investigation. If the individual denies the accusation, the elders consider the testimony of witnesses. If at least two people—the one making the accusation and someone else who can verify this act or other acts of child abuse by the accused—establish the charge, a judicial committee is formed. 
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      And there you have it, two witness rule still in effect and no mandatory reporting of CSA unless mandated by law.
      However, what is the true gain here? Not much, but some is better than nothing, the fact that whoever reports is not the bad guy, the abuser is.  What a wonderful provision made by the loving Jehoverning body. I hope that one day the gb/wt will be on par with humanity in reporting ALL accusations of CSA or any abuse for that matter. 
    • By Jack Ryan
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Two different women came forward in 2018 with stories of repeated sexual abuse during their childhood by adult members of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
      One woman, Romy Maple, said she was repeatedly drugged and sexually abused by the same man starting when she was 4 years old. She said other members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses ignored her efforts to alert them to the abuse.
      Years later, Maple appeared prominently in the A&E documentary series, “Cults and Extreme Belief,” which brought her story to national attention. Maple has since launched a nonprofit, 707SAFE — which stands for Sexual Assault Fighters Elite — offering “coaching, transitional and transformational support” to fellow survivors of child sexual abuse, according to Maple’s
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. . Another woman, who gave her name as Sister Star, said she was drugged, filmed and sexually abused at a Eureka hotel by a family friend and fellow member of Jehovah’s Witnesses. She said her grandfather and other men did the same to her months before, and further said her stepfather sexually abused her throughout her childhood years.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Sister Star came forward with her story of sexual abuse in August. (Jose Quezada — The Times-Standard file)   As in Maple’s case, Sister Star said elders of the Jehovah’s Witnesses took no action to help her.
      Jehovah’s Witnesses World Headquarters offered the Times-Standard the following comment earlier this year:
      “Jehovah’s Witnesses abhor child abuse and view it as a crime. (Romans 12:9)” the document states. “We recognize that the authorities are responsible for addressing such crimes. (Romans 13:1-4) The elders do not shield any perpetrator of child abuse from the authorities.”
      No criminal action has been taken in either Maple or Sister Star’s cases due to existing statute-of-limitations laws. In 2016, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill dismissing the statute of limitations for crimes of rape, sexual assault and other sexual offenses committed in 2017 and onward.

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    • By JOHN BUTLER
      I thought I'd just share this. Please read the whole article before judging it. 
      'Punished' for being sexually abused in York County: Jehovah's Witnesses' culture of cover-up
      THE CHURCH ISOLATES ITS MEMBERS, SHAMES AND SHUNS VICTIMS WHO COME FORTH AND INSTRUCTS ELDERS TO KEEP REPORTS SECRET. AND CHILDREN ARE BEING ABUSED.
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    • By Jack Ryan
      The Jehovah's Witness Church in Australia failed to protect children in its care from sexual predators, a report has found.
      The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse delivered its report into the organisation on Monday.
      It stated that: "Children are not adequately protected from the risk of child sexual abuse in the Jehovah's Witness organisation and [the commission] does not believe the organisation responds adequately to allegations of child sexual abuse."
      Survivors of sexual abuse within the church and senior church members appeared before a public hearing last year.
      The inquiry heard the church received allegations ofHello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. over a 60-year period but did not report a single claim to police.
      In its report on the inquiry, the royal commission found that the organisation's general practice of "not reporting serious instances of child sexual abuse to police or authorities, demonstrated a serious failure on its part to provide for the safety and protection of children."
      The royal commission determined that the church's response to allegations of child sexual abuse were outdated, including a rule that there must be two witnesses to an incident, which "showed a serious lack of understanding of the nature of child sexual abuse".
      "It noted the rule, which the Jehovah's Witness organisation relies on, and applies inflexibly even in the context of child sexual abuse, was devised more than 2000 years ago," the report found.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Royal commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan. Photo: Jeremy Piper
      The Jehovah's Witnesses approach to handling claims internally was not appropriate for children or survivors of sexual abuse, the report found.
      "Survivors are offered little or no choice in how their complaint is addressed, sanctions are weak with little regard to the risk of the perpetrator re-offending."
      The head of the Jehovah's Witness community's service desk, Rodney Spinks, is considering the report and is expected respond on Monday afternoon.
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    • By Jack Ryan
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. An article in the print edition of Wales On Sunday, an English-language Welsh newspaper, and 'sister' newspaper to The Western Mail (Mon to Sat). Wales on Sunday has a circulation of just under 10,000-copies each Sunday.
      Wales on Sunday (UK), Sunday, October 21, 2018 - page 16
      It has been a busy week for the courts in Wales with several high-profile cases being dealt with.
      Here are some of the criminals jailed this week.
      Roy Collins
      Collins was given a 23-year extended sentence after being convicted of the systematic sexual abuse of two young girls in the 1980s and 1990s.
      The Jehovah's Witness was branded as "devious, righteous and arrogant" by a judge at Swansea Crown Court.
      Read online version:

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    • By Jack Ryan
      Item about child sexual abuse within community of Jehovah's Witnesses, RTL Nieuws (Netherlands), October 6th, 2018 English subtitles included
       
    • By JOHN BUTLER
      Last September (2017),  there was internet info regarding a $66 million dollar lawsuit being filed against Jehovah's Witnesses in Canada, for Child Abuse / Pedophilia.
      I haven't been able to find out any more information this year and would be very pleased if someone could update me on outcome or ongoing situation.

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. This is probably not a good link to add but it's just one of many online. 
    • By Shiwiii
      Meanwhile in Montana:
       
      HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana jury has ruled that the Jehovah’s Witnesses organization must pay $34 million to a woman who says the church covered up her sexual abuse as a child at the hands of a congregation member.
      Neil Smith, an attorney representing the 32-year-old woman, says the jury’s verdict Wednesday in the lawsuit sends a message to the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ New York headquarters to stop prioritizing church secrecy over children’s safety.
      Jehovah’s Witness officials did not immediately respond to a call or email for comment. The monetary award must be reviewed by the trial judge.
      The jury dismissed claims by a second woman who alleged abuse by the same man in Thompson Falls in the 1990s.
      The jury concluded church elders did not receive notice of the second woman’s abuse and therefore did not have a duty to tell authorities.
       
      -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
      When will this one make the jw news feed? 
    • By Jack Ryan
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Religious sect Jehovah’s Witnesses has refused to hand over documents to the public prosecutor in which an ex-member admits the abuse of a child, also member of the sect at the time, RTL Nieuws reports. Samet G, now 31, was a minor himself when the abuse of his 4 year-old niece started. The abuse continued until she was 14 and was reported to the police in 2015 when the girl and her mother left the Christian sect. A court in Breda last week sentenced G to a 9 months suspended sentence and a fine for the abuse but did not have access to the confession, which dates from 2011. G is appealing against his conviction.
      JehovahÂ’s Witnesses have their own internal committees which sit in judgement in cases of sexual abuse and do not involve the police. A record of these proceedings is made and kept. According to RTL, the public prosecutorÂ’s request for a copy of the confession was refused on the grounds that it would compromise the manÂ’s privacy and that, by law, clergymen, or in this case the elders, cannot be forced to reveal what has been told to them in confidence. Although there is doubt among lawyers that the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses elders can claim this right, the public prosecutor accepted the refusal, RTL writes.
      The sect also refuses to cooperate in an independent inquiry and, according to minister for legal protection Sander Dekker, it cannot be forced to do so. Abuse survivors According to Reclaimed Voices, an organisation that helps ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses members who were victims of sexual abuse, the minister needs to do much more. ‘If we can’t get the files via the courts we need politicians to act. Someone must force the Jehovah’s Witnesses to hand them over,’ the organisation’s spokesman Frank Huiting told RTL. CDA MP Madeleine van Toorenburg and other MPs have asked the minister to investigate if Jehovah’s Witness have the right to refuse access to documents that might shed light on a criminal case and slated the sect’s ‘culture of silence and cover-ups,’ RTL writes. Jehovah’s Witnesses are being widely accused of silencing victims of sexual abuse within the sect. The Guardian newspaper recently uncovered a case involving at least 100 victims who claim to have been abused.

      Read more at
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    • By Jack Ryan
      The Flemish Parliament has opened an inquiry into the child abuse policies and cover ups of Jehovah's Witnesses. The investigation is collecting complaints, not to make their stories public but to start an official investigation into the child abuse policies of Jehovah's Witness groups.

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    • By JW Insider
      Under another topic which was unrelated to child abuse issues, the claim was put forward (again) that JWs may have only a tenth of the problem that others have with child abuse. As TTH put it recently:
      TTH has stated this multiple times and in various ways now, also stating that JWs have found "a solution that cuts occurrences by 90%." TTH didn't start this idea, it was in another persons post, which may have based it on some very questionable numbers that came out of the Australian Royal Commission.
      I don't know if anyone can give an accurate accounting statistically, but if we are going to make such statements it's a good idea to start somewhere to see why they are being used. I will first present some numbers which appear to contradict the claim, and anyone who has anything different should, of course, join in if they think it's important to figure it out more accurately.
      In past months, I reported on the outrageous numbers that have been reported against the Catholic Church institutions, including their schools, where 7% of all Catholic priests have been accused of child abuse. Of course this represents an average in various diocese and institutions, where it might run as low as 0% in some, and as high as 25% in others. Even a high percentage of Catholic nuns in one institution had been accused of child sexual abuse. The nuns had a relatively small percentage when compared to another institution where the rate of accused priests and "Brothers" reached nearly 40%. It was a Catholic institution that was set up to care for children with mental disabilities. [The term "Brothers" in this context is a title which doesn't have the generic meaning it has among JWs.]  The BBC interviewed several people who seriously stated that the Catholic Church should be charged with running a "criminal" organization.
      I think it is probably obvious to all of us that such levels of child abuse among the highest levels of church institutional leaders cannot be compared with the Witnesses, where the problem is not nearly so bad. There are also issues of comparing Catholic leaders such as bishops, priests and deacons and the counting of all problems among the entire congregations of JWs, not just elders and ministerial servants ("deacons"). But this doesn't mean the problem is not bad.
      I'll start throwing out some quotes I've read about what the ARC reported about JWs, the Uniting Church, and the Catholic Church. [The Uniting Church is a kind of conglomerate of Presbyterian/Methodist/Congregationalist churches in Australia.]
      You may need a subscription to this Australian paper "The Australian" or an account with a university or newspapers.com to see the entire content of the article that shows up in Google as follows for MEDIA WATCH DOG Friday March 17, 2017 :
       
        ----quotation-------
      Here’s some news which the ABC and Fairfax Media do not regard as fit-to-print. Over the past four decades, a child in Australia was much more likely to suffer sexual abuse at a school or institution run by the Uniting Church than at a school or institution run by the Catholic Church.
      The ABC and Fairfax Media – along with The Guardian and The Saturday Paper – have given extensive coverage to allegations against the Catholic Church made at the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The ABC’s Samantha Donovan and Philippa McDonald and Louise Milligan along with Fairfax Media’s Rachel Browne and Joanne McCarthy have been perhaps the most outspoken of the journalists regularly reporting the Royal Commission in so far as the crimes of pedophile Catholic priests and brothers have been concerned.
      The ABC and Fairfax Media gave considerable coverage to the statement by Counsel Assisting Gail Furness SC on 6 February 2017 that 4445 people alleged instances of child sexual abuse within Catholic schools or institutions up until 2015. Most media focused on the statement by Ms Furness that “7 per cent of priests were alleged perpetrators”.
      However, virtually no media attention was given to Ms Furness’s subsequent clarification on 16 February 2017, with reference to the Catholic Church:
      In other words, within the Catholic Church the vast majority of allegations of pedophilia were made with respect to alleged crimes in the period 1950 to 1989 with close to a third of all allegations relating to the decade of the 1970s. That is, most of the allegations relate to instances of close to four decades ago and are historical crimes.
      In what was called the “Catholic Wrap”, Royal Commission chairman Justice Peter McClellan devoted 15 entire days to examining the Catholic Church. Hearings were held between 6 February 2017 and 26 February 2017.
      On Friday 10 March 2017, the Royal Commission devoted only half a day each to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Uniting Church of Australia. Yet the evidence suggests that, on a per capita basis, there were more pedophiles in each church combined than in the Catholic Church – especially in the 1990s and subsequent decades. . . .
      The statistics available to the Royal Commission with respect to the Uniting Church cover the period from 1977 to the present. That is, unlike the Catholic Church and the Jehovah’s Witnesses, the allegations do not relate to a period going back to 1950.
      There were 2504 instances or allegations of child sexual abuse made in the Uniting Church in the period 1977 to 2017 compared with 4445 instances in the Catholic Church covering the period 1950 to 2015. Yet the Uniting Church is about a fifth of the size of the Catholic Church. And its data covers four decades whereas the Catholic Church’s data covers over six decades. Moreover, evidence available to the Royal Commission indicates that virtually all offending by Catholic priests took place before 1990. Not so, apparently, with the Uniting Church.
      On this evidence, child sexual assaults in the Uniting Church have been more prevalent than in the Catholic Church – especially in the years since 1990. This despite the fact that the Uniting Church has married male priests and female priests. There is no celibacy requirement within the Uniting Church and no sacrament of confession (in which the Royal Commission has taken a special interest concerning the Catholic Church).
      Yet you would not be aware of any of this if you followed only the reporting of the Royal Commission by the ABC, Fairfax Media, The Guardian and The Saturday Paper. It seems the likes of Samantha Donovan, Philippa McDonald, Louise Milligan, Joanne McCarthy and Rachel Browne did not come back from lunch on Friday 10 February and simply missed the coverage of sexual child abuse in the Uniting Church in the four decades since 1977.
      ---end of quotation-----
      I downloaded that Excel spreadsheet from the ARC (once posted here) that gave limited information about each of the JW cases, and should note that even cases that went back to the 1970's were evidently not there because there was any regular record-keeping by JWs going back that far. They could have been included when a case recorded decades later was found to be applicable to an instance or accusation from a much earlier date.
    • By James Thomas Rook Jr.
      This just in from the Charlotte, NC Charlotte Observer Newspaper:
      Sex abuse cases against Jehovah's Witnesses church settled
      "The Associated Press   March 06, 2018 07:50 PM
      Updated 1 hour 41 minutes ago
      SAN DIEGO Two men who say they were sexually abused by a leader at Jehovah's Witnesses congregations in San Diego in the 1990s have settled their lawsuits against the church's governing body.
      The San Diego Union-Tribune reports Tuesday that the settlements were finalized last week. Both sides say they aren't authorized to discuss the terms.
      A New York state appeals court in November upheld $4,000-a-day penalty against Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York for failing to comply with a court order to hand over internal documents about knowledge of church leaders who had been accused of sexually abusing children.
      Both plaintiffs say church elders knew of the abuse as early as 1982 but covered it up and allowed the leader to keep working with children."
      In this case,  the Courts SUBPOENAED the records ( demanding that they appear ...) and it cost the WTB&TS $4,000 a day for every day THEY REFUSED.  Several months ago, it was up to 2.1 million dollars. 
      What breaks my heart is that children are giving their ice cream money to an organization that pays a team of supposedly theocratic  lawyers ... to ACTIVELY obstruct Justice ..... for MONEY!
      Same thing is going on in Delaware as we speak.
       

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    • By Bible Speaks
      New Judicial front against Watchtower
      In The Quebec Court, Canada, a lawsuit has been filed for 66 million Canadian dollars, against the organization of Jehovah's witnesses in Canada and the United States, on behalf of alleged victims of child abuse while they were Jehovah's Witnesses.
      We do not hide that opponents, who are led by professional apostates, are being organized as a group, to attack the finances of the Watchtower, trying for all the means to sink it economically.

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    • By Bible Speaks
      The Quebec court requests the adoption of a collective demand for sexual abuse against Jehovah's witnesses
      A trial proposes to accuse the leadership of the religious organization in Canada and the United States to protect alleged abusers
      The lawsuit is looking for $ 250.000 per plaintiff for moral and punitive damages.
      Radio-Canada says that, if approved by the court, collective action will be the first of its kind against Jehovah's witnesses, a religious movement that is already the subject of several individual trials in the United States.
      It is now up to the québec high court to determine whether the application is sufficiently substantiated to authorize collective action.

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Quebec provincial police are investigating allegations of child sexual abuse by two members of a Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation in Mont-Laurier in the Laurentians, Radio-CanadaÂ’s investigative program Enquête has learned.
      Both men have been sanctioned through the churchÂ’s internal disciplinary process for dealing with allegations of child abuse, but congregation elders did not share their findings with civil authorities.
      One of the men being investigated, Michel Courtemanche, who has been expelled from the congregation, was acquitted of charges of sexual assault and indecent assault in 1996.
      However, the Sûreté du Québec has renewed its investigation of Courtemanche and has begun investigating another man, former congregation elder Georges Leclerc, based on new evidence from at least seven alleged victims.
      Leclerc has been stripped of his status as an elder, but he has not been arrested or charged, and he refused to speak with Enquête.
      Courtemanche has not been arrested or charged as a result of the new investigation and denies the allegations against him. In an interview with Enquête, he pointed to his 1996 acquittal.
      “My answer is there was a judgment on this based on very precise facts, and I was acquitted,” he said.
      At least 7 potential victims, police say
      Enquête spoke with Pénélope Herbert, the woman whose allegations of repeated sexual assaults starting when she was just 10 led to Courtemanche’s 1996 trial.  
      Carolle Poudrier, now in her mid-40s, also told Enquête of alleged sexual contact by Courtemanche, over a period of months when she was 11.
      In the case of Herbert, she said the assaults continued until she was 17 — even after her family moved from Mont-Laurier.
      “He would come to our house to say hello and would sleep over,” Herbert, now 42, told Enquête. “Those nights, he would come to my room. We’re talking total rape, those nights.”
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Carolle Poudrier told Enquête of alleged sexual contact by Michel Courtemanche, over a period of months when she was 11. (Jasmin Simard/Radio-Canada)
      Enquête has learned the SQ has interviewed more than 40 people, of whom seven have been identified as potential victims of either Courtemanche or Leclerc.
      Four of the seven, including Herbert and Poudrier, have now filed formal complaints with police. SQ spokesperson Martine Asselin told Enquête they’re now seeking other possible victims and witnesses.
      “We’re looking to identify other potential victims who perhaps feel they’re alone and aren’t ready to talk,” Asselin said.
      “They should know that investigators are ready to meet with them and witnesses.”
      Both men were friends
      According to Enquête, Leclerc and Courtemanche were friends around the time Herbert’s parents lodged an internal complaint with the congregation about the alleged assaults on their daughter.
      Leclerc was, as a congregation elder, a senior member of the congregation who is responsible for providing religious guidance and ruling on disciplinary matters.
      Enquête said Leclerc allegedly did not speak to Herbert to learn the details of her complaint, as required by Jehovah’s Witness protocols in such matters.
      Courtemanche was later reprimanded and allowed to remain in the congregation.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Georges Leclerc and Michel Courtemanche were friends around the time Pénélope Herbert’s parents lodged an internal complaint with the congregation, according to Enquête. (Jasmin Simard/Radio-Canada)
      Disillusioned with how the JehovahÂ’s Witnesses had handled her complaint, Herbert took her allegations to police in 1995.
      Courtemanche remained a Jehovah’s Witness after his acquittal but was expelled in 2014, Enquête found, after two other women filed internal complaints alleging he had assaulted them as minors.
      Leclerc remains with the Mont-Laurier congregation, but Enquête says he was stripped of his elder duties after at least three women filed complaints internally with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, alleging he had assaulted them when they were minors.
      Police, youth protection not notified of allegations
      According to Enquête, the first time police investigated Herbert’s allegations against Courtemanche in the mid-1990s, they were not aware Carolle Poudrier’s parents had also alleged Courtemanche had assaulted their daughter.
      Poudrier’s parents were members of a congregation in Terrebonne, just north of Montreal, and had filed their complaint there — not with Courtemanche’s congregation in Mont-Laurier.
      Poudrier alleged that Courtemanche, who was working for her dad, would make her sit on his lap so he could caress and tickle her, which made her uneasy. A few months later, he kissed her twice.
      “He asked me if I’d ever kissed anyone, and he put his tongue in my mouth. I found that disgusting,” Poudrier told Enquête.
      After she told her parents and they complained, Poudrier was made to recount what happened to a congregational elder in the presence of her father.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Carolle Poudrier told what happened to a congregational elder in the presence of her father. (Jasmin Simard/Radio-Canada)
      “I was really stressed talking about sexual matters with a man I didn’t know, in front of my father. It was embarrassing,” Poudrier said.
      She said the elder thanked her for telling him what had happened and said that “he was there to take care of it.”
      In a lawyer’s letter to Radio-Canada, the elder in question, John MacEwan, said he knew Poudrier’s family but denied meeting with them concerning allegations against Courtemanche.
      When asked by Enquête if the Terrebonne congregation had shared the complaint against Courtemanche with his Mont-Laurier congregation, MacEwan refused to answer.
      Neither police nor youth protection authorities were ever notified of the alleged assaults on Poudrier.
      The JehovahÂ’s Witnesses leadership, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, has given preference to internal judicial procedures and protocols for dealing with matters such as child abuse.
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Carolle PoudrierÂ’s father, left, had worked with Michel Courtemanche, right. (Jasmin Simard/Radio-Canada)
      “In some jurisdictions, individuals who learn of an allegation of child abuse may be obligated by law to report the allegation to the secular authorities,” an internal memo to elders from 2016 reads.
      “In all cases, the victim and her parents have the absolute right to report an allegation to the authorities.”
      When it comes to sharing information with outside authorities, however, the leadership has insisted on maintaining confidentiality, citing privacy and the ecclesiastical privilege conferred by confessions.
      Enquête found there are as many as 30 steps a Jehovah’s Witness must take before that person is allowed to testify in court or furnish civil authorities with church documents, when it comes to matters of child abuse.
      “When you study the process, you realize it’s really a process for avoiding, a system for protecting the reputation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses,”  said Marilou Lagacé, a former Witness interviewed by Enquête.
      New instructions regarding allegations of child sexual abuse
      A recent royal commission in Australia found the JehovahÂ’s Witness church there had recorded allegations of child sexual abuse against 1,006 members over a 60-year period. Not one allegation had been reported to authorities outside the church.
      With pressure mounting in the wake of that royal commission and other allegations of sexual abuse of children in its ranks, on Sept. 1, the Watchtower Society issued new instructions regarding allegations of child sexual abuse.
      Those instructions recognize child sexual abuse as a crime and assert that members should be “clearly informed that they have the right” to report an allegation of abuse to police.
      “The congregation’s handling of an accusation of child sexual abuse is not intended to replace the secular authority’s handling of the matter,” the Sept. 1 letter reads.
      “Therefore, the victim, her parents, or anyone else who reports such an allegation to the elders should be clearly informed that they have the right to report the matter to the secular authorities.
      Elders do not criticize anyone who chooses to make such a report.”


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    • By Jack Ryan
      TRANSLATION HERE (Google Translate)
      The victim calls the society with its own legal system a 'paradise for pedophiles'.The way in which Jehovah's Witnesses deal with sexual abuse in-house rooms has traumatic consequences for victims. Criminals easily escape the abuse, say victims, members and ex-members whom Trouw spoke. This creates an unsafe situation for children.Jehovah's Witnesses find that their internal justice system is above the 'worldly authorities'. Male elders act as judges. They follow the guidelines of the International Headquarters in the United States, shown by internal documents held by Trouw.
      Misuse victim Marianne the Guardian: "Jehovah's Witnesses keep the perpetrators hand over the head. Abuse is solved by the first best farmer who is elder, who has no sense. "Another victim calls Jehovah's Witnesses a" paradise for pedophiles. "If misuse is discovered, it is difficult to convict internally. According to the Jehovah's Witnesses, two witnesses are required. They are almost never abused. For example, if it comes to condemnation, the perpetrator may no longer be out loud in prayer.Only if the perpetrator does not regret can he be put out of community. Other members are not informed of any danger because talking about a case without conviction is perceived as defamation or reproach. On the ground someone can be excluded.Insufficient protectionThe findings of Trouw are in line with a report published by an Australian research commission in November. The conclusion: Children are insufficiently protected from abuse and the organization is not adequately addressed with accusations.
      The Jehovah's Witnesses are a Christian society with around 30,000 followers in the Netherlands. About fifteen years ago, the organization in Trouw said that they only registered cases of abuse by officers. The spokesman had never heard of such abuse.However, three of the four victims who allegedly believed to be abused by an elder were declared to be. The Dutch headquarters of the Jehovah's Witnesses in Emmen reveal that they would now "nuance more" the earlier statement. The organization does not want to engage in individual abuse cases.She says working on the 'resilience' of children and families and discussing sexuality without 'veil of mystery'. And: 'Protecting our children is taken very seriously'.That response is indicative of the way the organization tries to stay out of place, says Frances Peters, ex-witness and coach for people from compelling religious group cultures. "They say, the children must be more resilient, while they should protect them properly."Perhaps more victimsThe abuse that victims talked to victims took place in the eighties and nineties. Victims and experts say the abuse is still taking place. There are virtually no indications that the policy of Jehovah's Witnesses has been adapted.However, the organization against this newspaper says "to constantly review its procedures in order to improve the way we deal with such issues". And: "When it comes to child abuse, Jehovah's Witnesses have a clear policy based on biblical principles."According to Peters, the organization emphasized in 2002 and 2003 during a training for elders that abuse is a crime that must be dealt with by the government. "This is allowed on paper to report to the police. But the change is nowhere communicated to the members. "For reports and reports for sexual abuse, no recent reports of (ex-) witnesses are known. The Sektesignal notification point does not want to name organizations, but lets know that "these types of alerts come across all kinds of groups."According to Peters, there are no reports of witnesses: "Victims often blame themselves for the abuse. If things are done internally, that means someone has dared to open his mouth. But the chance is that there are many more victims who never dared.
      "Read also:- The story of victim Marianne Voogd: "This is our secret. When you open your mouth, I'll do something to you. "- The story of an elder who wanted to help an abused girl: Elder is a detective, judge and psychologist-
      Who are Jehovah's Witnesses actually? Read all you need to know.
       
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      JW had multiple allegations of rape
      Once Noticias Honduras, May 26, 2017
      His victims are girls between 12 and 13 years of age. The authorities have not disclosed which congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses the accused belongs to.
      More than five reports of rape filed by minors between 12 and 13 years old had the prosecution against Roger Abraham Flores Diaz, 45, the Jehovah's Witnesses preacher arrested last night in San Pedro Sula, authorities said.
      Flores Díaz was arrested in Barrio el Centro by agents of the Technical Agency of Criminal Investigation (ATIC), where he had a business selling cell phones. According to the authorities, he deceived the young girls by offering them money.
       
    • By Jack Ryan
      A former member of the Jehovah Witness congregation will appear in court next week after he was charged with sexually assaulting four boys.
      The charges stem from ongoing investigations linked to the Royal Commission into institutional child sexual offences.
      Police allege between 1993 to 2013, the 44-year-old man sexually assaulted four boys aged between 14 and 16 at the time of the offences.
      READ MORE: 
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    • By Jack Ryan
      26 April 2017
      27 April 2017
      28 April 2017
      1 May 2017
      6 May 2017




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    • Eric Ouellet

      Comment fortifier notre foi par les épreuves que nous subissons en ce monde.
       
      DANS la vie, il y a parfois des moments où nous avons désespérément besoin d’aide pour résoudre nos problèmes. S’il nous arrivait d’être frappés par une série de malheurs, nous pourrions facilement sombrer dans le désespoir le plus complet et nous sentir écrasés par l’adversité. C’est dans ces moments-là que nous apprécions l’aide qui nous est offerte.
      Le fait que nous sommes disciples du Fils de Dieu ne signifie pas que nous n’avons jamais besoin d’aide. Nous ne sommes pas à l’abri des épreuves. La maladie, les accidents, les inondations, les tremblements de terre, les tempêtes, la criminalité, l’injustice et l’oppression sont le lot de tous les humains. Nous ne devrions pas nous attendre que le Souverain suprême utilise son pouvoir pour influer sur notre hérédité ou sur notre environnement afin de nous épargner, à nous seulement qui sommes ses serviteurs, les souffrances consécutives aux conditions actuelles. Dieu a prévu d’annuler un jour les effets néfastes du péché de l’homme, mais ce jour est encore à venir. S’il accordait dès à présent une protection miraculeuse à son peuple, une foule d’hommes viendraient sans aucun doute en grossir les rangs, mais uniquement par intérêt, et non pas par amour et par foi. — Comparez avec Jean 6:10-15, 26, 27.
       
      Non seulement nous ne pourrons pas éviter les souffrances que causent des événements pénibles, mais pour la raison même que nous sommes serviteurs de Dieu, nous devrons peut-être endurer la persécution, qu’elle vienne de notre famille, de nos voisins, de nos connaissances ou des autorités gouvernementales. Jésus alla même jusqu’à dire: “On vous livrera à la tribulation et l’on vous tuera, et vous serez les objets de la haine de toutes les nations à cause de mon nom.” (Matthieu 24:9). L’Histoire démontre que c’est ce qui s’est passé précisément dans notre vingtième siècle.
      Pourquoi le Dieu Tout-Puissant permet-il que ses serviteurs subissent des épreuves? Puisque leur mode de vie ne les protège pas des maux courants et qu’il peut même faire d’eux des ‘objets de haine’, on peut se demander s’il est vraiment le meilleur qui soit. Apporte-t-il des bienfaits qui compensent, qui excèdent même les peines subies? Se pourrait-il qu’il y ait plus de bonheur à endurer certaines épreuves qu’à les éviter? Qu’est-ce qui nous permettra de supporter victorieusement les difficultés les plus grandes? La réponse à ces questions nous aidera et nous affermira beaucoup.
      QUI EST LE VRAI RESPONSABLE?
      Il ne faut jamais oublier que notre Père céleste n’est pas responsable de la souffrance. Ce n’est pas lui qui a introduit le péché dans le monde, mais un de ses fils spirituels qui s’est rebellé délibérément contre son Créateur, se faisant ainsi Satan, c’est-à-dire opposant au Très-Haut. Influencé par lui, le premier couple humain, Adam et Ève, a violé volontairement la loi divine et s’est attiré la condamnation de Dieu et la mort (Genèse 3:1-19; Jean 8:44). Adam ayant perdu sa perfection, tous ses descendants sont nés dans le péché et sont sujets à la maladie, aux infirmités, à la vieillesse et à la mort (Romains 5:12). Pécheurs dès la naissance, nous sommes bien loin d’être le genre de personnes que nous voudrions et que nous devrions être. Il nous arrive de blesser les autres involontairement par nos paroles ou nos actes, et d’ajouter ainsi à leurs peines. Il faut donc nous rappeler que Dieu n’est pas responsable des difficultés causées par notre imperfection ou par celle de nos semblables. Si sa loi avait été respectée, la maladie, les infirmités, la vieillesse et toutes les autres causes de souffrances n’auraient jamais existé.
      Notre Père céleste n’approuve pas non plus l’extrême cruauté de l’homme envers son semblable. La Bible déclare: “Écraser sous les pieds tous les prisonniers du pays, priver un homme de ses droits au mépris du Très-Haut, égarer la justice dans les tribunaux, — le Seigneur n’a jamais approuvé ces choses.” (Lamentations 3:34-36, The New English Bible). Ceux qui violent la loi de Dieu en maltraitant leurs semblables devront lui rendre des comptes. “La vengeance est à moi; c’est moi qui paierai de retour, dit Jéhovah.” (Romains 12:19). Par conséquent, nous devons veiller à ne pas nous irriter contre notre Père céleste à cause des souffrances provoquées par des hommes qui enfreignent délibérément et effrontément sa loi.
      Évidemment, Jéhovah Dieu pourrait empêcher Satan, les démons, les hommes méchants et l’imperfection humaine de provoquer toutes sortes de situations pénibles. Toutefois, puisqu’il permet que même ses serviteurs connaissent l’adversité, il doit avoir de bonnes raisons d’agir ainsi.
      POUR LE BIEN DES “VASES DE MISÉRICORDE”
      Les Écritures expliquent que si Dieu n’est pas intervenu contre les responsables des grandes souffrances qui affligent les humains, c’est dans le but de procurer finalement le plus grand bonheur aux amis de la droiture. Dans sa lettre aux Romains, l’apôtre chrétien Paul écrivit:
      “Que dirons-nous donc? Y a-t-il de l’injustice chez Dieu? Que ce ne soit jamais le cas! Car il dit à Moïse: ‘J’aurai pitié de qui j’ai pitié, et je témoignerai de la compassion à qui je témoigne de la compassion.’ Ainsi donc, cela dépend, non pas de celui qui souhaite ni de celui qui court, mais de Dieu qui a pitié. Car l’Écriture dit à Pharaon: ‘C’est pour cela même que je t’ai laissé subsister, pour faire voir à ton sujet ma puissance, et pour que mon nom soit proclamé par toute la terre.’ Ainsi donc, il a pitié de qui il veut, mais il laisse s’obstiner qui il veut.
      “Tu vas donc me dire: ‘Qu’a-t-il encore à faire des reproches? Qui a résisté en effet à sa volonté formelle?’ Ô homme, vraiment, qui es-tu donc pour répliquer à Dieu? Est-ce que l’objet façonné va dire à celui qui l’a façonné: ‘Pourquoi m’as-tu fait ainsi?’ — Plaît-il? Est-ce que le potier n’a pas pouvoir sur l’argile pour faire, de la même masse, tel vase pour un usage honorable et tel autre pour un usage vulgaire? Si donc Dieu, bien que voulant montrer son courroux et faire connaître sa puissance, a supporté avec beaucoup de longanimité des vases de courroux rendus bons pour la destruction, afin de faire connaître la richesse de sa gloire envers des vases de miséricorde qu’il a par avance préparés pour la gloire, savoir nous qu’il a appelés non seulement d’entre les Juifs, mais encore d’entre les nations, eh bien quoi?” — Romains 9:14-24.
      Les circonstances que Jéhovah peut provoquer ou tolérer dans la vie des hommes permettent de révéler quelle sorte de “vases” ils sont. Le pharaon à qui Jéhovah ordonna, par l’entremise de Moïse et d’Aaron, de libérer les Israélites qu’il tenait en esclavage, continua à s’endurcir contre le Très-Haut. Plus les plaies s’abattaient sur les Égyptiens, plus ce pharaon s’obstinait dans son refus de laisser les Israélites quitter l’Égypte comme un peuple libre. Il se révéla donc un ‘vase de courroux’ qui méritait la destruction pour avoir défié l’autorité du Souverain suprême, Jéhovah Dieu. Par la même occasion le traitement cruel et injuste qu’il infligea aux Israélites prouvait amplement que ceux-ci avaient bien besoin de la miséricorde et de la compassion de Dieu.
      Notez également que, selon l’apôtre Paul, si Jéhovah a laissé le pharaon s’obstiner dans son défi, c’est parce que son nom était impliqué. S’il avait détruit immédiatement cet orgueilleux monarque, Jéhovah Dieu n’aurait pas eu l’occasion de faire connaître l’ampleur et la diversité de son pouvoir, comme il l’a fait en humiliant les nombreuses divinités égyptiennes ainsi que les prêtres magiciens. Les dix plaies et la destruction du pharaon et de son armée dans la mer Rouge, point culminant de l’action de Dieu, furent une démonstration tellement grandiose de la puissance divine que les nations d’alentour en parlaient encore des années plus tard. Ainsi le nom de Jéhovah fut proclamé par toute la terre, ce qui contribua à sa gloire et à son honneur et incita les humains sincères à reconnaître sa suprématie. — Josué 2:10, 11; I Samuel 4:8.
      Les Israélites, tels des “vases de miséricorde”, profitèrent assurément de cette action du Très-Haut. En tolérant l’oppression des Israélites puis en y mettant fin par une splendide démonstration de puissance, Dieu leur permit de mieux le connaître. Il leur donna un aperçu de sa grandeur comme cela n’aurait jamais été possible autrement. Bien que pénibles, les événements que les Israélites vécurent en Égypte auraient certainement dû les aider à comprendre à quel point il était important d’exercer la foi dans le pouvoir salvateur de Dieu et d’éprouver pour lui une crainte salutaire. C’était indispensable s’ils voulaient continuer à mener une vie qui leur apporterait le bonheur, la sécurité, la paix et la santé. — Deutéronome 6:1-24; 28:1-68.
      Tout comme l’inclination du cœur des hommes a été rendue manifeste à cette époque-là, de même les épreuves que Dieu permet que nous subissions aujourd’hui révèlent si nous le servons avec de bons mobiles. Satan, l’adversaire de Dieu, prétend en effet que ceux qui font la volonté divine agissent surtout par égoïsme. Voici ce qu’il déclara au sujet du fidèle Job: “Tout ce qu’un homme a, il le donnera pour son âme. Pour changer, avance ta main, s’il te plaît, et touche jusqu’à son os et à sa chair, et vois s’il ne te maudit pas à ta face.” (Job 2:4, 5). En endurant fidèlement les souffrances, nous réfutons l’accusation de Satan et nous participons à la justification du beau nom de notre Père céleste qui, lui, a confiance en ses fidèles serviteurs. Mais que dire si Jéhovah permet à Satan d’utiliser ses instruments pour infliger aux vrais chrétiens des traitements qui les rendent infirmes ou provoquent leur mort? Si des chrétiennes sont violées ou subissent d’autres agressions tout aussi abominables? Évidemment, ce sont là des choses révoltantes, mais rappelons-nous qu’il n’est rien que notre Père céleste ne puisse entièrement réparer en temps voulu. C’est pourquoi il peut parfois juger bon de permettre que l’épreuve aille jusqu’à de telles extrémités. Grâce à leur fidélité, même jusqu’à la mort, les serviteurs de Dieu ont ainsi la possibilité de démontrer de façon incontestable qu’ils lui vouent un attachement sincère.
      Aussi surprenant que cela puisse paraître à certains, les épreuves que nous subissons, qu’elles aient des causes naturelles ou qu’elles soient dues à la persécution peuvent malgré tout nous faire progresser sur le plan individuel. C’est ce que fait remarquer l’apôtre Pierre. Après avoir dit que les chrétiens sont “sauvegardés par la puissance de Dieu” pour que leur salut définitif soit assuré, il ajoute:
      “En cette chose vous vous réjouissez grandement, bien que vous soyez actuellement affligés, s’il le faut, pour un peu de temps, par diverses épreuves, afin que la valeur éprouvée de votre foi, beaucoup plus précieuse que l’or qui est périssable quoique éprouvé par le feu, soit trouvée sujet de louange, de gloire et d’honneur lors de la révélation de Jésus Christ.” — I Pierre 1:5-7.
      Comme Pierre l’admet lui-même, il n’est nullement agréable de souffrir. Nous sommes certainement “affligés” lorsque nous subissons des épreuves, et pourtant il est possible, en même temps, de nous réjouir. Pourquoi? Cette joie vient en partie de ce que nous sommes conscients des bienfaits spirituels qui découlent de l’endurance victorieuse des souffrances. Quels sont ces bienfaits spirituels?
      LES SOUFFRANCES AFFINENT LA FOI
      L’apôtre Pierre compare l’effet des épreuves sur la foi d’un chrétien à l’affinage de l’or par le feu. Dans cette opération, on obtient de l’or fin par l’élimination des scories. La valeur bien supérieure de cet or affiné justifie certainement l’utilisation de ce procédé. Pourtant, comme le fait remarquer Pierre, même l’or éprouvé par le feu est périssable. Il peut s’user ou être détruit d’une façon ou d’une autre. Il n’en va pas de même de la foi éprouvée. La vraie foi ne peut être détruite.
      Pour obtenir l’approbation divine, nous devons absolument posséder une telle foi. La Bible déclare: “Sans la foi il est impossible de lui plaire [à Dieu].” (Hébreux 11:6). La foi dont la sincérité est démontrée dans l’épreuve a vraiment beaucoup plus de valeur que l’or fin, car notre avenir éternel en fait partie.
      Mais comment les épreuves affinent-elles la foi au point qu’elle “soit trouvée sujet de louange, de gloire et d’honneur lors de la révélation de Jésus Christ”? 
      En voici plusieurs façons.

      Si notre foi est solide, elle nous réconfortera et nous soutiendra quand nous subirons une épreuve. Ayant passé victorieusement cette épreuve, nous serons plus forts pour faire face à d’autres difficultés éventuelles. L’expérience nous aura montré ce que notre foi peut faire pour nous.
      D’autre part, une certaine épreuve peut révéler un défaut particulier de la personnalité du chrétien, par exemple l’orgueil, l’entêtement, l’impatience ou encore l’amour du monde, du luxe ou des plaisirs. Ces traits viennent en fait d’un manque de foi. En effet, ils montrent que ce chrétien ne se soumet pas totalement à la direction de Dieu et à sa volonté à son égard. Il n’est pas convaincu que son Père céleste sait mieux que quiconque ce qui lui procurera le bonheur ni qu’on est toujours béni quand on suit la direction divine (Hébreux 3:12, 13). Quand les épreuves révèlent au chrétien ses faiblesses, il se rend compte qu’il doit affermir sa foi s’il veut rester un serviteur approuvé du Très-Haut.
      Par conséquent, si un événement particulier révèle que notre foi présente une faille, nous pouvons nous examiner et décider quelle correction apporter. Il serait bien que nous nous posions ces questions: “Pourquoi ma foi est-elle faible? Est-ce que je néglige l’étude et la méditation de la Parole de Dieu? Est-ce que je saisis toutes les occasions qui me sont offertes de me réunir avec mes frères chrétiens afin de m’affermir grâce à la déclaration de leur foi? Ai-je tendance à trop compter sur moi-même au lieu de me décharger sur Jéhovah Dieu de tous mes soucis et de toutes mes ‘inquiétudes’? Est-ce que je prie Jéhovah du fond du cœur chaque jour?” Une fois que nous aurons déterminé dans quels domaines il nous faut progresser, faisons de grands efforts pour effectuer les changements nécessaires dans notre vie quotidienne, afin de fortifier notre foi.
      Si nous recherchons la direction de Dieu et attendons patiemment et avec foi qu’il nous indique le moyen d’être soulagés de nos épreuves, nous ferons en sorte que ces circonstances pénibles nous aident à devenir de meilleurs serviteurs du Très-Haut. Alors, notre foi sera vraiment “trouvée sujet de louange, de gloire et d’honneur lors de la révélation de Jésus Christ”. Le Fils de Dieu ‘louera’ ou fera l’éloge de notre foi. Il nous récompensera largement à cause de celle-ci, nous accordant ainsi la “gloire”. Il nous fera l’“honneur” de nous reconnaître comme ses disciples devant Jéhovah Dieu et devant les anges (comparez avec Matthieu 10:32; Luc 12:8; 18:8). Cela signifiera que nous aurons devant nous la perspective de vivre éternellement et heureux. Mais que pouvons-nous faire pour ne pas faiblir dans la foi quand nous passons par de dures épreuves?
      COMMENT RÉAGIR FACE À L’ÉPREUVE
      Il nous sera plus facile d’endurer avec succès de pénibles épreuves si nous reconnaissons qu’elles sont temporaires. L’affinage de l’or a un commencement et une fin. De même, aucune peine ne durera indéfiniment. Si nous gardons présente dans notre cœur la promesse divine de la vie éternelle sans maladie, ni cri, ni douleur, alors même la pire de toutes les souffrances dans le présent système sera à nos yeux “momentanée et légère”. (II Corinthiens 4:17.) Pensez à l’époque où “l’on ne se remémorera pas les choses précédentes, et [où] elles ne monteront pas au cœur”. (Ésaïe 65:17.) Qu’il est merveilleux de savoir qu’il ne restera même pas un mauvais souvenir de ces moments difficiles!Et puis, il est rare d’avoir à subir quotidiennement de grandes souffrances de la part des hommes. D’ailleurs, notre bonne conduite ne donne guère de raisons aux gens de nous faire du mal. Comme les autorités gouvernementales ont la responsabilité de faire respecter la loi et l’ordre, elles peuvent même louer les serviteurs de Jéhovah pour leur obéissance aux lois. De nos jours, même des gens hostiles aux chrétiens ont dû faire la même constatation que les ennemis de Daniel, fidèle prophète de Dieu; ceux-ci déclarèrent: “Nous ne trouverons dans ce Daniel aucun prétexte, à moins qu’il ne nous faille en trouver contre lui dans la loi de son Dieu.” Oui Daniel était “digne de confiance et (...) aucune négligence ni chose malhonnête ne fut trouvée en lui”. (Daniel 6:4, 5.) En général, il n’y a aucune raison pour qu’à elle seule la bonne conduite du chrétien lui vaille l’hostilité de ses semblables. C’est peut-être pourquoi l’apôtre Pierre soulève la question suivante: “Et en effet qui vous fera du mal si vous devenez zélés pour le bien?” — I Pierre 3:13.
      Mais, par cette question, il se peut que l’apôtre ait plutôt voulu dire: “Qui peut vraiment faire du mal à un chrétien dont la voie est droite?” Personne ne peut nous infliger de mauvais traitements indéfiniment. Jésus Christ déclara en effet à ses disciples: “Ne craignez pas ceux qui tuent le corps mais qui ne peuvent tuer l’âme; mais craignez plutôt celui qui peut détruire et l’âme et le corps dans la Géhenne.” (Matthieu 10:28). Oui, les hommes peuvent aller jusqu’à nous tuer, mais ils sont incapables de nous priver du droit de vivre en tant qu’âmes. Le Dieu Très-Haut, par l’entremise de son Fils, a le pouvoir de rendre la vie à ses fidèles serviteurs et c’est ce qu’il fera. Seul Jéhovah peut nous ôter pour toujours le droit à la vie en nous livrant à la mort éternelle, sans espoir de résurrection.
       L’apôtre Pierre pouvait donc dire à ses frères chrétiens: “Et même si vous souffrez pour la justice, heureux êtes-vous. Cependant ne craignez pas l’objet de leur crainte, et ne vous laissez pas émouvoir.” — I Pierre 3:14.
      Nous pouvons être heureux si nous souffrons “pour la justice, car nous avons alors une conscience pure vis-à-vis de Dieu et des hommes. Nous souffrons pour une juste cause. Nous retirons une satisfaction et une paix profondes de savoir que nous sommes agréables au Très-Haut. Toutefois, comme le fait remarquer l’apôtre, cela n’est possible que si nous ne cédons pas à la peur. Pierre parle peut-être ici de la peur que peuvent nous inspirer nos persécuteurs, à moins qu’il ne s’agisse de la peur qu’éprouvent les persécuteurs eux-mêmes. Par exemple, comme ils ne croient pas que Jéhovah Dieu ressuscitera les morts par l’entremise du Christ, les ennemis des vrais chrétiens redoutent une mort prématurée (Hébreux 2:14, 15). Mais nous, qui sommes serviteurs de Dieu, nous ne partageons pas la crainte des non-croyants, car nous avons été affranchis de la peur d’une telle mort et nous savons que notre Père céleste ne nous abandonnera jamais. Par conséquent, nous ne devrions pas nous laisser “émouvoir” au point, par exemple, de nous élever avec colère contre nos persécuteurs.
      Que faire s’il nous arrivait d’être convoqués devant les autorités gouvernementales et interrogés sur un ton dur et méprisant? Nous ne voudrons jamais rendre la pareille. Sachant que Dieu nous soutient, nous aurons de la hardiesse, sans pour autant nous croire autorisés à adopter une attitude agressive ou arrogante (comparez avec Actes 4:5-20). L’apôtre nous donne ce conseil: “Dans vos cœurs, sanctifiez comme Seigneur le Christ, étant toujours prêts à la défense devant quiconque vous demande la raison de l’espérance qui est en vous, tout en le faisant avec douceur et un profond respect.” (I Pierre 3:15). Si, au lieu de tenir compte de cette exhortation, nous nous montrions au contraire méprisants et irrespectueux, ce ne serait plus pour la justice que nous souffririons. Les autorités s’estimeraient alors en droit de prendre des mesures contre nous pour insoumission et manque de respect. Dans le monde, les gens laissent éclater leur irritation, leur colère et leur rancune quand ils estiment que leurs droits sont lésés, mais le chrétien, lui, n’agit pas ainsi.
      Dans de telles circonstances, nous devons, comme nous le conseille l’apôtre, penser à notre Seigneur et Maître et nous souvenir de l’exemple qu’il nous a donné. Nous veillerons à accorder à Jésus Christ le plus grand respect et à lui réserver une place sacrée dans nos cœurs. Étant ses disciples, nous voudrons répondre à n’importe quelle autorité qui nous interroge comme si nous nous trouvions en la présence même de notre Seigneur. Nous devrions présenter les raisons de notre attitude chrétienne respectueusement et calmement.
      UNE HEUREUSE INFLUENCE SUR NOS ADVERSAIRES
       En endurant fidèlement les souffrances, nous pouvons aussi réduire au silence nos adversaires. C’est là une pensée qui, selon l’apôtre Pierre, nous encouragera à garder une conscience pure. Il déclare: “Gardez une bonne conscience, afin que, sur le point même où l’on parle contre vous, soient pris de honte ceux qui décrient votre bonne conduite pour ce qui est de Christ.” (I Pierre 3:16). En observant la patience des serviteurs de Dieu qui ne se plaignent pas, des gens hostiles peuvent se sentir honteux de les avoir calomniés. Cela est particulièrement vrai lorsque nous traitons nos ennemis avec bonté. — Romains 12:19-21.
      Le fait que l’endurance fidèle dans les épreuves pour la justice produit de tels bienfaits, vient appuyer les paroles suivantes de Pierre: “Car mieux vaut souffrir parce qu’on fait le bien, si le veut la volonté de Dieu, que parce qu’on fait le mal.” (I Pierre 3:17). Quel mérite y aurait-il, en effet, à souffrir parce qu’on a volé, escroqué, fraudé le fisc ou défié l’autorité à cause d’un sentiment de piété mal compris ou d’un zèle intempestif? Celui qui serait puni pour de telles actions ne pourrait que jeter l’opprobre sur lui-même et sur ses compagnons dans la foi. Mais si un chrétien supporte avec patience les mauvais traitements qui lui sont infligés injustement, certains seront impressionnés en se rendant compte qu’une force soutient les vrais adorateurs, tandis que ceux qui portent de faux témoignages sur les vérités divines et sur leurs défenseurs pourront être réduits au silence. Puisque Dieu permet que le chrétien subisse des épreuves, c’est à juste titre que Pierre pouvait dire: “Si le veut la volonté de Dieu.”
      COMME JÉSUS, NOUS SERONS RÉCOMPENSÉS
      Le cas de Jésus illustre bien comment on peut recevoir de grandes bénédictions en restant fidèle dans les souffrances. Étant sans péché, il ne fit rien qui justifiât les mauvais traitements dont il fut victime. Cependant, parce qu’il supporta les épreuves jusqu’à mourir d’une mort ignominieuse sur un poteau, il en résulta pour nous de merveilleux bienfaits, et pour lui, une grande récompense. L’apôtre Pierre écrivit:
      “En effet, le Christ lui-même est mort une fois pour toutes en ce qui concerne les péchés, un juste pour des injustes, afin de vous mener à Dieu, ayant été mis à mort dans la chair, mais ayant été rendu à la vie dans l’esprit. C’est dans cet état qu’il est même allé prêcher aux esprits en prison, qui jadis avaient été désobéissants quand la patience de Dieu attendait, aux jours de Noé, pendant que se construisait l’arche, dans laquelle peu de gens, c’est-à-dire huit âmes, furent transportés sains et saufs à travers l’eau.” — I Pierre 3:18-20.
      Comme Jésus resta absolument intègre dans l’épreuve, il put donner sa vie en sacrifice humain parfait. Ainsi, sa mort prépara la voie pour “mener à Dieu” des humains, pour les réconcilier avec le Très-Haut et pour leur offrir la perspective de la vie éternelle. Étant donné que nous retirons de si grands bienfaits du sacrifice du Christ, ne devrions-nous pas être disposés à suivre son exemple et à souffrir pour la justice?
      En outre, comme dans le cas de Jésus, nous pouvons être certains que notre endurance fidèle sera bénie. Le fait que Jésus a été “rendu à la vie dans l’esprit”, c’est-à-dire qu’il a été ressuscité pour une vie spirituelle, constitue une garantie absolue que ses disciples aussi retrouveront la vie. — I Corinthiens 15:12-22.
       Étant sorti victorieux grâce à son endurance fidèle, le Fils de Dieu, désormais créature spirituelle, pouvait proclamer un message de condamnation aux “esprits en prison”. Puisque ces esprits désobéirent à l’époque de Noé, il doit s’agir des fils angéliques de Dieu qui quittèrent leur résidence originelle dans les cieux pour se marier avec des femmes (Genèse 6:1-4). Ils sont appelés des “esprits en prison” parce que leur châtiment inclut certaines restrictions qui leur interdisent définitivement de reprendre leur place parmi les anges fidèles. Jude confirme que ces anges déchus ne pouvaient recevoir qu’une sentence de condamnation; il dit: “Les anges qui n’ont pas gardé leur position originelle, mais ont abandonné leur propre demeure. [Dieu] les a réservés dans des liens éternels, sous l’obscurité épaisse, pour le jugement du grand jour.” (Jude 6). C’est son endurance fidèle jusqu’à la mort qui valut à Jésus d’être ressuscité et de pouvoir ainsi prêcher ou proclamer une sentence de condamnation contre les anges déchus.
       
       Ce message de destruction adressé aux esprits méchants devrait nous encourager à endurer fidèlement quand nous rencontrons des épreuves. Pourquoi? Parce que ce sont ces forces spirituelles méchantes qui contribuent dans une grande mesure à attiser l’hostilité des humains éloignés de Dieu envers les disciples de Jésus Christ. La Bible déclare: “Le dieu de ce système de choses a aveuglé l’esprit des incrédules, de peur que ne les éclaire l’éclatante lumière de la glorieuse bonne nouvelle au sujet du Christ, qui est l’image de Dieu.” (II Corinthiens 4:4). “Pour nous [les chrétiens] la lutte n’est pas contre le sang et la chair, mais contre les gouvernements, contre les autorités, contre les chefs mondiaux de ces ténèbres, contre les forces spirituelles méchantes qui sont dans les lieux célestes.” (Éphésiens 6:12; voir aussi Révélation 16:13, 14). Si donc Jésus Christ ressuscité a pu prêcher un message de condamnation aux esprits mauvais, nous pouvons être sûrs qu’un jour leur influence haineuse sera réduite à néant (comparez avec Marc 1:23, 24). Quel merveilleux soulagement ce sera alors!
      Non seulement Jésus Christ a été relevé d’entre les morts comme un serviteur approuvé de Dieu, ce qui lui a permis de condamner les anges rebelles, mais il a aussi été élevé à une haute position. L’apôtre Pierre nous dit: “Il est à la droite de Dieu, car il est allé au ciel; et anges, et autorités, et puissances lui ont été soumis.” (I Pierre 3:22). Ces paroles sont tout à fait conformes à celles de Jésus lui-même qui, après sa résurrection d’entre les morts, déclara: “Tout pouvoir m’a été donné dans le ciel et sur la terre.” (Matthieu 28:18). Bien des hommes ont accepté de souffrir et de mourir au service de chefs humains infiniment moins puissants que Jésus. Ils considéraient comme un grand honneur de servir ainsi un roi ou une reine. À combien plus forte raison devrions-nous nous sentir honorés de pouvoir endurer des épreuves à cause de notre fidélité à notre Roi céleste, Jésus Christ!
      IMITEZ JÉSUS CHRIST
      Quand vous êtes affligé, prenez toujours pour modèle le Fils de Dieu. L’apôtre écrit: “Puisque Christ a souffert dans la chair, vous aussi armez-vous de la même disposition d’esprit, parce que celui qui a souffert dans la chair a rompu avec les péchés, afin de vivre le reste de son temps dans la chair, non plus pour les désirs des hommes, mais pour la volonté de Dieu.” — I Pierre 4:1, 2.
      Quelle était la disposition d’esprit de Jésus? Il supporta humblement toutes les attaques verbales et physiques et subit finalement une mort douloureuse sur un poteau. En refusant de rendre la pareille, le Fils de Dieu accomplit ces paroles prophétiques: “Comme une brebis il a été mené à l’abattage, et, comme un agneau qui est sans voix devant celui qui le tond, ainsi il n’ouvre pas la bouche.” — Actes 8:32; Ésaïe 53:7.
      Étant serviteurs du Très-Haut, nous voudrons endurer de la même façon les souffrances, sans céder à un esprit de rébellion ou de vengeance. Si nous menacions ceux qui nous persécutent ou cherchions des occasions de leur faire du mal, nous montrerions que nous sommes encore esclaves des passions de la chair imparfaite. Si nous endurons des souffrances de la part des hommes, ce devrait être uniquement parce que nous refusons de suivre les voies égoïstes du monde (Jean 15:19, 25). C’est ainsi que nous pouvons démontrer par notre attitude d’esprit, nos paroles et nos actions que nous vivons "non plus pour les désirs des hommes, mais pour la volonté de Dieu".
      UNE RAISON D’ÊTRE HEUREUX
       
      Au premier siècle de notre ère, la foule idolâtre ne subissait pas de persécutions religieuses. Par contre, quiconque embrassait le christianisme devenait un objet de haine. Ce devait être une expérience étrange, déconcertante même. Voilà qui était bien loin des bénédictions promises à ceux qui acceptaient la “bonne nouvelle”. Ces chrétiens avaient grand besoin d’acquérir le bon point de vue sur cette question. Aussi les paroles suivantes de l’apôtre Pierre leur furent-elles certainement d’un grand secours:
      “Bien-aimés, ne vous laissez pas déconcerter par l’incendie qui est au milieu de vous et qui vous advient pour servir d’épreuve, comme s’il vous arrivait quelque chose d’étrange. Bien au contraire, continuez à vous réjouir puisque vous avez part aux souffrances du Christ, pour que vous vous réjouissiez et frémissiez aussi de joie durant la révélation de sa gloire. Si l’on vous outrage pour le nom de Christ, heureux êtes-vous, car l’esprit de gloire, oui, l’esprit de Dieu repose sur vous.” — I Pierre 4:12-14
       Ne soyons pas déconcertés si le malheur nous frappe, mais considérons plutôt que cela nous prépare à recevoir les bénédictions qui accompagneront la révélation de noootre Maître. Pierre compare les souffrances à un “incendie”. En effet, de même que les métaux sont affinés par le feu, de même Dieu permet que ses serviteurs soient affinés ou purifiés par les tribulations. Évidemment, Dieu ne nous a pas faits pécheurs, mais comme nous le sommes, il peut permettre que nous endurions des souffrances dans le but de nous purifier. Elles peuvent nous rendre meilleurs, plus humbles et plus compréhensifs à l’égard de nos semblables. En outre, quand nous avons nous-mêmes subi de cruelles épreuves, nos paroles de réconfort et d’encouragement ont beaucoup plus de poids. Ceux que nous consolons savent que nous comprenons ce par quoi ils sont en train de passer.
       Puisque le Fils de Dieu a souffert, les tourments que nous subissons confirment que nous sommes bien ses disciples et que nous demeurons en union avec lui. Jésus dit à ses apôtres: “Rappelez-vous la parole que je vous ai dite: Un esclave n’est pas plus grand que son maître. S’ils m’ont persécuté, ils vous persécuteront aussi.” (Jean 15:20). Lorsque nous sommes persécutés pour les mêmes raisons que notre Maître et que nous souffrons comme lui pour la justice, nous ‘avons part aux souffrances du Christ’. Tout comme sa fidélité lui valut d’être récompensé par son Père céleste, de même notre endurance fidèle dans les épreuves nous donne l’assurance que nous serons approuvés lors de la révélation du Fils de Dieu. Nous déborderons certainement de joie quand Dieu nous accordera la vie éternelle dans un nouvel ordre de choses où toutes les causes actuelles de chagrin auront disparu.
      Comme le déclare également Pierre, être outragé pour le nom de Christ, c’est-à-dire parce que l’on est son disciple, devrait être une source de joie. Cela prouve que ceux que l’on diffame ainsi possèdent l’esprit de Dieu, oui, le bel “esprit de gloire” qui émane de Dieu. Puisque cet esprit est saint, il ne peut reposer que sur des personnes qui sont pures du point de vue de Dieu.
      C’est pourquoi il est très important de faire en sorte qu’aucune mauvaise action de notre part ne soit la cause des souffrances que nous subissons. L’apôtre Pierre fait cette exhortation: “Mais qu’aucun de vous ne souffre comme meurtrier, ou voleur, ou malfaiteur, ou comme quelqu’un qui se mêle des affaires d’autrui.” — Celui qui prétend être chrétien et qui commet une mauvaise action contre son semblable ne doit pas s’attendre à échapper à la punition (comparez avec Actes 25:11). Ce châtiment jettera l’opprobre non seulement sur ce chrétien, mais aussi sur toute la famille spirituelle et sur le nom de Christ. Il n’en retirera pas de la joie, mais de la honte.
      Celui qui se mêle des affaires d’autrui peut se rendre haïssable. Le mot grec utilisé par Pierre montre bien comment on peut en arriver à agir ainsi, car il signifie littéralement “surveillant de ce qui appartient à un autre”. Ayant acquis une certaine connaissance des Écritures, un chrétien pourrait se croire capable de dire aux gens du monde comment gérer leurs affaires. Il avancera peut-être son point de vue personnel sur la tenue vestimentaire, les distractions, la façon de se nourrir, de discipliner les enfants, de régler les problèmes conjugaux et sexuels, etc. Quand il s’immisce dans la vie privée des autres, sans y être invité, leur disant ce qu’ils doivent faire ou ne pas faire, il cherche à devenir le “surveillant” de leurs affaires, ce qui les irrite généralement. Quelqu’un dira peut-être carrément à cet importun de se mêler de ses affaires. Il se peut aussi qu’il essuie des coups de la part de personnes qui sont furieuses de le voir s’ingérer dans leur vie privée. Cet homme, qui se mêle d’affaires qui ne le regardent pas, s’attire des ennuis et dénature le christianisme et son message auprès des gens du dehors. Évidemment, même au sein de la congrégation, il n’y a pas de place pour ce genre d’individus. — Comparez avec 1Timothée 5:13.
      Celui qui est dénoncé publiquement comme un délinquant ou comme quelqu’un qui se mêle des affaires d’autrui, celui-là est un objet de honte. En revanche, celui qui souffre parce qu’il est chrétien en est honoré. Pierre écrit: “S’il souffre comme chrétien, qu’il n’ait pas de honte, mais qu’il continue à glorifier Dieu en ce nom.” (I Pierre 4:16). Quand nous sommes persécutés à cause de notre mode de vie chrétien et que nous supportons l’épreuve patiemment, sans nous plaindre, le Très-Haut est glorifié. Cela prouve que ce que nous possédons en tant que chrétiens, — de précieuses relations avec Dieu et avec le Christ, une conscience pure, le bonheur spirituel et une ferme espérance pour l’avenir, — tout cela est un trésor de grande valeur. Nous démontrons que nous sommes disposés à souffrir et, s’il le faut, à mourir pour ce trésor, et le Dieu que nous servons de tout cœur en est glorifié. Par contre, si nous cédions aux pressions et reniions notre foi, nous déshonorerions son nom. Ceux qui nous observent pourraient alors douter sérieusement qu’être disciple de Jésus Christ est vraiment un grand trésor. — Comparez avec Éphésiens 3:13; II Corinthiens 6:3-10.
      UNE FORME DE DISCIPLINE
      Nous avons vu que Jéhovah Dieu, qui est tout-puissant, pourrait épargner aux chrétiens des souffrances injustifiées, mais qu’il les tolère pour de bonnes raisons. Cependant, le Très-Haut n’abandonne jamais ses serviteurs. L’apôtre Pierre développe cette pensée en disant:
      “C’est en effet le temps fixé où le jugement commence par la maison de Dieu. Or, s’il commence par nous, quelle sera la fin de ceux qui n’obéissent pas à la bonne nouvelle de Dieu? ‘Et si le juste est sauvé avec difficulté, où paraîtront l’impie et le pécheur?’ Ainsi donc, que ceux qui souffrent selon la volonté de Dieu continuent à confier leur âme à un Créateur fidèle, tout en faisant le bien.” — I Pierre 4:17-19.
      En tant que “maison de Dieu”, la congrégation chrétienne a été fondée en l’an 33. Depuis lors, ses membres sont en train d’être jugés par Dieu. La façon dont ils se plient à sa volonté, leur attitude d’esprit, leurs paroles et leurs actions face à tout ce que Jéhovah Dieu permet qu’il leur arrive, sont autant de choses qui influeront beaucoup sur le verdict final de Jéhovah. Parfois, Dieu tolère qu’ils soient éprouvés très sévèrement. Mais il peut faire en sorte que la persécution constitue une forme de discipline pour le bien de son peuple. — Hébreux 12:4-11; voyez aussi Hébreux 4:15, 16, où il est montré que les souffrances qu’endura Jésus Christ le préparèrent à devenir un grand prêtre compatissant.
       Des hommes dirigés par Satan peuvent essayer de détruire notre foi en nous brutalisant. Mais Jéhovah est capable de faire échouer leurs funestes projets. Oui, tout en haïssant lui-même ce qui est mauvais, notre Père céleste peut faire en sorte que ce qui était destiné à nous faire du mal s’avère en définitive très utile. Prenez l’exemple de Joseph, le jeune fils de Jacob. Ses demi-frères, qui le haïssaient, le vendirent comme esclave. Pendant des années, Joseph connut bien des malheurs; il fut même emprisonné injustement. Pourtant, par la suite, Jéhovah Dieu tira avantage de cette situation pour préserver la famille de Jacob. Joseph déclara à ses demi-frères:
      “À présent, ne soyez pas peinés et ne soyez pas irrités contre vous-mêmes, de m’avoir vendu pour ici; car c’est pour la préservation de la vie que Dieu m’a envoyé en avant de vous. Car ceci est la deuxième année de la famine au milieu de la terre, et il y aura encore cinq ans sans labour ni moisson. Aussi Dieu m’a-t-il envoyé en avant de vous afin de mettre, pour vous, sur la terre, un reste et vous garder en vie par une grande évasion. Ainsi donc, ce n’est pas vous qui m’avez envoyé ici, mais c’est le vrai Dieu, pour m’établir comme père pour Pharaon et comme seigneur pour toute sa maison et comme quelqu’un qui domine sur tout le pays d’Égypte.” — Genèse 45:5-8.
      "Or je désire que vous le sachiez, frères: mes affaires ont plutôt tourné au progrès de la bonne nouvelle, si bien que parmi toute la garde prétorienne et parmi tous les autres il est devenu notoire que mes liens ont un rapport avec Christ; et la plupart des frères dans le Seigneur, rendus confiants par mes liens, se montrent d’autant plus courageux à parler sans crainte de la parole de Dieu.” — Philippiens 1:12-14.
       Puisque Jéhovah Dieu tolère que ses fidèles serviteurs subissent de cruels traitements pour qu’ils soient affinés et pour qu’ils lui prouvent leur attachement, comment imaginer qu’au dehors de la congrégation chrétienne, ou “maison de Dieu”, “l’impie et le pécheur” puissent “paraître” devant lui en compagnie du “juste”? Le psalmiste déclare: “Les méchants ne se mettront pas debout devant le jugement, ni les pécheurs dans l’assemblée des justes.” (Psaume 1:5). Non, les méchants ne seront pas approuvés mais condamnés. Ils n’auront jamais la faveur de Dieu. Eu égard à tout ce qu’il leur faut affronter dans ce monde, les croyants doivent faire beaucoup d’efforts et manifester une foi et un amour profonds dans la voie de la droiture pour parvenir au salut et à la vie éternelle. C’est donc “avec difficulté” qu’ils acquièrent le salut. Par conséquent, il incombe à chaque membre de la congrégation chrétienne (“la maison de Dieu”) de veiller à ne pas devenir “impie” et “pécheur” en ce “temps fixé” de “jugement”. — I Pierre 4:17, 18; Proverbes 11:31.
       Nous pouvons subir des épreuves qu’il nous serait impossible de supporter avec nos propres forces. Mais aussi dramatique que puisse être notre situation, Jéhovah Dieu a le pouvoir de nous soutenir et d’annuler complètement tout le mal qui nous est infligé. Quand nous nous en remettons entièrement à lui, il peut nous donner assez de force, au moyen de son esprit, pour supporter les souffrances. Il est, comme le dit Pierre, un “Créateur fidèle”, un Dieu en qui nous pouvons avoir confiance et qui n’oubliera jamais sa promesse de venir en aide à ses serviteurs (I Pierre 4:19). Cette connaissance nous aidera à ne pas réagir envers nos persécuteurs d’une façon qui déshonorerait Dieu. Plutôt que de lutter contre eux et de leur rendre la pareille, nous voudrons continuer à faire le bien. — Luc 6:27, 28.
      Si nous acceptons humblement toutes les choses qui peuvent nous survenir dans notre vie, tout en gardant la même disposition d’esprit que le Christ, nous pouvons être sûrs que Jéhovah nous élèvera. Aucune épreuve ne durera indéfiniment. Toutes prendront fin. Tant que sous les mauvais traitements nous nous conduisons en harmonie avec la volonté divine, nous demeurerons sous la main de Jéhovah. Or, sa main peut nous élever au rang de serviteurs éprouvés et approuvés. Aussi Pierre nous fait-il cette recommandation: “Humiliez-vous donc sous la main puissante de Dieu pour qu’il vous élève en temps voulu, tout en vous déchargeant sur lui de toute votre inquiétude, car il prend soin de vous.” — I Pierre 5:6, 7.
      Qu’il est réconfortant de savoir que Jéhovah se soucie vraiment de nous! Son amour nous réchauffe le cœur, son esprit nous fortifie et nous soutient. Lorsqu’une épreuve est passée et que nous nous rappelons la sollicitude de Jéhovah à notre égard, nous nous sentons plus proches de lui. Notre situation est alors comparable à celle d’un enfant reconnaissant qui a pu constater l’amour et la sollicitude affectueuse de ses parents pendant qu’il était gravement malade. Sa confiance et son amour pour eux s’en trouvent grandis. Certes, lorsque des circonstances très éprouvantes se présentent, nous ne pouvons pas tout simplement nous y soustraire, mais nous pouvons nous décharger sur Jéhovah Dieu de nos inquiétudes. À quoi bon nous tourmenter en nous demandant pendant combien de temps nous serions capables de supporter les mauvais traitements d’une foule déchaînée et impitoyable, des viols répétés ou d’autres atrocités? Avec l’aide de notre Père céleste aimant, nous pouvons, si nous lui restons fidèles, endurer les épreuves et remporter une victoire morale sur ceux qui nous persécutent. Cette assurance nous libère de l’anxiété qui pourrait nous priver de la paix de l’esprit et du cœur si nécessaire pour rester fermes dans les épreuves.
      Toutefois, ce n’est pas parce que nous nous sommes déchargés de nos inquiétudes sur Jéhovah que nous devrions maintenant être trop sûrs de nous ou insouciants. Nous avons un ennemi. “Gardez votre équilibre, soyez vigilants, écrit Pierre. Votre adversaire, le Diable, comme un lion rugissant, circule cherchant à dévorer quelqu’un.” — I Pierre 5:8.
      Selon ce conseil de l’apôtre, nous ne pouvons pas nous permettre d’être insouciants face à l’épreuve. L’adversaire guette la moindre occasion de nous faire tomber. Si Satan peut nous amener à douter de la fidélité de nos frères ou nous affaiblir spirituellement par tout autre moyen, il ne manquera pas de le faire. Cesser de fréquenter la congrégation chrétienne ou de faire la déclaration publique de sa foi équivaudrait à se laisser dévorer par Satan, le “lion rugissant” toujours à l’affût de proies imprudentes.
      Pour rester vigilants il nous faut, entre autres choses, nous rappeler constamment que nous ne sommes pas les seuls à endurer des souffrances. Sur la terre entière, nos frères chrétiens subissent toutes sortes d’épreuves et, avec l’aide de l’esprit de Dieu, ils parviennent à les surmonter victorieusement. Cette pensée nous aidera à ne pas tomber dans les pièges de Satan, car elle nous donnera l’assurance que nous pourrons endurer l’épreuve nous aussi, grâce à la puissance de Jéhovah. Alors, “tenez-lui tête, solides dans la foi, sachant qu’en fait de souffrances les mêmes choses s’accomplissent dans la famille entière de vos frères dans le monde”. — I Pierre 5:9.
      Puisque Jéhovah Dieu veut que nous surmontions les obstacles pour parvenir au salut, nous pouvons lui demander son aide en toute confiance, tout en considérant les épreuves qui nous adviennent avec sa permission comme une discipline utile qui fera de nous des chrétiens complets et forts dans la foi. L’apôtre Pierre exprime très bien cette pensée lorsqu’il déclare:
      "Après que vous aurez souffert un peu de temps, le Dieu de toute faveur imméritée, qui vous a appelés à sa gloire éternelle en union avec Christ, parachèvera lui-même votre formation, il vous affermira, il vous rendra forts. À lui la puissance pour toujours! Amen.” — I Pierre 5:10, 11.
      Tout comme Jésus a souffert un peu de temps sur la terre et a été élevé à une haute position, de même les disciples du Fils de Dieu attendent une récompense glorieuse. Si les souffrances que nous pouvons être amenés à endurer de par la permission de Dieu affermissent notre attachement aux principes bibliques et font de nous des disciples plus humbles, plus compréhensifs et plus compatissants, cette formation aura alors atteint son but. Pour qu’il en soit ainsi, nous devons compter entièrement sur notre Père céleste en étant confiants que tout ce qui peut nous arriver avec sa permission contribuera finalement à notre bonheur éternel, si toutefois nous nous y soumettons humblement (Romains 8:28). Dans le même esprit que l’apôtre Pierre, nous pouvons élever nos voix et dire: “Grâce soit rendue à Dieu de nous avoir permis d’être formés par les épreuves et de nous aider à devenir des serviteurs fermes et forts, approuvés par lui, ayant l’espérance de la vie éternelle!”

      · 0 replies
    • Eric Ouellet

      Suivons les traces de celui qui est la source de vie
       
      Avec amour, Jéhovah invite des personnes “ de toutes nations et tribus et peuples et langues ” à l’adorer (Rév. 7:9, 10 ; 15:3, 4). Celles qui acceptent cette invitation peuvent “ contempler le charme de Jéhovah ”. (Ps. 27:4 ; 90:17.) À l’instar du psalmiste, elles élèvent la voix pour louer Dieu par ces termes : “ Adorons et courbons-nous ! Agenouillons-nous devant Jéhovah notre Auteur. ” — Ps. 95:6.
      Un culte d’une grande valeur
      Étant le Fils unique-engendré de Dieu, Jésus avait eu largement la possibilité de découvrir la pensée, les principes et les normes de son Père. Par conséquent, il pouvait avec assurance enseigner aux autres la bonne façon d’adorer Jéhovah. Il a déclaré : “ Je suis le chemin, et la vérité, et la vie. Personne ne vient vers le Père sinon par moi. ” — Jean 1:14 ; 14:6.
      Jésus nous a laissé un exemple parfait en restant humblement soumis à son Père. Il a indiqué : “ Je ne fais rien de ma propre initiative, mais [...] comme le Père m’a enseigné, moi je dis ces choses. ” Il a ensuite ajouté : “ Je fais toujours les choses qui lui plaisent. ” (Jean 8:28, 29). De quelles manières Jésus a-t-il plu à Jéhovah ?
      En premier lieu, le Fils était entièrement dévoué à son Père. C’est d’ailleurs ce qu’implique fondamentalement adorer Dieu. Jésus montrait qu’il était personnellement attaché à son Créateur en lui étant obéissant, en accomplissant sa volonté, même si cela lui demandait de grands sacrifices (Phil. 2:7, 8). Il consacrait beaucoup de temps à enseigner et à former ses disciples. C’était là un aspect important du culte qu’il rendait à Dieu, à tel point qu’il était appelé Enseignant tant par les croyants que par les non-croyants (Mat. 22:23, 24 ; Jean 3:2). De plus, Jésus se dépensait pour autrui. Son esprit de sacrifice lui laissait peu de temps pour lui-même, mais il était heureux de servir les autres (Mat. 14:13, 14 ; 20:28). Bien que très occupé, il prenait toujours le temps de parler à son Père céleste dans la prière (Luc 6:12). Sans nul doute, Dieu accordait une valeur inestimable au culte que Jésus lui vouait !
      Des efforts soutenus pour plaire à Dieu
      Jéhovah a remarqué la conduite de son Fils et a exprimé son approbation (Mat. 17:5). Mais Satan le Diable également a observé la fidélité de Jésus. Jésus est donc devenu sa cible privilégiée. Pourquoi ? Parce qu’aucun humain n’avait jamais réussi à rester totalement obéissant à Dieu et, de ce fait, à l’adorer de la manière qui lui convient vraiment. Aussi le Diable voulait-il empêcher Jésus de rendre à Dieu le culte qui Lui revenait de droit. — Rév. 4:11.
      Satan a essayé de corrompre Jésus en lui faisant une offre tentante. Il l’emmena sur “ une montagne extraordinairement haute et lui montra tous les royaumes du monde et leur gloire ”. Puis il lui dit : “ Toutes ces choses, je te les donnerai si tu tombes et fais un acte d’adoration pour moi. ” Quelle fut la réaction de Jésus ? Il répondit : “ Va-t’en, Satan, car il est écrit : ‘ C’est Jéhovah ton Dieu que tu dois adorer, et c’est à lui seul que tu dois offrir un service sacré. ’ ” (Mat. 4:8-10). Quels que soient les avantages qu’il aurait pu en retirer, Jésus comprenait bien que se prosterner devant Satan, c’était commettre un acte d’idolâtrie. Il refusait d’accomplir ne serait-ce qu’un acte d’adoration devant quelqu’un d’autre que Jéhovah.
      En ce qui nous concerne, Satan ne nous proposera pas tous les royaumes du monde et leur gloire en échange de notre adoration. Néanmoins, il essaie encore d’empêcher les chrétiens sincères de rendre un culte à Dieu. Le Diable veut que nous adorions quelqu’un ou quelque chose d’autre. — 2 Cor. 4:4.
      Jésus Christ s’est montré fidèle jusqu’à la mort. En restant intègre, il a glorifié Jéhovah comme aucun humain ne l’avait jamais fait. Aujourd’hui, nous qui sommes de vrais chrétiens, nous nous efforçons d’imiter la fidélité de Jésus en mettant le culte de notre Créateur à la première place dans notre vie. Sans conteste, nos bonnes relations avec Dieu sont ce que nous avons de plus précieux.
      Les bénédictions que procure le culte que Dieu agrée
      Favoriser “ le culte qui est pur et sans souillure ” du point de vue de Dieu apporte de nombreuses bénédictions (Jacq. 1:27). Par exemple, nous vivons à une époque où de plus en plus de gens sont “ amis d’eux-mêmes, amis de l’argent, arrogants ” et “ sans amour du bien ”. (2 Tim. 3:1-5.) Par contraste, au sein du peuple de Dieu, nous avons le privilège de côtoyer des personnes pures et de saine compagnie qui s’efforcent de respecter les normes de Dieu en matière de culte. N’est-ce pas là une source de réconfort ?
      En outre, nous tenir à l’écart des souillures de ce monde nous procure une conscience pure. Nous voulons qu’elle reste pure, et c’est pour cela que nous nous soumettons aux principes justes de Dieu et que nous obéissons aux lois de César qui ne sont pas en désaccord avec les lois divines. — Marc 12:17 ; Actes 5:27-29.
      Un culte rendu à Dieu de toute son âme apporte d’autres bénédictions. Quand nous nous soucions d’accomplir la volonté de Dieu plutôt que la nôtre, notre vie a un sens véritable et elle est plus gratifiante. Au lieu de dire : “ Mangeons et buvons, car demain il nous faudra mourir ”, nous entretenons l’espoir certain de la vie éternelle sur une terre transformée en paradis. — 1 Cor. 15:32.
      Le livre de la Révélation attire notre attention sur le moment où ceux qui seront demeurés purs devant Jéhovah “ vien[dront] de la grande tribulation ”. Le récit précise que “ Celui qui est assis sur le trône étendra sur eux sa tente ”. (Rév. 7:13-15.) Celui qui est assis sur le trône n’est autre que Jéhovah Dieu, le Personnage le plus glorieux de l’univers. Imaginez quelle joie ce sera quand il vous accueillera comme l’hôte de sa tente et vous protégera pour qu’aucun mal ne vous soit fait ! Et dans une certaine mesure, nous bénéficions dès à présent de cette protection.
      De plus, tous ceux qui rendent à Dieu le culte qu’il agrée sont décrits comme étant guidés vers “ des sources d’eaux de la vie ”. Ces sources revivifiantes représentent toutes les dispositions prises par Jéhovah pour que nous puissions obtenir la vie éternelle. Assurément, grâce à la rançon du Christ, “ Dieu essuiera toute larme de leurs yeux ”. (Rév. 7:17.) Tandis que les humains seront élevés à la perfection, tous connaîtront une joie indicible à la perspective de vivre éternellement sur la terre. Dès maintenant, les adorateurs heureux de Dieu poussent des cris de joie, exprimant leur profonde reconnaissance envers Jéhovah et lui vouant un culte en compagnie de ses serviteurs au ciel qui chantent : “ Grandes et prodigieuses sont tes œuvres, Jéhovah Dieu, le Tout-Puissant. Justes et vraies sont tes manières d'agir, Roi d’éternité. Qui ne peut te craindre et ne pas glorifier ton nom? Car toi seul tu es fidèle! Car toutes les nations viendront et adoreront devant toi, parce que tes décrets justes ont été manifestés. ” — Rév. 15:3, 4.



      · 0 replies
    • Patiently waiting for Truth

      I am seriously looking for TRUTH. Yes I do feel lost in the wilderness. 
      But, when Jerusalem was about to be destroyed (70C.E) didn't some return 'home' there, only to perish when the Romans slaughtered them. They returned to Jerusalem because they lost their faith in Almighty God and in the words of Jesus. And therefore they died through lack of faith.
      I do not lack faith in Almighty God or in Jesus Christ. But I do lack immediate direction. However, at this moment in time, I would not return to the Jehovah's Witnesses Org.  In my opinion that Org will be either made clean or destroyed. Either way, right now I would not want to be part of it. 
      I also do not pay any attention to those on here that condemn me to death or tell me that I have no hope left.  
      My faith is not in earthling man. My faith in Almighty God through Jesus Christ. 
      · 0 replies
    • Esther  »  Eric Ouellet

      Bonjour Éric
      Je recherche un discours pour une étudiante. Le thème c'était "Dieu approuve-t-il une religion en particulier ? " 
      Si tu l'as en audio ou écrit, c'est assez urgent car je la vois cet après-midi. 
      Merci beaucoup mon frère
      Esther😉
      · 1 reply
    • folens  »  Esther

      Bonsoir Esther et-ce celui-ci?

      Dieu accepte-_t-_il toutes les religions.docx
      · 1 reply
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