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Jehovah's Witnesses are perhaps best known for their efforts to spread their beliefs , most notably by visiting people from house to house,    distributing literature published by the Watch Tower Society.
All sexual relations outside of marriage are grounds for expulsion if the individual is not deemed repentant;   homosexual activity is considered a serious sin, and same-sex marriages are forbidden.
Abortion is considered murder. Gambling , drunkenness, illegal drugs, and tobacco use are forbidden. The family structure is patriarchal.
The husband is considered to have authority on family decisions, but is encouraged to solicit his wife's thoughts and feelings, as well as those of his children.
Marriages are required to be monogamous and legally registered. Divorce is discouraged, and remarriage is forbidden unless a divorce is obtained on the grounds of adultery , which they refer to as "a scriptural divorce".
Formal discipline is administered by congregation elders. When a baptized member is accused of committing a serious sin —usually cases of sexual misconduct   or charges of apostasy for disputing Jehovah's Witness doctrines   —a judicial committee is formed to determine guilt, provide help and possibly administer discipline.
Disfellowshipping , a form of shunning , is the strongest form of discipline, administered to an offender deemed unrepentant. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that the Bible condemns the mixing of religions, on the basis that there can only be one truth from God, and therefore reject interfaith and ecumenical movements.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe their highest allegiance belongs to God's kingdom, which is viewed as an actual government in heaven, with Christ as king.
They remain politically neutral, do not seek public office, and are discouraged from voting, though individual members may participate in uncontroversial community improvement issues.
They feel that these and many other customs have pagan origins or reflect a nationalistic or political spirit. Their position is that these traditional holidays reflect Satan's control over the world.
They do not work in industries associated with the military, do not serve in the armed services,  and refuse national military service, which in some countries may result in their arrest and imprisonment.
Though Jehovah's Witnesses do not accept blood transfusions of whole blood, they may accept some blood plasma fractions at their own discretion.
Jehovah's Witnesses have an active presence in most countries, but do not form a large part of the population of any country. For , Jehovah's Witnesses reported approximately 8.
The official published membership statistics, such as those mentioned above, include only those who submit reports for their personal ministry;  official statistics do not include inactive and disfellowshipped individuals or others who might attend their meetings.
As a result, only about half of those who self-identified as Jehovah's Witnesses in independent demographic studies are considered active by the faith itself.
Sociologist James A. Beckford , in his study of Jehovah's Witnesses, classified the group's organizational structure as Totalizing , characterized by an assertive leadership, specific and narrow objectives, control over competing demands on members' time and energy, and control over the quality of new members.
Other characteristics of the classification include likelihood of friction with secular authorities, reluctance to co-operate with other religious organizations, a high rate of membership turnover, a low rate of doctrinal change, and strict uniformity of beliefs among members.
Sociologist Bryan R. Wilson , in his consideration of five religious groups including Jehovah's Witnesses, noted that each of the denominations: .
A sociological comparative study by the Pew Research Center found that Jehovah's Witnesses in the United States ranked highest in statistics for getting no further than high school graduation, belief in God, importance of religion in one's life, frequency of religious attendance, frequency of prayers, frequency of Bible reading outside of religious services, belief their prayers are answered, belief that their religion can only be interpreted one way, belief that theirs is the only one true faith leading to eternal life, opposition to abortion, and opposition to homosexuality.
In the study, Jehovah's Witnesses ranked lowest in statistics for having an interest in politics. Controversy surrounding various beliefs, doctrines and practices of Jehovah's Witnesses has led to opposition from governments, communities, and religious groups.
Religious commentator Ken Jubber wrote that "Viewed globally, this persecution has been so persistent and of such intensity that it would not be inaccurate to regard Jehovah's Witnesses as the most persecuted group of Christians of the twentieth century.
Political and religious animosity against Jehovah's Witnesses has at times led to mob action and government oppression in various countries.
Their stance regarding political neutrality and their refusal to serve in the military has led to imprisonment of members who refused conscription during World War II and at other times where national service has been compulsory.
Their religious activities are currently banned or restricted in some countries, including China , Vietnam , and some Islamic states.
Authors including William Whalen , Shawn Francis Peters and former Witnesses Barbara Grizzuti Harrison , Alan Rogerson and William Schnell have claimed the arrests and mob violence in the United States in the s and s were the consequence of what appeared to be a deliberate course of provocation of authorities and other religious groups by Jehovah's Witnesses.
Whalen, Harrison and Schnell have suggested Rutherford invited and cultivated opposition for publicity purposes in a bid to attract dispossessed members of society, and to convince members that persecution from the outside world was evidence of the truth of their struggle to serve God.
Several cases involving Jehovah's Witnesses have been heard by Supreme Courts throughout the world. In the United States, legal challenges by Jehovah's Witnesses prompted a series of state and federal court rulings that reinforced judicial protections for civil liberties.
Jehovah's Witnesses have received criticism from mainstream Christianity, members of the medical community, former members and commentators regarding their beliefs and practices.
The movement has been accused of doctrinal inconsistency and reversals, failed predictions, mistranslation of the Bible, harsh treatment of former members and autocratic and coercive leadership.
Criticism has also focused on their rejection of blood transfusions , particularly in life-threatening medical situations, and failing to report cases of sexual abuse to the authorities.
Many of the claims are denied by Jehovah's Witnesses and some have also been disputed by courts and religious scholars.
Doctrines of Jehovah's Witnesses are established by the Governing Body. Former members Heather and Gary Botting compare the cultural paradigms of the denomination to George Orwell 's Nineteen Eighty-four ,  and Alan Rogerson describes the group's leadership as totalitarian.
Jehovah's Witness publications state that consensus of faith aids unity, and deny that unity restricts individuality or imagination.
Sociologist Rodney Stark states that Jehovah's Witness leaders are "not always very democratic" and that members "are expected to conform to rather strict standards," but adds that "enforcement tends to be very informal, sustained by the close bonds of friendship within the group", and that Jehovah's Witnesses see themselves as "part of the power structure rather than subject to it.
Various Bible scholars, including Bruce M. Metzger  and MacLean Gilmour ,  have said that while scholarship is evident in New World Translation , its rendering of certain texts are inaccurate and biased in favor of Witness practices and doctrines.
Gruss,  and Christian writers such as Ray C. Most criticism of the New World Translation relates to its rendering of the New Testament, particularly regarding the introduction of the name Jehovah and in passages related to the Trinity doctrine.
Watch Tower Society publications have claimed that God has used Jehovah's Witnesses and formerly, the International Bible Students to declare his will   and has provided advance knowledge about Armageddon and the establishment of God's kingdom.
Chryssides stated, "while prediction may be part of a biblical prophet's role, the root meaning of prophecy is that of proclaiming God's word. The Watch Tower Society rejects accusations that it is a false prophet ,  stating that its interpretations are not inspired or infallible,    and that it has not claimed its predictions were "the words of Jehovah.
Jehovah's Witnesses have been accused of having policies and culture that help to conceal cases of sexual abuse within the organization.
Anderson says the policies "protect pedophiles rather than protect the children. The group's failure to report abuse allegations to authorities has also been criticized.
In , the Charity Commission for England and Wales began an inquiry into Jehovah's Witnesses' handling of allegations of child sexual abuse in the United Kingdom.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from JW. Restorationist Christian denomination. Main article: History of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Jesus Christ. Nativity Crucifixion Resurrection. Bible Foundations. History Tradition. Denominations Groups.
Related topics. See also: Bible Student movement. Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society. Beliefs Practices. Salvation Eschatology.
Hymns God's name. Blood Discipline. The Watchtower Awake! Kingdom Hall Gilead School. Conley C. Rutherford N. Franz M. William Miller Henry Grew.
George Storrs N. John Nelson Darby. Raymond Franz Olin Moyle. Criticism Persecution. Supreme Court cases by country.
Main article: Organizational structure of Jehovah's Witnesses. Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses beliefs. Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses and salvation.
Main article: Eschatology of Jehovah's Witnesses. Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses practices. See also: Jehovah's Witnesses publications.
See also: Jehovah's Witnesses list of "serious sins". Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses and congregational discipline. Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses and governments.
Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses and blood transfusions. Main article: Demographics of Jehovah's Witnesses. See also: Sociological classifications of religious movements.
Main article: Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses. Main article: Supreme Court cases involving Jehovah's Witnesses by country.
Main article: Criticism of Jehovah's Witnesses. Main article: Unfulfilled Watch Tower Society predictions. Main article: Jehovah's Witnesses' handling of child sex abuse.
The Watchtower. October 1, Make haste to identify the visible theocratic organization of God that represents his king, Jesus Christ.
It is essential for life. Doing so, be complete in accepting its every aspect. September 1, Have we formed a loyal attachment to the organization that Jehovah is using today?
June 15, We too should remain faithful to Jehovah and to his organization regardless of injustices we suffer and regardless of what others do.
May 15, Just as Noah and his God-fearing family were preserved in the ark, survival of individuals today depends on their faith and their loyal association with the earthly part of Jehovah's universal organization.
Worship The Only True God. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. Jehovah is guiding us today by means of his visible organization under Christ.
Our attitude toward this arrangement demonstrates how we feel about the issue of sovereignty By being loyal to Jehovah's organization, we show that Jehovah is our God and that we are united in worship of him.
July 15, In Crisis of Conscience , , pg. April 1, He also cites "Identifying the Right Kind of Messenger".
May 1, The Watch Tower book noted: "Concerning the message faithfully delivered by the Ezekiel class, Jehovah positively states that it 'must come true' October 15, Some of it may lack the precision that its detractors appear to demand, but the Society's position is quite clear.
Jehovah's Witnesses do not claim to have any new revelation or people who are designated as prophets. As cessationists, they identify the ability to prophesy as a gift that died out with the first generation of Christians, but prophetic utterances remain in the Bible, which serves as the key source of authority.
We are a hierarchical religion structured just like the Catholic Church". Kutler , ed. Dictionary of American History 3rd ed. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons.
Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Journal of Contemporary Religion. Archived from the original PDF on December 28, Retrieved December 27, Christian : "Who is a Christian?
Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Pew Research Center. May 11, World Almanac and Book of Facts.
Denomination : "Jehovah's Witnesses at a glance". September 29, The American Heritage Dictionary. Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum.
February 5, Doctrine has always emanated from the Society's elite in Brooklyn and has never emerged from discussion among, or suggestion from, rank-and-file Witnesses.
The Columbia Encyclopedia 6th ed. New York: Columbia University Press. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Sociological Yearbook of Religion in Britain 5 : 11— Nevertheless, he persisted in moulding the Society to suit his own programme of activist evangelism under systematic central control, and he succeeded in creating the administrative structure of the present-day sect of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Watch Tower Society. November 1, London: Constable. In , came an important milestone in the history of the organization.
For many years Rutherford's followers had been called a variety of names: 'International Bible Students', 'Russellites', or 'Millennial Dawners'.
In order to distinguish clearly his followers from the other groups who had separated in Rutherford proposed that they adopt an entirely new name— Jehovah's witnesses.
Beckford, The Trumpet of Prophecy , , page 30, "The new title symbolized a break with the legacy of Russell's traditions, the instigation of new outlooks and the promotion of fresh methods of administering evangelism.
The Watch Tower. Since the death of Charles T. Russell there have arisen numerous companies formed out of those who once walked with him, each of these companies claiming to teach the truth, and each calling themselves by some name, such as "Followers of Pastor Russell", "those who stand by the truth as expounded by Pastor Russell," "Associated Bible Students," and some by the names of their local leaders.
All of this tends to confusion and hinders those of good will who are not better informed from obtaining a knowledge of the truth. Chall Sociology of Religion.
Rutherford, through the Watch Tower Society, succeeded in changing all aspects of the sect from to and created Jehovah's Witnesses—a charismatic offshoot of the Bible student community.
In Search of Christian Freedom. Commentary Press. A Brief Guide to Beliefs. The Jehovah's Witnesses' interpretation of Christianity and their rejection of orthodoxy influenced them to produce their own translation of the Bible, The New World Translation.
However, if you are not one of Jehovah's Witnesses, you may prefer to use other translations when considering Bible subjects.
This article quotes from a number of widely accepted Bible translations. Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses , pg.
Sociological Analysis. University of Toronto Press. Most Witnesses tend to think of society outside their own community as decadent and corrupt This in turn means to Jehovah's Witnesses that they must keep themselves apart from Satan's 'doomed system of things.
Exploring New Religions. London: Continuum. The Jehovah's Witnesses are well known for their practice of 'disfellowshipping' wayward members.
Jehovah's Witnesses: Continuity and Change. The transgressor is invariably given the opportunity to repent and to be counselled for his or her weaknesses: disfellowshipping is a last resort, and is effectively a formal recognition that a Witness has placed himself or herself beyond the pale, and does not accept the fundamental teachings and practices of the organisation.
The committee should be careful to allow sufficient time, perhaps many months, a year, or even longer, for the disfellowshipped person to prove that his profession of repentance is genuine.
June 17, Retrieved June 19, The Citizen. Retrieved June 22, Retrieved July 29, Those About to Die.
Counting the Days to Armageddon. Bible Examiner. October The seven times will end in A. IV The Battle of Armageddon. The Time is at Hand.
The Orwellian World of Jehovah's Witnesses. Zion's Watch Tower. July 1, This is the first number of the first volume of "Zion's Watch Tower," and it may not be amiss to state the object of its publication.
That we are living "in the last days"—"the day of the Lord"—"the end" of the Gospel age, and consequently, in the dawn of a "new" age.
September Studies in the Scriptures. VI The New Creation. This is a business association merely Chryssides , Scarecrow Press, , page xxxiv, "Russell wanted to consolidate the movement he had started.
In , Bible House, a four-story building in Allegheny, was completed, with printing facilities and meeting accommodation, and it became the organization's headquarters.
The next stage of institutionalization was legal incorporation. Russell was concerned that his supporters should feel part of a unified movement.
In , a charter was granted recognizing the Society as a religious, non-profit corporation. Books, booklets, and tracts are distributed by the hundreds of millions.
This is supplemented by well-publicized speaking tours and a masterful press relations effort, which gives him widespread access to general audiences.
Conser, Sumner B. Established initially in the s by Charles Taze Russell under the title International Bible Students Association, this organization has proclaimed Pierson et al.
One of Rutherford's first actions as president Responsibility for preparing this volume was given to two of Russell's close associates, George H.
Fisher and Clayton J. On the face of it, their brief was to edit for publication the notes left by Russell It is obvious The Finished Mystery. But the fact is, he did write it.
This book may properly be said to be a posthumous publication of Pastor Russell. This book is chiefly a compilation of things which he wrote and which have been brought together in harmonious style by properly applying the symbols which he explained to the Church.
Advertise the King and the Kingdom! Jehovah's Witnesses—Proclaimers of God's Kingdom. International Journal for the Study of New Religions.
Stroup, The Jehovah's Witnesses , Columbia University Press, New York, , pg 14, "Following his election the existence of the movement was threatened as never before.
Many of those who remembered wistfully the halcyon days of Mr Russell's leadership found that the new incumbent did not fulfill their expectations of a saintly leader.
Various elements split off from the parent body, and such fission continued throughout Rutherford's leadership.
What Does the Record Show? Xulon Press. Christian Research Journal , Summer , pg "By gradually replacing locally elected elders with his own appointees, he managed to transform a loose collection of semi-autonomous, democratically run congregations into a tight-knit organizational machine controlled from his office.
Some local congregations broke away, forming such groups as the Chicago Bible Students, the Dawn Bible Students, and the Laymen's Home Missionary Movement, all of which continue to this day.
Schnell, Baker, Grand Rapids, , as cited by Rogerson, page Rogerson notes that it is not clear exactly how many Bible Students left, but quotes Rutherford Jehovah , , page as saying "only a few" who left other religions were then "in God's organization".
Johnson April , pg Johnson stated that between late and early , "20, to 30, Truth people the world over have left the Society.
Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co. Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin Press. Historical Dictionary of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Scarecrow Press. October 8, Does this mean that the above evidence positively points to as the complete end of this system of things?
Since the Bible does not specifically state this, no man can say If the s should see intervention by Jehovah God to bring an end to a corrupt world drifting toward ultimate disintegration, that should surely not surprise us.
Our Kingdom Ministry. May Reports are heard of brothers selling their homes and property and planning to finish out the rest of their days in this old system in the pioneer service.
Certainly, this is a fine way to spend the short time remaining before the wicked world's end. Crisis of Conscience.
Retrieved July 27, Notes a nine percent drop in total publishers door-to-door preachers and a 38 per cent drop in pioneers full-time preachers in the Netherlands.
Journal of Contemporary Religion : — Archived from the original PDF on April 12, Retrieved July 16, Los Angeles Times. Cited statistics showing a net increase of publishers worldwide from to of ,, while baptisms totaled 1.
March 15, It is to be regretted that these latter statements apparently overshadowed the cautionary ones and contributed to a buildup of the expectation already initiated.
November 4, Official website of Jehovah's Witnesses. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. January 15, Theocratic appointments come from Jehovah through his Son and God's visible earthly channel, "the faithful and discreet slave" and its Governing Body.
We cannot claim to love God, yet deny his Word and channel of communication. Therefore, in submitting to Jehovah's visible theocratic organization, we must be in full and complete agreement with every feature of its apostolic procedure and requirements.
April 15, James Apocalypse delayed: the story of Jehovah's Witnesses 3rd ed. Although Bethelites may receive somewhat more today, they are certainly not paid anything like 'real wages.
Missionaries, circuit overseers, district overseers, special pioneers, and branch-office workers receive small allowances each month.
Encyclopedia of American Religion and Politics. The religious order of Jehovah's Witnesses caters to the needs of all volunteers who have taken a vow of poverty and obedience.
Religion: A Clinical Guide for Nurses. Springer Publishing Company. The Four Major Cults. Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B.
What Does the Bible Really Teach. Going beneath the water symbolizes that you have died to your former life course.
Being raised up out of the water indicates that you are now alive to do the will of God. Remember, too, that you have made a dedication to Jehovah God himself, not to a work, a cause, other humans, or an organization.
It is simply not true that all religions lead to the same goal. Matthew —23; You must be part of Jehovah's organization, doing God's will, in order to receive his blessing of everlasting life.
February 15, Jehovah is using only one organization today to accomplish his will. To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it.
November 15, I determined to stay by the faithful organization. How else can one get Jehovah's favor and blessing?
Business Insider. God's Kingdom Rules! Cengage Learning. Organized to Do Jehovah's Will. March 1, December 1, Enlightenment proceeds from Jehovah by and through Christ Jesus and is given to the faithful anointed on earth at the temple, and brings great peace and consolation to them.
Again Zechariah talked with the angel of the Lord, which shows that the remnant are instructed by the angels of the Lord.
The remnant do not hear audible sounds, because such is not necessary. Jehovah has provided his own good way to convey thoughts to the minds of his anointed ones Those of the remnant, being honest and true, must say, We do not know; and the Lord enlightens them, sending his angels for that very purpose.
When the time comes to clarify a spiritual matter in our day, holy spirit helps responsible representatives of 'the faithful and discreet slave' at world headquarters to discern deep truths that were not previously understood.
The Governing Body as a whole considers adjusted explanations. What they learn, they publish for the benefit of all.
True, the brothers preparing these publications are not infallible. Their writings are not inspired as are those of Paul and the other Bible writers.
How, then, do we react when we receive divine direction? Do we try to apply it "right afterward"? Or do we continue doing things just as we have been accustomed to doing them?
Are we familiar with up-to-date directions, such as those regarding conducting home Bible studies, preaching to foreign speaking people, regularly sharing in family worship, cooperating with Hospital Liaison Committees, and conducting ourselves properly at conventions?
Do you clearly discern the evidence of divine guidance? Clear editor. Upload or insert images from URL. However, our community is not an official website of Jehovah's Witnesses.
It is not endorsed, sponsored, or maintained by any legal entity used by Jehovah's Witnesses. We are a pro-JW community maintained by brothers and sisters around the world.
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