Who Are the Jehovah Witnesses?

Written by randolph driblette
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The Jehovah's Witnesses are a branch of the Christian faith. Jehovah's Witnesses are restorationists and do not believe in the trinity common to denominations like Catholicism. The worldwide membership statistics for Jehovah's Witnesses estimates more than 20 million members, with 7 million involved in evangelism. Jehovah's Witnesses often travel door to door in order to introduce people to their denomination and beliefs.


The Jehovah's Witnesses have their roots in 1870 when Charles Taze Russell wrote the book "Three Worlds," which reinterprets classic Bible teachings. Russell asserts that God's interaction with man can be broken into periods called harvests. He also claims that Jesus has visited Earth on multiple occasions, ushering in new eras. In 1879, members of Russell's publication "The Watchtower" gathered publicly to study the Bible together, marking the first Jehovah's Witness congregation. By 1917, Joseph Franklin Rutherford had founded the official Jehovah's Witnesses according to Russell's teachings.


The Jehovah's Witnesses are headed by the president of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, based in Brooklyn, New York, as of 2011. This denomination is hierarchical, meaning there are different levels of devotion to the faith, with some belonging to the general congregation, others being evangelists and a select few being elected to the governing body of the Jehovah's Witnesses.


The Jehovah's Witnesses have many beliefs that break with more traditional Christian denominations. They interpret the Bible literally and view Protestant Scripture as inerrant word of God. They also believe that God's Holy Spirit is an active force rather than an individual entity. Jehovah's Witnesses teach that Jesus was God's only direct creation and that man is merely governed and affected by God's will. They also believe that Satan manifests himself in secular society, which causes them to limit their interaction with wider society to avoid temptation.


Jehovah's Witnesses are known by many as the door-to-door evangelists who attempt to spread their teachings to people in their community. Jehovah's Witnesses have also helped make strides for civil rights, however, after making headline legal cases dealing with their refusal to partake in blood transfusions, salute flags or participate in the military. In many countries, Jehovah's Witnesses are prohibited from practicing their faith.

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