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LEBANON: In Muslim Middle East, Jehovah's Witnesses congregate in secret

Lebanon-jehovahs

An elegantly dressed Lebanese woman in a black and white Chanel suit stood up and offered her seat to a Philippine domestic worker, "Please sit, I'll go look for more chairs."

The unusual scene in Lebanon, where wealthy locals more often than not abuse and exploit migrant workers from Asia, was at an undercover Jehovah's Witnesses congregation just outside of Beirut.

Recently, more than 200 Jehovah's Witnesses gathered in the basement of a posh building north of the capital. They divided up into two rooms, one for the English-speaking and one for the Sinhalese-translated session for Sri Lankans.

Unlike other parts of the Arab world, Lebanon is known for its tolerance of multiple religious confessions. But even that has a limit, especially for faiths like Jehovah's Witnesses that are not registered or officially recognized by the government.

It is estimated that there are over 15 "Kingdom Halls," or prayer gatherings, in Lebanon, which for now appear to be tolerated despite fears that participants could be harassed or deported. "My employer is Greek Orthodox, but she likes that I am a Witness," a young Philippine woman explained. "She knows that she can trust me. She lets me come to the meetings."

Unlike in the West, however, she does not go door-to-door preaching. Proselytizing to Muslims is a punishable offense in most Arab countries. Though the Lebanese constitution guarantees freedom of religion, the government relies on a confessional system in which each state-sanctioned religious community holds an independent civil court to adjudicate personal status matters, namely marriage, divorce and child custody. 

Jehovah's Witnesses say they feel like an oppressed and silenced minority. They say that the Maronite community in particular vilifies them. "They spread lies about us, claiming that we are Jews," said an Armenian convert.

Jehovah's Witnesses is a relatively young faith. In the late 19th century, an American named Charles Taze Russell led a Bible study group after the publication of his "Zion's Watch Tower Tract Society." The group dubbed itself Jehovah's Witnesses in 1931. 

Followers believe that the End of Days began in 1914 with Armageddon approaching. They observe only one holiday: The Last Supper of Jesus, or the Memorial Service as they call it. An estimated 18 million adherents regularly attend Kingdom Halls or proselytize worldwide, including in the Arab world. The Council of Elders, based in Brooklyn, oversees the activities of the group, publishes religious materials and disseminates doctrinal interpretations.

The Beirut service began with a warm welcome from one of the "brothers," who then summoned another member to deliver the sermon. He discussed their beliefs, reading from the New Testament and arguing that, after Armageddon, only 144,000 true believers will accompany Jesus as he rules from heaven. 

The witnesses listened solemnly, rising and praying when called to do so. Finally, the preacher concluded, offering to dispatch learned members to the homes of newcomers.

Two Lebanese and two African members walked to the front of the hall to collect a plate of unleavened bread and a glass of red wine. 

Once the memorial concluded, they rose from their seats and chatted quietly with one another. The Ghanaian and Philippine couple rushed their daughter home "to finish homework." A Lebanese man carried his young son on his shoulders; the Lebanese women giggled with their Philippine sisters and most of them gave a smile and a handshake to all new faces.

"I hope to see you Thursday so we can talk next time," a young Liberian man said kindly to an American newcomer. "You are always welcome here."

-- Becky Lee Katz in Beirut

Photo: The front cover of an Arabic-language Jehovah's Witnesses pamphlet. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (169)

Janet,

I just explained to you the reasons. I'm not posting any more because its very clear you are the one spamming with the same posts over and over again, and you dont seem to even be listening to any of my comments. You have merely posted one statement that i did not address, and after i answered it you start posting it again spamming not even acknowledging my reply.

I have answered all your accusations without hate, and if people want to know more, I have directed honest people to the reliable sources as to what we really believe. If you want to spam the boards by posting all sorts of biased tom dick and harry "ex-JW" hate sites, thats up to you. Please examine your true motives- for God looks at the heart.

Thank you and bye.

WHOA! Why do the Jehovah's Witnesses troll keep posting the same bogus Watchtower propaganda,then you whine that rebuttals are 'hate' post?

JW please EXPLAIN THIS

Jehovah's Witnesses use 80% of the bag of Red Cross donated blood for their *fractions* and also use *hemopure* which is COWS BLOOD

http://www.jwfiles.com

Wow why are JW haters posting the same hate posts again and again, seems like youre copying and pasting from a hate site and then spamming the boards with exactly the same words of judgements and propoganda and lies? Please stop spamming with your hate rampage.

Firstly do you understand how JWs really view blood and their factions? Please consider the official site:
http://jw-media.org/aboutjw/medical.htm
First of all where did that information come from? Can you verify please?
Second, it is beside the point. It is irrelevant here because its not about where the blood comes from, but rather the issue is about following the Bibles direct commands in the bible about blood and the principles on how God view blood. The same principle applies to minor fractions.
Thirdly, illustration: if a church donates hospital beds, will most JWs say that they will not want to sleep in those beds in the hospital just because they were donated by a church? Of course not! Those beds would simply be viewed like any other hospital utensils. Same goes for minor blood fractions. It would in this case be viewed like any other drugs or medicine issuing from the hospital.

Here i rest my case. For more reliable information on what Jehovah's Witnesses believe, kindly visit the official website. Jehovah's Witnesses sincerely hope that people will remove their veils of bias and hate and make a return to worship the true God and follow Jesus Christ by studying what the bible really teaches.

(2 Corintians 4:3, 2 Peter 3:9)

Agape

my life as one of JW S ,Is very simple ,obey God and things will go well with you,not to obey and your at the mercy of worldy influences [my understanding of the bible -as Jesus did,is under Satan s rule ] Therefore that s why there is so much confusion--think about it ?? God pulls together,Satan pulls apart. Read you r newpaper,and view our news ,are all these JW s?? Something wrong with this picture?? Examine for yourself the Bible and then make a conscience decision . God knows what s in your heart ,no one else.Thank you

Jehovah's Witnesses are a religious group that separates families - in Scientology it's called disconnection, in JW it's disfellowshipping and shunning.

Family is the most sacred nucleus of society, not religion, and belief in doctrine should not come before a family's love.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah%27s_witnesses#Disciplinary_action

http://www.xjw.com/shunning.html
Shunning

JW please EXPLAIN THIS

Jehovah's Witnesses use 80% of the bag of Red Cross donated blood for their *fractions* and also use *hemopure* which is COWS BLOOD

Actually if any group is spreading hate - it is the JWs. They complain about how bad the world is doing but do very little to nothing in charitable works. Have they run a food bank , run a clothing drive. No they litter the landscape with magazines. They can't even be green friendly.

99% of their dogmas are bogus they take and take and take....

REAP what they have SOWN

The Watchtower has been a source of hate Literature for over 100 years.
Watchtower and other Jehovahs Witness publications have been full of slanderous, half-truth, deceiving, misleading hatefilled articles and lies.

The Jehovahs Witnesses on one hand fill their books and lectures with details about how evil and corrupt every other religion is, but then when theirs is exposed as corrupt they fall back on how it’s *voluntary* to be a member, and how its not nice to say nasty things about them, and how they are being *persecuted*.


http://www.jwfacts.com

http://www.jwfiles.com LINK

Marion-
I leave it up to the reader to see for themselves that medical science have on blood transfusion alternatives-
Im sorry to say that you are sadly mistaken to say that there are no alternatives to blood transfusions.
Examine the medical facts!
Again you employ the propoganda and simply hope people dont check the real facts: look at the list of transfusion alternatives by NON JW, professional medical sites
http://www.noblood.org/

http://healthcare-research.suite101.com/article.cfm/alternatives_to_blood_transfusions

http://www.allsands.com/health/bloodtransfusio_urf_gn.htm

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/90943.php

and many, many more. People who want the truth will search the facts for themselves. Please stop spreading propoganda that mislead and have no factual basis- in this case medical basis.


Again as i have said, honest people will see the clear difference between JWs and JW haters. Look at the posts here, its abundantly clear that people who hate JWs simply revile and slander these peacful people, they curse and swear, make all kinds of biased judgements anout them, it reveals a deep seated hate. Please kindly examine your motives. In the end, its how God views us and our motives that determine if we get salvation or not.


There are NO *non-blood alternatives" all there is is the same old sugar and salt solutions.
This is a deadly Jehovah's Witness LIE that kills!

There is lots of scientific work on the development of future synthetic hemoglobin but it' isn't ready yet.

When you need REAL hemoglobin from REAL blood only the real thing will do.

Besides ....the Jehovah's Witnesses use 80% of the bag of Red Cross donated blood for their *fractions* and also use *hemopure* which is COWS BLOOD

You are hypocrites that keep promoting quack medicine that confuses and kills people.

Jehovah Witnesses Watchtower bloodless surgery propaganda

http://www.theopenpress.com/?a=articles&code=01&id=479

"Carlos",

Your post is propoganda- 2 strong statements that have absolutely no factual basis whatsoever, reveal a strong inherent bias and hate you have in your hate JWs rampage. Anyone can see through your propoganda.
Jehovah's Witnesses are some of the most loving people i have ever met- and you can trust their high moral standards. They don't take up arms because they don't want to kill people, and it is an application of the Golden rule to love God and neighbour as oneself.

To "transfusiontruth",
In many cases, non blood transfusion alternatives are cheaper and safer than blood transfusions- that is what more and more healthcare professionals around the world say. This is the official site of JWs on their view on health and blood.

http://www.jw-media.org/aboutjw/medical.htm

And dont forget that these JW haters try to say that non blood transfusion alternatives is murder. What they hide from people is that many more people actually die from blood transfusions and their complications than those who go for non-blood alternatives. More and more non JWs are even opting for non blood alternatives- simply because it is a cheaper, safer, and more effective way of treatment in many cases.
If honest people want to know what JWs really believe, go to their official website or talk to them in person. Then again, i stress this: how reliable is the information you get from JW hate sites? Ex-JWs (or from the things their posting here its very clear that they probably never was one but pretending to be, and then copying and pasting all sorts of shocking lies from JW hate sites) who post propoganda try to impute evil motives in every single thing JWs believe- without sound evidence and biblical support. Its sad to see how biased some people can become and then go on a hate and slandering rampage against some of the most peaceful people on earth.
The bible foretold this:
2 timothy 3:1-13. Please kindly read this in your own bible. The characters of JW haters here are plain and obvious to all unbaised, objective people- By posting hate speech, slanders, lies, propoganda and misleading statements, they fulfill the bible prophecy of the last days that we are living in. Jehovah's Witnesses sincerely hope that these ones will remove the veil of bias and hate and make a return to worship the true God and follow Jesus Christ. (2 Corintians 4:3, 2 Peter 3:9)

Jehovah's Witnesses are wolf in sheep's clothing but God is the personification of love.

Love God reject cult.

http://www.howcultswork.com/ HOW cults work

Enough of Steve Klemetti and your endless spamming of bogus Watchtower propaganda

Steve Klemetti is a Jehovah's Witnesses troll who is a *hybrid* APOSTATE to the Watchtower Say's JW don't need the Watchtower society just everyone do their own thing.
Steve Klemetti doesn't go out in service he counts time here trolling!

Klemetti unauthorized rebel website
JW Proclaimers.org
Members Enter Here.
www.jwproclaimers.org/

Amazing he is not Dfed yet


Cost of Jehovah's Witnesses refusing blood could treat 25,000 in Africa!


http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/318/7187/873/a

BMJ 1999;318:873 ( 27 March )

Letters
Costs incurred by one severely ill Jehovah's Witness could run one unit in Africa for one year
EDITORMinerva reports that a Jehovah's Witness survived emergency surgery for a leaking abdominal aneurysm despite having a postoperative haemoglobin concentration of only 30 g/l; he spent 14 weeks in hospital.1 Those of us who work in rural Africa can only wonder how much it cost in the face of claims of rationing and cost cutting in the NHS. Such a stay must easily have cost a six figure sum.

Here in Uganda for £250 000 a year we can treat 25 000 outpatients and 7000 inpatients, conduct over 1000 deliveries, and perform 1500 operations. We run a community health programme for 500 000 people. The costs incurred by this one patient might run our unit for a whole year. Will the time come when a religious group will be charged the costs of keeping its members alive? Ethically one may feel that one should do everything, whatever the cost; at the end of the financial year, however, elective surgery that could be life improving has to be cancelled.


The choice is easy here in Uganda. When a child who has severe anaemia from malaria with hookworm infestation and undernutrition comes in the choice is simple: he or she has a transfusion or dies.

Nicholas Wooding , Medical superintendent.
Kiwoko Hospital, PO Box 149, Luweero, Uganda
Minerva. BMJ 1998; 317: 690 . (5 September.)

I was JW for 50 years and what Danny Haszard post is 95% true about Jehovah's Witnesses premature death from ignoring long term heath care.

AMEN let GOD judge you all

http://www.freeminds.org

Jehovah's Witnesses is the cult of calculated deceit,shill,spam and sock puppetry.
Obnoxious just like when they get in my face on my doorstep.

The Watchtower is one grand religious Ponzi scheme. The governing body sits at the top of the pyramid and receives the perks and benefits of being a top insider. To keep the masses in the game , they promise paradise to the rank and file if they obey the governing body. Watchtower reminds me of the religious version of Amway.

I was a 3rd generation Jehovah's Witness my entire clan was "liberated" of our financial assets by the Watchtower.

http://www.freeminds.org/organization/business/the-watchtower-way-of-laundering-money.html
MO MONEY

Danny,

where on earth did you get such a warped idea that JWs don't care to manage their health now? From another JW hate site? Any person who thinks that way probably was never a JW, or pretending to be one, or simply totally misunderstood the JW view on healthcare. Then again, if you want to know how JWs feel towards healthcare now, visit the official website:

http://www.jw-media.org/aboutjw/medical.htm

Then again, how reliable is your "story"? The fact that you can even have such a warped idea that JWs don't care about their health now shows obviously that you don't really know their view on these matters, and you use a "personal story" to try to make all of them seem evil , "horrible, cruel cult". Who is going to verify your "personal story"? How are people even going to? how reliable are all these "stories" by supposedly "ex-JWs" that you find in JW hate sites?
In fact, 60,000 congregations? That completely shows that you have absolutely no idea of the facts- that number is ridiculousy far off from the truth. Millions of JWs death? oh man, PLEASE stop posting ridiculous numbers in your attempts to judge and generalise people.

Jehovah'w witnesses view healthcare NOW as important and seek the best medical treatments they can. They don't simply wait and do nothing about it now- thats about the one of the most ridiculous things i've ever heard.
If you want to know the truth, talk to JWs personally, ask them questions. Visit the official site:

http://www.jw-media.org/
or
http://www.watchtower.org

Jehovah's Witnesses are in 236 lands, their are over 105 thousand congregations worldwide. The memorial attendance commemorating Jesus Christ death was 18,168,323. Their were over 276,000 baptized last year, and has been averaging that for about the last eight to ten years. Their are over 7,600,000 bible studiesconducted each month. Their are now over 7 million Jehovah's Witnesses worldwide and still growing. Those numbers do not include disfellowshipped, past affiliated, or inactive Jehovah's Witnesses.


Jehovah's Witnesses are still convinced of God's new earthly kingdom. It was prophesied that in the last days Isaiah 2:2,3 "And it must occur in the final part of the days that the mountain of the house of Jehovah will become firmly established above the top of the mountains, and it will certainly be lifted up above the hills; and to it all the nations must stream. And many peoples will certainly go and say: "Come, you people , and let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah."....


Jesus says, in Matthew 24:36 "Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father." However based on the signs that Jesus gave Jehovah's Witnesses believe that day and hour is not very far off. Check out what 2Peter 3:3-11 also says. I find this really interesting. " For you know this first, that in the last days there will come ridiculers with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires and saying: "Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep in death, all things are continuing exactly as from creations's beginning." For according to their wish, this fact escapes their notice, that there were heavens from of old and an earth standing compactly out of water and in the midst of water by the word of God; and by those means the world of that time (Noah's time) suffered destruction when it was deluged with water......However, let this one fact not be escaping your notice, beloved ones, that one day is with Jehovah as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. Jehovah is not slow in respecting his promise, as some people consider slowness, but he is patient with you because he does not desire any to be destroyed.... Yet Jehovah's day will come as a thief,....what sort of persons ought you to be in holy acts of conduct and deeds of godly devotion,awaiting and keeping close in mind the presence of the day of Jehovah"


Some last days prophesies. Increase in people wanting to know bible truth. Isaiah 2:2,3. Last days ridiculers, that ridicule, as they ridiculed Noah 2Peter 3:3-12. "Critical times hard to deal with" due to spirit of the worlds horrible attitude, lack of love, and lack of godly devotion 2Timothy 3:1-5

Imagine how many will be caught off guard, and unaware on that day. Simply because nothing happened on a particular day thought. As Jesus says no one knows. So no we do not want to speculate a time or date. That does not change however what the bible says, what Jesus says, or God. That day will come as it said. "as a thief" Jesus says in Matthew 24:43 that if the householder had known in what watch the thief was coming, he would have kept awake and not allowed his house to be broken into. Then in verse 44 he says "On this account you too prove yourselves ready, because at an hour that you do no think to be it, the Son of man is coming."


So Jesus saying that if you knew the date many would do as they please, then as they seen the date approaching then they would make their half-hearted attempt to try in get their live in order. With no date or not knowing the day or hour, will prove and show God who really is serving him because they love him, and his Son, and want to do what right. Not because they know times about up. Which is why Jesus said "On this account" prove yourselves ready. Meaning already be doing what is right when he comes, because you will never guess when he's coming. It will be at an hour that you least expect. At an hour that you do not think to be it. Now why would Jesus say an hour that you do not think to be it? Well, we know everyone will be surprised, yes, even Jehovah's Witnesses. It must be however, indicating an appearance that everythings going to be okay. If huge phenomanal things were happening that would give it away. Perhaps signs of economical bounce backs. Or may cries of "Peace and Security" 1Thessolonians 5:2,3

Nonetheless we should all tried not to be caught off guard.

I have got to try and start making these comments shorter. Sorry guys.

My mother was born legally blind and was recruited by the Jehovah's Witnesses who *promised* her *new eyes* any day in the Watchtower's post Armageddon new system paradise.That was 50 years ago she died blind 8 years ago.
The Kingdom Hall is a fraud for God full of heartache.
That's it!

http://www.dannyhaszard.com

 
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