carnegie logo

Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
Israel, the Arab world and beyond

« Previous | Babylon & Beyond Home | Next »

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)

How can there be literally MILLIONS of *premature* JW deaths over the 100 plus year history of Watchtower edge-of-the-seat new-world-coming-any-minute to fix your health problems?

Simple-In 1992 when I exited the JW 90% of my Congregation was absolutely convinced from Watchtower promises that they most certainly would not see 2010 in this 'ole system'.Most of them where NOT managing their long term health care such as hypertension and diabetes,obesity,health check ups.

Multiply this times 60,000 congregations and there you have it.
This is a horrible cruel apocalyptic cult!

Read my own life story born JW in 1957 then I get severe Ulcerative Colitis in 1970 and it was mismanaged because the Watchtower promised me the new system in 1975. NOW at 52 I am lucky to be alive.
HERE http://www.dannyhaszard.com

Janet,

JWs are known worldwide as some of the most peaceful, honest, well-behaved, polite people; and then you look at most of the hate JWs posts here- many of the information that them and you say are totally unreliable- you dont direct people to see the official websites of JWs, instead you lead people to websites full of hate speech against JWs and have full of unverifiable information.
For example, you said "99% of their dogmas are bogus", and thats making judgements about them without any supporting detail, and you are merely parroting what these hate JWs sites say word for word! And many things thate you say reflect a VERY biased attitude that are based largely on SUBJECTIVE things- how reliable are they?
Look at the posts here, its abundantly clear that people who hate JWs simply revile and slander these peacful people, they curse and swear.
Im really sad to see Janet, that just about 99% of things you are posting are entirely subjective and are absolutely untrue- please kindly examine your true motives- seems more to everyone that your motive is really only 1- that everything about JWs are evil.

If anyone would like to know the real facts of the "alleged JW child abuse":http://www.jw-media.org/aboutjw/article23.htm

here is the OFFICIAL policy of Jehova's Witnesses:
and here is the hard facts with all he evidences that JW haters are careful to hide from others. : http://thirdwitness.com/childabuse/default.html

Jws do not hate anyone, if anything, they only hate the bad things such as child abuse. For objective people who really want to know the truth about Jehovah's Witnesses, please go to the OFFICIAL website or talk to them in person- how reliable information can you get from JW hate sites?

Honest hearted people will see the difference between real JWs and JW haters. In the end, its how God views us and our motives that determine if we get salvation or not.

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 LINK

I am not an english speaker so sorry for my english.
Why so much hate? You are accusing us of things that are really sad but that you have never experienced for most of you! You have heard about it and you don't even know us!
We really live in a paradise among others trying to do God's will! You are talking about sex abuse we try not even to lie! Granted! we are imperfect but we strive hard with our shortcomings!
You know! If someone has committed adultery, fornication ... there is the Bible principle of disfellowship. So can you imagine how much more for pedophile acts!
Now, we do mistakes! Some of us can do big ones but don't doubt the motivations of all of us! We have a geniune faith, we try to live in peace, to make good and not to harm anyone! we respect authorities so if something happens we do what is required by the law of our country!

The only person who knows the hearts of individuals, who knows who is repentant and regretful of their past deeds (however evil these acts were) is God, not you! The Apostle Paul sponsored the murder of true christians and yet was eventually used by God to preach the 'Good News'. Paul's murderous actions cannot be excused, but no one has the right to question God's forgiveness of him. You who are judging dare compare your ability to see down into the heart of a man the same as God! You who are ignorant of the effect and influence that childhood experiences can have on the 'makeup' of a person. Because of unloving and 'abusive' treatment of children, many (MANY!) themselves grow up to become abusers, drug users, bullies and even murderers. No, this man's actions cannot and should never be excused, and their should vigorous safeguard placed on and around this man to prevent further harm to children. But most of you who automatically damn this person to hell have no understanding or education as to the social and personal molding childhood experiences have had on those locked up in prisons today. Whether it be a murder like the Apostle Paul, or a molester who was continuously molested himself as a child, only God has the knowledge, wisdom, and facts to judge and condemn. Many (not all) of you who judge this man and his religion pretend to be the great moralists and protectors of your children, when it is you who are setting the worst example by your illicit and 'non biblical' lifestyles. You sleep with anyone willing to give you a ride home from the bar on a Friday; your personal worldly aspirations prevent you from giving time to protect your own children from becoming promiscuous, yes you yourselves are setting up your own children to be victims and great sinners themselves. May God continue to protect our children from unrepentant evil doers, while at the same time helping and forgiving those murderers and molesters who themselves were victims but who now are painfully regretful and repentant.

What's the situation with child abuse in Jehovah's Witnesses?

Not good. They take Deuteronomy 19:15 literally, which demands two witnesses to a crime (not easy in cases of abuse). And they cite 1 Corinthians 6:1-11 – "Does anyone of you that has a case against the other dare to go to court before unrighteous men, and not before the holy ones?" – to justify trying to deal with criminals with courts of elders rather than courts of law. A Panorama investigation reported they have an internal list of 23,720 reported abusers which they keep private.

Studies in the US suggest they have proportionally four times more sexual assaults on children than the Catholic Church


Everything about the Jehovah's Witnesses is deception because you are a supremacist cult who feel no need to be truthful with unbelievers who are all,"gonna die at armageddon anyway".

http://www.freeminds.org Free Minds

You know their is so much hurt in the world today. We see a lack of love for one another. The attitude shows so much of a "its all about me" and "me first attitude." With illregard or compassion for anyone. People kill one another, step all over you to get what they want. Lie, cheat, steal, whatever. You can barely drive in your car without having to deal with someones "road rage", because you took one second to long to go when the light turned green. Standing in line at the grocery store, you listen to some immature, respect-lacking, underage teenager who cusses the store clerk out, because she's doing her job, by not selling him cigarrettes without proper I.D.


You know in 2Timothy 3:1-5 says that in the "last days critical times hard to deal with would be here." He ain't never lied. Parents killing their kids, kids killing their parents. Yeah, I'd say that, "natural affection" that a parent would normally have for family and mankind is definitely lacking.


So hard to trust, because you've experience or have seen so much disloyalty, dishonesty, in the world. Who can you really trust or believe. Then their are the ones that are so headstrong and would rather be unyielding, and puffed up,than be reasonable. It's hard to walk out your door sometimes let alone turn on the news. Death and scandal is what dominate. Love for one another has certainly cooled off. (Matthew 24:12)Yet who is the most hated religion and group of people in the world? For preaching good news of God's kingdom.


If you sitting in a room with ones of different religions no matter what their beliefs were. And everyone was to introduce themselves by religion. It may go to this affect. "Hi I'm a baptist. Hellow baptist. Hi I'm Pentecostal. Hi Pentecostal. Hi, I'm Lutheran. Hi Lutheran, Hi I'm Catholic. Hi'Catholic. Hi, I am of Islam. Hi Islam. Hi, I am one of Jehovah's Witnesses". (sounds of crickets) someone clears his throat. then maybe one very muffled, "Humm,JahWit". Why is that? John 15:18-20 says, If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were part of the world,the world would be fond of what is its own....because you are no part of world,..on this account the world hates you...A slave is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you also."


See, no matter the circumstance or how the persecution comes about Jesus said it would be for preaching about God's kingdom, for observing Jesus word. For following the bible principles to the best of ability despite being imperfect human beings, because Jesus left a model for us to "follow his steps closely"(1Peter 2:21)So you may not hit the mark perfectly but the model was left to try and get as close as possible. Jesus further says in John 15:22 "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have nos sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin". Jesus saying that had he not come to preach or speak to them it would not have been their fault, because no one told them about the one who had sent him (God) it goes on to say in that verse however, "but now they have no excuse for their sin."


In verse 23, He that hates me hates also my Father". They hated and persecuted Jesus, for what? Jesus goes on to say in verse 25 "But it is that the word written in their Law may be fulfilled. They hated me without cause" With all that is happening in the world. What real hard-core reason is their to be hated so much? Dates, personal choices, free will, preaching and teaching what the bible says. Does it really measure up to all that is really happening around us. Jesus said that he "came to cause division, with a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a young wife against her mother-in-law." (Matthew 10:35,36)Jesus knew that following him and God's law would cause division and breaks. With family and friends. Who did he say would be the enemies? "persons of his own household" meaning family members. But Jesus said in verse 38, "whoever does not accept his torture stake and follow after me is now worthy of me".

It takes an awful lot of time and effort to write an entire poem about something you hate - seems really stupid to me. Just think of all the things you could do if you focused your attention to a more productive cause. Such a waste...

The Watchtower corporation has paid out millions in hush money already.

The Watchtower defenders will say do anything to protect mother Watchtower.This is an abusive cult to children and adults.

Check out http://www.silentlambs.org to see just how much the JW Watchtower leadership has been hiding from the public and its own members.

Jehovah Witness pedophiles come to your house

Respected Jehovah's Witness groomed and molested young girls over years
Yorkshire Post - Olwen Dudgeon - ‎Dec 15, 2009‎
A RESPECTED Jehovah's Witness who served as an elder betrayed the trust placed in him by abusing young girls. ...

Church Jehovah's Witness elder abused young girls Bramley Today
http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/Respected-Jehovahs-Witness-groomed-and.5911846.jp

Jehovah's Witnesses proselytizer molest a child in their door to door 'witnessing'
http://www.religionnewsblog.com/16510/jehovahs-witness-in-door-to-door-sex-assault-scandal

Blood transfusion to Jehovah Witness is like psychiatry to Scientologist

HEMOPURE
Reg;Bovine Cow blood derived HEMOPURE
The Watchtower has approved the use of Hemopure (bovine hg g - 250/HBOC -201). This is directly in opposition to the Watchtowers abstaining from blood as taught by them.

The followers of the Watchtower are taught one thing and the Watchtower practices another to release itself from responsibility so they publicly state the use of blood is a conscientious matter.
The deeply controlled followers seek approval from the leadership which means approval from God to them so they rather let a child die than suffer from disapproval, congregational social repercussions, disfellowshipping, and shunning.

250,000 Jehovah's Witnesses have died since 1945 due to the No blood transfusion ban of "whole blood".

Jehovah Witness blood policy reform site
http://www.ajwrb.org/basics/abstain.shtml

Rebecca:

CORRECTION on the article you posted. The man's wife is a JW NOT him!!
thank you!

FLIP FLOP FLIP FLOP

I thought your post would NEVER stop
Was it not in the bible that spoke of people like you?
That don't know Jah' people & think they're really jew's?
All you have to do is see the history of man
Have you ever wondered why they see JW's prosper and readily place a ban?
Don't let yourself be affected by the opinions of those who hate
If you don't, I'm afraid that you also will have a similar fate

The time is coming and that time is near
That all those who hate JAH will finally reap what they truly fear
These are mere rhyme words you may say
But don't be fooled we all know what is coming, JEHOVAH'S DAY
I hope you are not caught pointing your finger
On the Day that Jehovah finally sounds the "ringer"
Some know Jehovah and really don't care
They think He is oppressive and not really fair

I'm one of millions that try to live a clean life
But there are those that prefer to live by gun or knife
We all make our own choices but remember that only One can save
Today, many doubt but soon will each search out their cave
It isn't idols, false gods or some nameless higher power
It is Jehovah who has named his slave class over the Watchtower

With these simple words I end my post
Wake up and see the light or end up like most
Time and history will not lie
Don't think that nothing will happen if you complain and just stand by
Your words may be sharp and even raise your voice
But remember we will all pay for our actions including our choice
I sign off with no hate for you in my heart
I'm trying to help you see we are just trying to do our part.

I can understand that is does take accurate and diligent study to understand prophecy, especially when it comes to proclaimed prophecy such as 1914 being the year Jehovah's Witnesses mark the end of the last days, Chronilogically and prophetically. I can try and shed some light on that.


First one would have to read Daniel chapter 4:1-17 where it shows that this prophecy had a fulfillment on Nebuchadnezzar (Babylonian King) Yet has a larger fulfillment. How's that? Verses 3 and 17 show that the dream that God gave to King Nebuchadnezzar deals with the God's Kingdom and promise,"to the one whom he wants to...even the lowliest one of mankind". The bible shows that lowliest one being God's son Jesus Christ Phillipians 2:7,8 and Matthew 11:28-30. Meantime, however, rulership over mankind, represented by the tree and rootstock would have "the heart of a beast" as written in Daniel 4:16. The bible through Daniel prophecied that the history of man would be dominated by governments displaying characteristics of "wild beasts'. In our time the bear is used to represent a world power, the eagle representing one, the lion one, the dragon also representing one.


pPointing to the last days Jesus prophesied that Jerusalem ( spritual Jerusalem that is; physical Jerusalem rejected and abandoned Jesus,)(Matthew 21:43, 23:37)and now open to "every nation and tongue", (Revelation 14:6)would be "trampled on by the nations", until the "apponted times of the nations" were fulfilled. "Jerusalem"=Kingdom of God


So how long would these governments have control before God gave the Kingdom to Jesus Christ as prophetically brought out in the bible? Jehovah's Witness stand by Daniel 4:16 where it says,"seven times" the bible shows that in calculating prophetic time, a day is counted as a year. Such as in Ezekiel 4:6 and Numbers 14:34. So how many days, then are we talking about here? Revelation 11:2,3 clearly states that 42 months (3 1/2 years) in that prophecy are counted as 1260days. Seven years would be twice that or 2520 days. Applying the "day for a year" rule would result in 2520 years. So when did the counting of the "seven times" start?

Well in October of 607 B.C.E. any last trace or hint of their being Jewish type sovereinty was history. Any remaining Jews a fled to Egypt. (Jeremiah ch. 40-43) Bible chronology indicates that this took place by early October of 607 B.C.E. (Jeremiah 29:10, Daniel 9:2) I know this is alot, but I hope you can follow along. It really does take prayer, study, and diligence, then it really makes "magnificent" sense. You have to really want to know, after all it's vital. How is the time calculated though down to 1914? Counting 2520 years from early October of 607B.C.E. brings us to early October of 1914.


"Seven times"=7x360=2520 years

(A biblical "time" or year=12x30 days(Revelation 11:2,3; 12:6,14)in fulfillment of the "seven times" each day equals one year (Ezekiel4:6; Numbers 14:34)

Early October, 607 B.C.E., to December 31, 607 B.C.E. =1/4yr

January 1, 606 B.C.E., to December 31, 1 B.C.E. =606yrs

January 1, 1 C.E. to December 31, 1913 =1,913yrs

January 1, 1914, to early October, 1914 =3/4yr
---------
Total: 2,520 yrs



Flip Flop

Flip flop, flip flop
Will these changes ever stop?
New light is needed. We’ve encountered a hitch
For goodness sake, someone throw the switch
It’s 1914, and we shouldn't’t be here
We said this would be our rapture year
So let’s try and think up a brand new date
But we need to hurry, it’s getting late

Flip flop, flip flop
If we need blood, we’ll take a drop
Oh no we won’t, as we now think
That blood is something we shouldn't’t drink
Well, maybe we can relax a bit
Not take whole blood, just parts of it
But we’ll make it clear what can be used
So that our members don’t get confused

Flip flop, flip flop
We need this Douglas Walsh trial to stop
We’re under pressure as the lawyer tries
To force us to admit that we’ve told lies
We daren’t do that, we’ll put up a fight
Although it’s obvious that he’s right
We’ve prophesied falsely, there is no doubt
Let’s hope our members never find out

Flip flop, flip flop
Preach the good news and never stop
For 1975 is certain to bring
An end to this old system of things
Well, ’75 has been and gone
But still the system carries on
But don’t accuse us of telling lies
We never once promised you paradise

Flip flop, flip flop
By the year 2000 this system must stop
For the 1914 generation will not pass away
Before Jehovah brings his great day
But now we’ve reached 1995
And few 1914ers are still alive
So new light has to shine again
Or we’ll have yet another failure to explain

Flip flop, flip flop
The 1914 theory is for the chop
Now it’s those who dare to refuse.To listen to the Watchtower’s message of truth
That’s the generation that won’t pass away before Jah’s great and glorious day
So unless they listen to what’s being said
When Armageddon strikes, they’ll all be dead

Flip flop, flip flop
The number of anointed just won’t drop
Although it’s 70 years, and more
Since we locked up heaven’s door
We can never admit to making a mistake
But we need a reason why so many partake
So let’s allow more to hear heaven’s call
By saying the gathering hasn’t ended after all

Flip flop, flip flop
Predicting dates really ought to stop
But although 1914 is so far away
Maybe we can link it with Noah’s day
He built the ark in 120 years
That might give people a few ideas
But we must be careful never to say
That 2034 will bring Jehovah’s day

Flip flop, flip flop
Another generation theory to drop
Although for many years we’ve said
That by Armageddon the anointed would be dead
Jah has sent us more new light
And we’ve finally managed to get it right
So when Armageddon finally does arrive
Some of the anointed will still be alive

Flip flop, flip flop
The apostates have caught us on the hop
This new generation truth
Isn’t that new, and they have proof
They’ve found a magazine that shows
We published it over 80 years ago
We thought this idea would see us through
But we’ll have to come up with something new

Flip flop, flip flop
Perhaps it’s time we put a stop
To taxing our brains in figuring out
What this generation is really about
Because we’ve had yet more new light
And hopefully this idea will be right
For what “this generation” really means
Is those who knew people alive in 1914

Flip flop, flip flop
The changes of doctrine never stop
It’s oh so subtle how they back away
Form any teaching that’s had it’s day
And most of their members don’t realise
That what they’re being taught is a pack of lies
But one day the truth will be seen
And they’ll be exposed as the liars they’ve always been

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article6917852.ece

If Anyone wants to know the truth about anything, he needs to hear from the person itself. So please go the OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF JEHOVAH'S PEOPLE and discover the truth there.
www.watchtower.org

It's so interesting how humans forget about history. We all do. Do you want to know the truth? Then go to the beginning! READ YOUR BIBLE. OK....In the times of the Israelites...did ALL the nations like them??? ummm...NO.....in the times of the 1st century...did people like Christians?? Did they ALL like Jesus?? ummm...NO!!!...My point is..In ancient times and during the 1st century people hated Jehovah's law. They saw it as oppressive. When "one" made a mistake they criticized that ALL were like that. You don't like JW's? That's OK. Because the bible speaks of that. To all the people that hate JW's as my own fleshly sister (practicing witchcraft) hates me for serving Jehovah to the extent of trying to "bind" me, I say this..you serve your god and we will serve our God. In the end all will see how Jehovah is the most high in the universe. There is no other god like Him. I am sure many will criticize my post and thats OK. I don't really care. When 'one" JW does something bad or leaves the faith it is magnified to the molecular level. Interesting that that doesn't happen in other religions that have hundreds of millions of followers who steal, kill and extort their own brothers and sisters. ....whats more....name ONE JW who is a politician...a soldier who kills...or a drug addict...The only "negative" thing people can say about us is what? they preach!!! they bother!!!...ummm....if I'm not mistaken..isn't that what Jesus did too??? millions of lives have been positively affected and we are happier people. ..is it wrong to be happy?

Jehovah's Witness Stalker commits 200 attacks on elderly women


HORRIBLE
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article6917852.ece
CLICK LINK

Jehovah's Witnesses proselytizer RAPES a child in the door to door recruitments

READ!
http://www.religionnewsblog.com/16510/jehovahs-witness-in-door-to-door-sex-assault-scandal

 
« | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 | »

Connect

Recommended on Facebook


Advertisement

In Case You Missed It...

Recent News
Introducing World Now |  September 23, 2011, 8:48 am »

Categories


Archives
 


About the Contributors