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For some former Jehovah's Witnesses, leaving the faith is not just the mark of losing your religion - it can also mean losing your loved ones. In many cases, friends and family are told to witnesd all ties with ex-believers, leaving them isolated and sometimes suicidal.
It was only when work colleagues noticed the bruising, and convinced her not to put up with the abuse, that she says she fled the relationship. John - not his real name - became a Jehovah's Witness as a young child when his parents decided to the religious group.
In the s, we started to use the radio to spread the message from the Bible. He left the family home - living temporarily in tents and caravans. But two years ago, he was disfellowshipped after he missed a Jehovah's Witness memorial service - seen in the religion as an important event. And the wittness other entrances and exits are manned by other groups.
This is because Jehovah's Witnesses believe those outside the religion can be of detriment to their faith. Jehovah's Witnesses. Famous witnesses.
In London alone, the movement says it has 1, people giving away literature - and they get through about 6, brochures, 20, books, andmagazines every month. The tactics seem the polar opposite of the doorstep approach - most of the day the volunteers stand there smiling but saying little.
His view on the religion was also tarnished after ones of his friends died, when a blood transfusion - which is not allowed in the faith - might have saved him. Deep Singh, a coordinator for this latest street drive, who converted from Sikhism 23 years ago, stands with his arms outstretched, holding books with the title, Qitness does the Bible really teach?
The couple are ed by another volunteer. The Jehovah's Witnesses, with a global membership of almost eight million people, believes that we are now living in the "end times", says Holden, but that this will only be fulfilled when the "true" word of God has been ministered to the ends of the earth. Related Topics.
Life is a mess, and we help to improve people morally, spiritually and emotionally," says Deep. The Jehovah's Witnesses' new tactic. I didn't have anyone, I felt quite suicidal," he says. His wife, Ruth, meanwhile, hovers by a stand, stocked with copies of Awake!
Headquarters of the movement in New York Although Christian-based, the group believes that the traditional Christian Churches have jwhovah from the true teachings of the Bible, and do not work in full harmony with God The traditional Christian Church does not regard the movement as chaf mainstream Christian denomination because it rejects the Christian doctrine of the Trinity Jehovah's Witnesses believe that humanity is now in the "last days" and that the final battle between good and evil will happen soon.
Terri O'Sullivan left the religion 17 years ago, aged 21, and was kicked out of her home by her mother. The Jehovah's Witness movement has been on a year-long drive jehovau recruit commuters at UK train stations, shopping centres and parks.
When she left the faith, she says, they "rallied around" her, in cht to what she had expected. The movement doesn't have figures for how many converts this part of its mission has produced. The movement regards the street drive as just another way of proselytising, says Mark O'Malley, a spokesperson at the Office of Public Information for Jehovah's Witnesses.
Sarah says the loss of her closest family ties has been "very, very difficult" to cope with. The night she was disfellowshipped, Sarah says her mother refused to talk to her.
More on this story. It's a change of tactics, writes Sophie Robehmed.
And in some jehovay, the current street drive is a return to tactics. For some former Jehovah's Witnesses, leaving the faith is not just the mark of losing your religion - it can also jehogah losing your loved ones. Headquarters of the movement in New York Although Christian-based, the group believes that the traditional Christian Churches have deviated from the true teachings of the Bible, and do not work in full harmony with God The traditional Christian Church does not regard the movement as a mainstream Christian denomination because it rejects the Christian doctrine of the Trinity Jehovah's witnesses believe that humanity is now in the 'last days' and that the final battle between good and evil will happen witnezs.
Last year, Sarah - in her 20s - was excluded by the Jehovah's Witnesses in a process known witneds "disfellowshipping", she says sparked by her refusal to live in an abusive relationship. The Singhs are both cutting back on their paid work away from the movement in order to be, as Deep states on his WhatsApp mobile messaging profile, "On the Lord's Work!!
She says she is yet to find a former Jehovah's Witness who has not experienced depression, alcoholism, suicidal feelings or self-harm. Jehovah's Witnesses at a glance. She adds that while not everyone goes through wirness formal disfellowship when they leave, their relationships seldom go on unaffected. In many cases, friends and family are told to cut all ties with ex-believers, leaving them isolated and sometimes suicidal.
Jehovah's Witnesses at a glance. She is engaged, and aware she is "having to plan a wedding where your parents won't attend". At weekly congregation meetings, volunteers are encouraged to let passers-by approach rather than trying to stop them. Going to the police - and involving those from outside the religion - is heavily discouraged by Jehovah's Witnesses, she says, claiming that elders within the faith refused to punish her ex-partner's behaviour.
Sarah is still, however, complimentary about most of the people within her former faith.
Everybody is familiar with the Jehovah's Jehovqh standard modus operandi. It combined moving pictures, sound recordings, and coloured glass slides to re-enact Biblical scenes.
John says he later discovered his wife had testified against him during the process that led to his disfellowship, which he believes placed a great strain on their relationship. According to the Jehovah's Witnesses, the faith has more thanmembers in the UK, and more than eight million internationally. Find out more from BBC Religion.
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