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Jehovah’s Witnesses

A research paper written on Jehovah’s Witnesses may begin:

Jehovah’s Witnesses are religious sect founded in the 1870s by Charles Taze Russell. Russell and several other like-minded individuals began an independent Bible study group in Pittsburgh, where Russell soon departed from many established Christian doctrines, including the Trinity, the immortality of the soul and the bodily return of Jesus Christ at the end of the world. In 1879, Russell began publication of what would become the most famous identification of Jehovah Witnesses, The Watchtower.

Some interesting facts to build a research paper on concerning Jehovah's Witnesses are:

  • Jehovah’s Witnesses maintain that human society is under the grip of Satan, and that the destruction of the world is imminent.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses meet for worship and study at Kingdom Halls, which do not have typical religious ornamentation.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses do not celebrate Christmas, Easter or birthdays, believing such practices to be influenced by paganism.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the Protestant Bible to be accurate; however, they use their own translation.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the end of the world, or Armageddon is near.
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses do not participate in patriotic activities.

The sect is organized hierarchically and led by a Governing Body, based in Brooklyn, New York. Jehovah’s WitnessesLocal congregations are led by an unpaid group of male elders.

They are perhaps best known for their door-to-door preaching, believing they are commanded to do so by the Bible. Jehovah’s Witnesses are conservative in their morality, believing homosexuality to be a serious sin. Family structures are highly patriarchal, with divorce rare except under extreme circumstances.

Jehovah’s Witnesses' Beliefs

Charles Taze Russell founded the Jehovah’s Witnesses denomination.  He later became their first president.  After reorganization in 1917, Joseph Franklin Rutherford became their second president.  Other presidents include Nathan Knorr, Frederick Fraz, Milton Henschel, and currently Don A. Adams.

The group also publishes Awake! and The Watchtower. Members are assigned to congregations based on territories.  Elders are responsible for individual congregations.  All members are expected to attend weekly services.  Baptism is required for membership, and as a show of dedication to God.  They do not practice infant baptism or accept baptisms from other denominations.  Members are not required to tithe, but instead congregations are supported by donations from the members. 

After Armageddon, God will come to establish his kingdom on Earth.  They believe that when people die they are in a state of non-existence, not Hell.  Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the 144,000 will go to heaven and only they meet the criteria.

They do not serve in the military, salute the flag, or say the pledge.  They also limit their interactions with those who are non-members.  They believe it is unscriptural for them to receive the blood from another person.  Receiving a blood transfusion can lead to a person being shunned, or disassociated.

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