Jehovah's Witness at a glance

Jehovah's Witnesses are members of a Christian-based religious movement.

The denomination was founded in the USA towards the end of the 19th century, under the leadership of Charles Taze Russell. The headquarters of the movement is in New York.

There are about 6.9 million active Witnesses in 235 countries in the world (2007), including 1 million in the USA and 130,000 in the UK.

Members of the movement are probably best known for their door-to-door evangelical work; witnessing from house to house and offering Bible literature.

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 Churches, for their part, do not regard the movement as a mainstream Christian denomination because it rejects the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, which it regards as both irrational and unbiblical.

Beliefs

Jehovah's Witnesses base their beliefs only on the text of the Bible and ignore "mere human speculations or religious creeds." They believe that the Bible is the Word of God and consider its 66 books to be divinely inspired and historically accurate.

Members reject the sinful values of the secular world and maintain a degree of separation from non-believers - they are "in the world" but not "of the world".

Witnesses do not celebrate Christmas or Easter because they believe that these festivals are based on (or massively contaminated by) pagan customs and religions. They point out that Jesus did not ask his followers to mark his birthday.

The church is strongly millennial and believes that humanity is now in the 'last days' and that the final battle between good and evil will happen soon.

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