Religion

Jehovah’s Witnesses pursue peace

Jehovah’s Witnesses in The Bahamas will unite with millions of Witnesses around the globe virtually to explore the topic of peace in a six-part convention scheduled for July and August.

This virtual convention, Jehovah’s Witnesses say, will unite 239 countries in more than 500 languages.

The three-day convention takes place in six parts with each corresponding to a half-day of content. Witnesses will explore the topics of how love leads to inner peace and peace with others; why the Bible can be called the “road map” to family peace; how to attain peace even when suffering illness, economic problems, natural disasters or other difficulties; what people from around the world are doing to enjoy peace; and why friendship with God can lead to true peace. The convention, held under the theme, “Pursue Peace”, will conclude with a presentation on the topic, “Universal Peace is Sure to Come”.

“In The Bahamas, and even the world, there are political and religious differences which cause peace to evade individuals,” said Mark Taylor, spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses in The Bahamas. “This convention will highlight how we can attain true peace. We wish that all in the community can join us.”

Because of COVID-19, the convention will be presented on jw.org or JW Broadcasting on the free JW Library app available for iOS or Android, or on streaming platforms like ROKU TV, Apple TV and others. The program is free. Sessions will be posted incrementally in July and August.

Serita Bain, who has not missed a convention in 28 years, said the “peace” theme is timely.

“The theme of ‘peace’ is especially timely because it is desperately needed in our homes and communities, and globally,” said Bain.

Robert Hendriks, Jehovah’s Witnesses spokesperson for the United States, said, “This convention is an object lesson in how peace is being achieved by a global community right now as it unites millions of people even in areas of conflict like Ukraine and Russia.”

Hendriks said the power of the principles being discussed transcends national borders, ethnic differences and language barriers, and that individuals and families will benefit from attending the program.

Jehovah’s Witnesses have been holding global conventions for more than 100 years, the last three years featuring virtual events.

Prior to 2020, Jehovah’s Witnesses in The Bahamas held their annual convention at The Assembly Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses on Dolphin Drive. While they hope to host in-person large gatherings again in the future, they made the decision late last year to again hold the 2022 convention virtually.

After the global closure in March 2020, the 1.3 million Jehovah’s Witnesses across 13,000 congregations continued their ministry through letters and phone calls while also holding twice-weekly meetings in a virtual format.

They have yet to resume their public ministry; their “alternative” ministry continues.

On April 1, congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses began meeting in person for the first time in two years locally and around the world.

The return to in-person meetings coincided with two global events held in all 120,000 congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses – a lecture scheduled in most congregations for April 10 under the theme, “Where Can You Find Real Hope?”, and the annual commemoration of the death of Jesus Christ on April 15, the day Jesus sacrificed his life 1,989 years ago. Both gatherings were held in person at local halls with live speakers.

At the time, Hendriks said the timing of resuming in-person meetings could not be better as they brought everyone back together for the special events which he hoped would have an impact on the worldwide congregation.

In preparation, Kingdom Halls were equipped with the required technology to hold a productive meeting that allowed for in-person and remote attendees, allowing them to participate in discussions.

At the time, Hendriks described the return as “heartwarming” as he said the resumption of in-person meetings would bring them closer together as they were eager to see each other again.

Since the start of the pandemic, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been writing letters of comfort to their neighbors and making phone calls. Hendriks said no time was wasted as their congregants remained busy and productive, helping each other and their neighbors through challenging times, which he said love and unity are all about, as they prepare to explore the topic of peace.

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Shavaughn Moss

Shavaughn Moss joined The Nassau Guardian as a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor. Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics. Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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