Fast Facts on Jehovah's Witnesses




Date founded
1879
Place founded
Pittsburgh
Founder
Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916)
Adherents
6.4 million practicing members in 2003 {1}
Headquarters
Brooklyn, New York
Main location
USA
Major sects
none
Sacred text
New World Translation of the Scriptures
Other texts
The Watchtower; Awake!
Original language




English
Clergy/leaders
Elders
Organization
Body of elders supervises a congregation of up to 200 members.
About 20 congregations form a circuit, 10 circuits form a district.
Highest authority is governing body of elders at Brooklyn headquarters. {2}
Meeting place
Kingdom Hall
Theism
Strict monotheism
Jesus
The Son of God, God's first creation
Ultimate reality
Jehovah God
Human nature
Sinful since Adam
Purpose of life
Live forever after death instead of being annihilated
How to live
Live morally and in accordance with Jehovah's commandments, spread the good news of the Kingdom to others.
Afterlife
144,000 elect will reign in heaven and have spirit bodies. Other Witnesses will live forever on a restore paradise on earth. All others will be annihilated. Hell does not exist. {3}
Symbols
The watchtower. Cross rejected as a pagan symbol.
Major holidays
Memorial of Christ's death, celebrated annually. All Christian or other religious-based holidays are rejected as unbiblical and pagan.
Ethics
Divorce only in cases of adultery, no premarital sex, no homosexuality. {4} No gambling or drinking to excess. Against abortion. {5}
Practices
No blood transfusions, no celebration of non-JW holidays, no use of crosses or other religious images. Baptism of initiation, worship once per week, strong focus on evangelism.

References

  1. jw-media.org
  2. "Membership and Organization," Watchtower.org.
  3. "God, Man, and the Future," watchtower.org.
  4. "Family Life," watchtower.org.
  5. "Medical Treatment," watchtower.org.
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