Religious and Ethnic Diversity
Jehovah’s witnesses have beliefs that are far different than other Christian religions, and many that are the same as those same Christian religions (Robinson, 1996-2009). We will examine the differences as well as the commonalities of Jehovah’s witnesses compared to other similar evangelical Christian religions.
Jehovah’s witnesses do not believe in the father, the son, and the Holy Ghost, instead they believe in monotheism which states that Jehovah is the Supreme Being, and Jehovah gave Christ the ability to rule heaven and earth (Robinson, 1996-2009). Jehovah’s witnesses do not believe Christ was sacrificed on a cross as most Christian religions do, they instead believe that he was sacrificed on a wooden post with no crossbeam on it. They also believe that the second coming has already happened back in 1914, and that World War I was the beginning of the end. This differs from most Christian beliefs whereas the second coming has not yet happened and the recent events such as earthquakes, natural disasters, and disease is a precursor to the second coming of Christ (Robinson, 1996-2009). Most Christian religions believe that there is life after death where your mortal body dies and your soul will either go to heaven or hell. Jehovah’s witnesses do not believe in life after death and that the only souls that will remain after death are those that had taken part in the death of Jesus, sinned against the Holy Ghost, or been determined by god to live eternal death (Robinson, 1996-2009). Jehovah’s witnesses believe that Armageddon will come soon to non-believers, and through Jesus, Jehovah will inflict his rage on those non-believers. For 1000 years there will be a theocracy where all of the believers will live in peace for that 1000 years, after the 1000 years Satan and his followers will be set free on the earth where he and his followers will be destroyed after a short period. Jehovah’s witnesses do endure some prejudice still in today’s society, the fact that they will not accept blood from another person to save their life, it is disturbing to most that this would be the case when they do not believe in life after death.
As many differences as there are, there are also just as many commonalities between the beliefs of Jehovah’s witnesses and other Christian religions. They believe that god had inspired the authors of the Bible to write the things that they had, and to be sure they shared them with the people of the world. Jehovah’s witnesses believe that the Virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus as do most other Christian religions. There is a small house in the hills of Turkey that is said to be where the Virgin Mary lived for the last six years of her life after giving birth to Jesus, it is a very small rock house with just two rooms, a sitting room and a bedroom. As most other evangelical Christians, Jehovah’s witnesses are opposed to pre-marital sex, divorce, homo sexuality, and abortion, they also believe in the power Satan has in the world today (Robinson, 1996-2009).
Because of their religious views, in Canada during WWI and WWII Jehovah’s witnesses were persecuted based on their belief that participating in war was the work of Satan, the persecution was the work of the state, and was intended to quiet the then labeled communist group, Jehovah’s witnesses the state enacted a law called the Padlock Law that shut down church properties. In 1940 the religious group of Jehovah’s witnesses was banned from existence by order of Canada’s federal government, legal battles ensued after the war was over for many years (Headlam, 1990). The Jehovah’s witness religion is still confusing to me, they fight for their right to free religion but are not willing to help defend that freedom, and not going to salute the flag from the country that they claim to belong to. Then again our equal rights are stronger because of their legal battles with the state for