Jehovah’s Witnesses return to knocking on doors
JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - After a 30-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jackson area Jehovah’s witnesses have begun to resume their trademark door-to-door ministry.
The ministry resumed on Thursday, September 1. The two-and-a-half-year suspension of the work will end right before a global campaign featuring an interactive program for Bible study.
The decision to resume their door-to-door ministry marks the complete restoration of all pre-pandemic in-person activities for the nearly 1.3 million Jehovah’s Witnesses in the 12,000 congregations in the United States.
Houses of worship (called Kingdom Halls) were reopened on April 1, witnessing in public places resumed on May 31 and in-person conventions are again being planned for 2023.
“I’m excited to see my neighbors face to face again,” said Edna Smith. A naturally reserved person, the thought of knocking on a stranger’s door used to make Smith uncomfortable. That began to change for her about 40 years ago. “It encourages me to get out and tell others what I’ve learned from the Bible so they too can have a hope of something better. People need encouragement and peace even more now than they did two and a half years ago, and God wants them to have those things.”
The suspension of the public ministry was a proactive response due to COVID-19 and the importance of keeping communities safe. Jehovah’s Witnesses had been preaching from house to house without interruption for more than 100 years through an economic depression, two world wars, and global unrest, but COVID-19 demanded a different response.
“We believe that the early decision to shut down all in-person activities for more than two years has saved many lives,” said Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “We’re now ready and eager to reconnect with our neighbors once again – person-to-person, face-to-face. It’s not the only way that we preach, but it has historically been the most effective way to deliver our message of comfort and hope.”
While the pandemic disrupted the Jehovah’s witnesses public ministry, virtual meetings, conventions, letters, phone calls, and Bible studies were utilized with more than 400,000 newly baptized witnesses joining the ranks of 120,000 congregations globally in just the first two years of the pandemic.
For more information about Jehovah’s Witnesses, their history, beliefs and activities, visit their official website, jw.org, with content available in more than 1,000 languages.
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