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Jehovah’s Witnesses convention goes virtual for the first time

Jehovah's Witnesses gather at a past  convention. This year, they changed it and went virtual to keep everyone safe.
Jehovah's Witnesses gather at a past convention. This year, they changed it and went virtual to keep everyone safe.(Courtesy jw.org)
Published: Jul. 23, 2020 at 6:24 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - Jehovah’s Witnesses are used to knocking on doors and inviting people to gather with them. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, they decided this wasn’t a way to approach people. 

“We felt knocking on doors is the motive to love thy neighbor and that it wouldn’t be loving at this time,” said Robert Hendriks, the U.S. spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses. 

He adds they have members in 240 countries and they are used to gathering publicly for meetings and conventions. 

When they noticed COVID-19 starting to spread throughout the U.S., they decided to hold it online for everyone; even those where COVID-19 wasn’t spreading. 

However, a challenge was getting all of their members to access to it. 

“We had to translate it into 511 languages and 58 sign languages. That’s a task that has never been done in any duration of time,” Hendriks said. 

A theme for the convention is joy and Hendriks adds this was planned before the pandemic made life more difficult. 

“Many come back to spirituality as a place to find a true harbor of peace and joy,” Hendriks said. 

Even though they had to change the way they reach out to the community and had to make historical changes to their convention, they can still find joy in their community and worship. 

Copyright 2020 Wyoming News Now. All rights reserved.

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