Any news on JWs in the Ukraine?

by careful 14 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Anony Mous
    Anony Mous

    @road: and when we contemplated draft dodging we were going to be DFed because it was illegal and illegal stuff makes you a bad witness, better sit in jail. How the times have changed, I heard from someone else they started appointing illegal immigrants as ministerial servants and they carry mikes as well.

  • careful

    Thanks so much for these responses to my OP.

    Gorb, your link is especially appreciated. Its author Kostyantyn Berezhkosure looks like a Witness trying hard to not reveal that fact, or at least a heavy sympathizer. What in the world is "candidate of historical sciences"?

    But there is still no clue as to just what alternative service the GB has green-lighted for Witnesses who have chosen to stay in the Ukraine. The GB are very tight-lipped in-house about just what is going on there. It makes me wonder why. When Russia clamped down on the Witnesses there, the GB played it up, even sending high-raking organizational figures there, asking for letters from publishers. Why this opposite tactic here?

  • slimboyfat

    What to make of this document that seems to want to emphasise JW struggles in Russia contrasted with acceptance in Ukraine, but at the same time asks JWs to clarify “neutrality” in this context and even invites them to “interfaith” dialogue.

    Scholars note that in recent years, Witnesses are willing to respond to complex questions of our reality that have not yet been answered in full and conceptual form. These include:
    Jehovah's Witnesses and national issues,
    Jehovah's Witnesses and the current civil government, Jehovah's Witnesses and the Russian-Ukrainian war, and Jehovah's Witnesses and interreligious dialogue,
    The authors would like to hear a clearer Witness voice in our society on these issues, that is, declared neutrality in secular affairs, a certain policy of distancing, which no longer works today. Because we live in the same place, we are all citizens of the same country, and we cannot be neutral in our daily lives, and this has already become a matter of our daily lives.
    We look forward to the Witnesses joining interfaith or international interfaith associations and movements. These are excellent platform that can be used to assert their values, to convince them that Witnesses have the same right to exist in the religious space of other states, to be treated not as harmful or destructive sect members, but as full members of the Ukrainian or any other place. We are in favor of the Witnesses becoming more actively involved in the dialogue of religions, both in the world and in Ukraine.

  • careful

    Thx, SBF, for the link/paper. Some thoughts:

    1. The social gospel stance of the two authors not only comes through clearly, but it's been published by George Fox Univ., which, while now officially claiming otherwise, is still tied to its Quaker roots. This is no accident.

    2. It was written in Jan. of 2021, just prior to the more complete invasion of Russia that has caused such consternation in Western Europe and the USA. Therefore, it still does not address the question in my OP: what is going on with the Witnesses there and their application of alternative service in an active war setting? It was one thing for the GB to theoretically green light an option like this for the R&F. It's quite another to apply it in wartime. Due to simple chronology the paper is useless on the issue.

    3. The authors do not seem to grasp how important certain NT teachings are to the GB and many R&F Witnesses, such as being no part of the world and getting out of Babylon the Great. The authors have this 'hopeful monster' view that somehow Witnesses are going to join the greater religious community in general. They might as well expect the pope to give up the mass!

    All that said, again, the link is appreciated. However, the org has seen fit to keep almost everything having to do with the Witnesses in the Ukraine during this war under tight wraps. Isn't that fact alone suspicious?

    Last month the Ukrainian government lowered the conscription age from 27 to 25. This fact will put pressure on more young Witnesses to leave the country or make them liable to this theoretical alternative service, whatever that is supposed to be.—,depleted%20ranks%20with%20new%20conscripts.

  • StephaneLaliberte

    I was raised in the JWs and I have a natural disdain for war. Unfortunately, there are times when war is inevitable. Here you have a foreign country invading yours, bombing your whole world, willing to kill your family, friends and neighbors and you're supposed to be pacifist about it? That doesn't make sense to me.

    If I lived in Ukraine, I doubt that I'd be able to just walk away. Let's face it. There are just and unjust wars. In the end, I believe you can exercise your freedom of conscience. But to blindly be pacifist no matter the circumstances? Unless you're an actual priest, its not a sustainable position for normal citizens to take. Unfortunately, in wars like this, not taking a stand is in fact taking a position for the enemy.

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