JW refugees and politics

by Anders Andersen 8 Replies latest jw friends

  • Anders Andersen
    Anders Andersen

    In The Netherlands, an action going on to get two brothers from Sierra Leone a residence permit.

    The men fled the horrible civil war in their country when 14 and 11 years old. Without parents.

    They have now lived in The Netherlands more than half of their lives. They are well educated, have nothing in Sierra Leone and everything in The Netherlands. They want to contribute to society but they can't, because they are illegal residents thus not allowed to have a job.

    One of the men is an active JW (a young orphan refugee ends up in a cult, what a surprise....)

    Since they can be evicted any day, people have started lobbying for them. Local politicians and churches actively support their cause. A petition to parliament has been started. There have been and will be protest rallies and visits to the parliament.


    One can only wonder:

    • Will the JW be counseled or punished for allowing politicians and churches helping him?
    • Will people see the difference between Watchtower and JW not doing anything for their spiritual brother, while other organizations including 'competing' churches quite literally try your save his life?
    • At what point can discussing your cause with politicians, or going to parliament, or protesting be classified as 'being involved in politics'? How does it compare with not joining labor unions as to avoid any connection to 'political' actions? Where is the line between OK and being disfellowshipped?

    FYI I fully support that these guys should get to stay in The Netherlands. Just wondering about the JW implications.

  • Mephis

    You're right to call attention to how things get viewed. As these men are JWs, Caesar's law can be contested and a political campaign launched. Much as I recall being urged to write letters to various nasty regimes around the world to tell them to be nice to JWs. But those legal protections, that 'do unto others', does not extend past JWs. The Australian Royal Commission picked up on this too - they questioned the JW definition of 'neighbour' if DF'ing a pedophile from a congregation protected the congregation but if no-one informed the police how was that protecting the community within which JWs live. It's like they want all the benefits of society, all the protections granted under laws, but with none of the communal responsibilities. Bet none of those politicians or churches or other groups will see or hear from the JWs when trying to stop the deportation of non-JWs.

  • smiddy


    How does it compare with not joining labor unions ...? Are we talking about unions in the workplace ? If so , JW`s have never been against membership in a workplace union .

    And their was a time JW`s went to bat for one of Christendoms religions in a court of law regarding charging the public for religious material ,tapes,magazines etc. which led to the society not asking for donations for the WT & Awake magazines.

    I`m with you AA ,that these guys should be allowed to stay in the Netherlandsconsidering the circumstances .

  • zeb

    These young guys will be expected to tow the 'party-line' 105% to get any help at all from wt. The second they fail it will be dump time.

  • LoveUniHateExams

    I think, so long as the brothers continue to be good little JWs, the WTS will shy away from this. The two guys obviously should be allowed to stay in Nederland and I think the WTS will try to avoid any negative publicity.

    N.B I don't think the WTS cares for the two refugees - it's all about the Society's image.

  • Anders Andersen
    Anders Andersen

    Just to clarify: Watchtower hasn't done anything at all to help these guys. And they won't do anything either.

    It's only other churches and politicians that help the guys...

  • prologos

    May be wt thinks they would be best "serving" in their home country with their Dutch-required education?

  • George One Time
    George One Time

    I happen to know them, however they are actually from Nigeria, so Sierra Leone is a foreign country for them, like they say in the article.

  • blondie

    So why does the article cite Sierra Leone as the location? Perhaps they were originally from Nigeria but fled to Sierra Leone and then to the Netherlands. Without parents and perhaps other relatives or friends or paperwork they are people without a country.

    I have seen jws help other jws through the paperwork and bureaucracy to get their status validated. There is nothing wrong with that. I just had to validate my birth certificate and my citizen status in the US because the US state I live in changed their laws regarding birth certificates. I reached out to my US senator and that office helped me greatly. Nothing non-jw about that. The WTS works with governments and agencies all the time to establish their status.

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