bibleexaminer, regarding your comment:
I'll tell you who the hell gives the religion it's authority. THE GOVERMENT
Some points what I feel:
1. Religions have predated all existing governments. In fact, many governments are formed and have imbibed religious tenets in them. Come to India and see how religion plays a part in government policies. Has any government authorized or changed any doctrine from the religious text of their local religions?
2. Government is Government, not God. They are selected to their positions by the citizens of the country. And the citizens have a right to throw out a government if they feel that their rights are trampled on rather than being protected. See what happened in Libya, Tunisia, etc. Would you want the ISIS rule over you?
3. Citizens give AUTHORITY to the Government through mandate. A person who pays taxes has the complete right to enjoy his basic civil liberties. If the government feels that it can ban a religion and criminalize its adherents just for meeting or praying together, then that's not governance, that's dictatorship. If a government feels that a religion is harmful, then educate the masses by providing conclusive proofs and evidences.
Watchtower uses its granted authority to persecute fellow believers.This is an abuse of the authority granted. It needs to be removed.
Banning religions does not take away any authority. JW's in China, Kuwait, Saudi, Yemen, etc still disfellowship and shun ex-jw's and DA'ed individuals. Banning JW's in Russia won't change their basic doctrines. They won't meet or preach the way they did earlier. But underground, everything else would continue the same, including shunning and blood transfusions. Do you know any period when Jw's gave up their shunning practice or changed their blood doctrine during bans?
'm willing to wait and see Blues. But I have a hard time believing a ban will have the same effect today.
Don't want to work, lazy bunch.
Don't want to suffer.
Skip houses in FS.
May be your local congregation. JW's have a core bunch of Rutherford type dubs who can keep the organization going even under such bans. It doesn't take long to ignite the persecution complex in the JW's.