JWs in Norway lost to the state - will not get state support back

by BelisemDeBelimakom 18 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • BelisemDeBelimakom

    Translated with Google Translate:

    The trial went before Oslo district court in January, and now the district court has concluded that the state is acquitted. Jehovah's Witnesses are also ordered to pay court costs of just over NOK 1.1 million.


  • Phizzy

    Just over $U.S 1 Million in costs !! If only this were to get widely known among J.W's ! surely they would have many valid questions !

    Have the J. W's commented yet ? are they going to appeal ? and waste more $$$ ?

    Thanks for Posting !

  • FFGhost

    They lost no time in gloating about their getting an appeal on the original verdict and how sure they were of Jehovah’s blessing, in one of those insufferable “GB updates” a few months back.

    Gosh, I wonder if they’ll mention this latest verdict with the same enthusiasm?

    On a more serious note, does anyone know if they have any last resort to appeal again? Maybe the ECHR? Though it’s hard for me to believe “the government stopped giving our corporation free money” as a human rights issue.

  • FFGhost

    Just a little idle speculation….

    The Norway verdict, in effect, says “JWs are not a religion”.

    Can a “not a religion” sponsor a “religious order”? I.e. the “religious order” that all Bethelites and “special full time servants” (COs, construction workers, etc.) enroll in and swear to support - can it continue as part of a “not a religion”?

    And if not, can the WTS continue to pay them only a small pittance for their long work weeks? Or are all those workers due (taxable) compensation? Maybe back wages?

    How many European governments could successfully use this “not a religion” verdict as precedent to enact similar measures?

    I’m no attorney, much less someone with knowledge of European laws related to religion, but these seem to be legitimate questions.

    Anyone out there able to provide a little analysis? Maybe we have to wait until the actual text of the verdict is available?

  • DesirousOfChange
    The Norway verdict, in effect, says “JWs are not a religion”.

    In fairness to WT, I find it difficult to agree with that verdict. JW's are clearly a "religion" with millions of adherents worldwide. However, I would understand a Gov't (or anyone) challenging it's status as a "charity'. One could question if the JW religion GIVES anything that is really "charity" when about the only thing they GIVE is information with which to proselytize their religious beliefs. They have no policy in place for any type of charitable giving, ie, financial assistance, medical care, etc. The only time I've witnessed that JW's dp as far as providing that kind of assistance is a casual verbal mention that so-and-so (a member of the Cong, usually a pioneer) needs assistance and Cong members can volunteer financial assistance anonymously or directly. I've never known of the Cong or WTHQ to kick in a dime of "dedicated funds". Cash only flows one way at WT.

  • TonusOH

    I think they are saying they are not a religion so that they are not eligible for certain benefits (such as the subsidy they no longer get). So it's probably a technical or legal term. In the practical sense, I'm sure they understand that it is a religion.

    The WTS can simply spin it as religious persecution and lump Norway in with Russia. The big difference here is that they're losing out on a lot of money (wasn't it two or three million dollars a year?) and they have no real gripe, as they do with the treatment of JWs in Russia. In Norway, they are still free to practice their religion as they see fit, they simply are not getting rewarded for it with money and perks.

  • Gordon

    I did an experiment about 10 years ago.

    I called up local KH's on Saturday morning and asked to speak to an elder.

    I asked them, if their KH would sponsor a food donation barrel for a local well known food bank. Out of six KHs I called, none would agree to do that. They all had excuses- mainly they pick their own charity work to do on their own.

    I told them all, JWs are a parasitic religion, sucking all the free stuff they can from Caesar and his government agencies, but giving nothing back to local communities. -AND that is one reason why JWs get no respect.

  • carla

    Here is an article in English-


    State wins over Jehovas Witness’ complaint

    March 4, 2024

    Norway’s Jehovas Witnesses have lost their legal effort to regain the state financial support that’s offered to all religious organizations. Their’s was cut after the state determined that the Jehovas Witnesses don’t comply with rules that members must freely be allowed to join them or leave.

    The Jehovas Witnesses sued in an attempt to regain the millions of kroner they’d received from Norwegian taxpayers based on membership numbers. The state had determined that those leaving the Jehovas Witnesses suffered from strict bans on contact with other members, including their own families. The alleged exclusion policies violated state criteria for funding, and Jehovas Witnesses also eventually lost their recognition as a registered religious organization in Norway.

    Newspaper Dagen reported on Monday that the Oslo County Court ruled in favour of the state, claiming it was within the state’s rights to withhold funding and retract the Jehovas Witnesses’ rights, for example, to legally marry people in Norway. Religious movements that threaten or engage in negative social control of their members are not in line with relatively new state rules regarding eligibility for funding.

    NewsinEnglish.no staff

  • truthlover123

    Hopefully this is just a start and other countries, especially in the EU will take notice. That will alert other countries, Australia, Britain, and the US where all the ca cases are going on.

    Excellent! Where are the newspapers? Is the org PR team on this to catch and kill?

  • no-zombie

    Sorry Phizzy, court costs were only $103,960 USD ... pity though.

    Yet it a good precedent, that will get the Governing Body's attention. I think that GB's master plan, better get a hurry on.

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