by KKLUV155 7 Replies latest jw friends

  • KKLUV155

    I've read several times on here people mentioning something about Malawi. Can some one tell me what happend or give me the link about it? I tried the search but without results. This would be greatly appreciated.


  • Valis

    Another "conscience" issue for Witnesses involved political party membership cards. When the ruling element in the African country of Malawi demanded that citizens purchase "party cards", the Watchtower Society took a stand against it. In adhering to this position, Malawian Witnesses faced imprisonment, beatings and severe mistreatment at the hands of government loyalists.

    Meanwhile, in Mexico Witnesses were in the habit of bribing officials to obtain cards identifying them as members of the reserves who had fulfilled a year of military service. Not having the cartilla would result in some inconvenience, but not the sort of suffering Witnesses faced in Malawi.Franz relates in detail how Watchtower headquarters gave its approval to both policies, leaving African JWs to face brutal persecution, while permitting Mexican Witnesses to buy cards 'under the table.' This caused much suffering in Africa. And it helped cause the "crisis of conscience" Raymond Franz experienced as a member of the Governing Body whose votes enforced these contradictory rulings.


    I remember the letter writing campaign in the late 80's or early 90's when we were "encouraged" to write letters of protest to the Malawi officials on behalf of the ones being persecuted. I did so. I think they published the addresses of the proper Malawi authorities in one of the rags.


  • GetBusyLiving

    The Governing Body screwed over a bunch of people in an attempt to expand their influence. Men and children beaten, woman beaten and raped. All in a day's work for God's spirit directed organization.

  • joannadandy

    My mom was talking about this the other day - how she being the good JW wife stayed home with kids and wrote letters all day for the brothers and sisters in Malawi - I wish I had a palitable way to bring this up again...slip it in...see what she would say...

  • Buster

    Wasn't that the late 70's?

    I remember during a big ole assembly, buying dozens of cheap form letters, writing in some "Let me poeple go" stuff and putting in the 'mailboxes' at the assembly.

    It gave me something to do at least for an afternoon.

  • Honesty
    The Governing Body screwed over a bunch of people in an attempt to expand their influence. Men and children beaten, woman beaten and raped. All in a day's work for God's spirit directed organization.

    How can those pricks sleep at night? They must pray to the spirit directing them.

  • Had Enough
    Had Enough

    I remember to this day, the gruesome descriptions that the WTS writers supplied for us, in such graphic detail, of the torture these poor people endured in the name of "remaining loyal to Jehovah" etc. etc.

    The most disgusting article I remember is in the 1975 Awake December 8th issue, pgs 8-12 entitled "A Beastly Record - When Will It End?". At the end of this article, they listed the names, positions and addresses in Malawi of "Officials To Whom To Write", to express our protest (but ONLY in a respectful and humble way so as to impress these officials into doing something to stop this persecution).

    We wrote our letters and subdued our anger and horror, but years later, thanks to Ray Franz, I realized it really should have been to the WTS that our anger and horror was directed, for allowing this to happen for the sake of purchasing a party card when at the same time, the WTS turned a blind eye to the brothers in Mexico who were getting out of having to serve the compulsory 2 or 3 yr term in the military by purchasing a card which falsely declared they had served their military stint. This hypocritical behavior of the WTS in the guise of "tenderly caring for HIS sheep", is no less than disgusting.

    For those who want to read what these Malawi witnesses endured, here is the whole article:

    g75, 12/8, pgs 8-12

    A Beastly Record?When Will It End?

    THEIR refuge in Mozambique taken away, thousands of Jehovah?s witnesses began filling the main roads of north and central Malawi as they made their way back to their home villages. For many it was like running a gauntlet.

    One group of forty Witnesses, men and women, reached the market square of Mzimba, on their way to their homes in the north of the country. People gathered to jeer at the weary travelers, and then members of the Malawi Youth League attacked them. They were subjected to severe beatings from 8:30 in the morning until 2:00 in the afternoon. Policemen stood by and watched. One of those beaten was a man over eighty years of age. They had seventy miles yet to walk and were without food, for what little money they had was taken from them by the Youth Leaguers.

    On arriving at their villages, at times the Witnesses were initially allowed to reoccupy their homes. But generally it was not long before the Youth Leaguers came to demand that they buy membership cards for the political party. Refusal brought all manner of inhuman treatment. Consider a few cases:


    village, Central Region; August 26, 1975: A group of men and women, including the local Member of Parliament, Mr. Elson Muluzi, and the local Party Chairman, Stuart Maere, surround the homes of Jehovah?s witnesses and ask if they are prepared to buy party membership cards. When the Witnesses reply that they cannot do this, the party members ransack their homes and chase them from the village, saying: "Get away from here! Go away to a country where there aren?t any cards!"


    region; September 4, 5, 1975: Youths of the Malawi Congress Party go to the homes of Witnesses in Nsambe, Kampini, Tanga, Mbalame I, Mbuziyamwana and Mselela villages. They demand that party cards be bought. Upon the refusal of the Witnesses, the party members come into their homes and steal all their possessions: money, bicycles, wristwatches, plates, cups and other domestic utensils. The brothers are subjected to terrible beatings, one becoming unconscious for an hour and a half as a result. In two places, Youth Leaguers (whose chairman is called Mozangwila) urinate over the maize flour in the homes, to make it unfit for food. When one of the Witnesses goes to the police to report the attacks and returns, he is beaten again.


    village, Central Region: Five Witnesses, men and women, are stripped, subjected to beatings and chased for seven miles. Those responsible: Member of Parliament for Mangochi area, Mr. Abidabilu, and members of the Youth League and the Young Pioneers.


    Muso and Mingola; September 2, 3, 1975: More than twenty men and women Witnesses are attacked and severely beaten by members of the Malawi Congress Party from Ncheu district. One Witness is unconscious for two hours from the beating. The attackers then rub itching beans into the wounds of both men and women. September 4, 1975: Young Pioneers Maduka and Samora lead a group of youths in attacking Witnesses in Beni Chauya village. Men and women are beaten into unconsciousness.


    Lilongwe area; September 29, 1975: At 6 a.m. a crowd of Malawi Congress Party officials and Youth Leaguers take fourteen Witnesses, men and women, to the Party branch headquarters at Tsoka village. There they are subjected to severe beatings. The attackers strip the clothing from one Witness, already bleeding from his mouth and ears, tie his hands behind his back and then rub mud into his hair and eyes. Those responsible: Area Chairman Ng?ambe, Vice-Chairman Syawa, and Youth League Branch Chairman Mchezo and Vice-Chairman Mchenga.


    Sexual Abuse

    Many of the reports tell of sexual abuse of a most depraved kind. Among them are these:


    area, northern Malawi: Witnesses are taken by their village headman, Mr. Kwindanguwo, to the Mponela police station. They are kept for five days without food. They are then given a letter to the police station in Dowa, the principal area. On reaching the Dowa police station, the officer in charge takes them to the area office of the Malawi Congress Party. They find other Witnesses already there. All are subjected to severe beatings. Before the attack begins, the Dowa area chairman for the Malawi Congress Party, Mr. Kamtepa, shouts, "Let Jesus Christ come down right now to prevent us from beating you all, before we start beating you!" The chairman and his Youth League aides then begin beating men and women. They take off all their clothes and rub a mixture of pepper and the hairs from the pods of itching beans all over their naked bodies. They press this same mixture onto the genitals of the men and into the genitals of the women. Then they push the men on top of the women in an effort to force them to commit immorality, beating them all the while. Not one of the Witnesses gives in under the torture.


    Nyanga and Phatha villages, south of Lilongwe; September 4 to 9: All Witnesses are chased from their homes and stripped and beaten by mobs led by the local chairmen of the Malawi Congress Party, one of whom is named Jeke. One group of attackers consists of over a hundred persons who come prepared with an assortment of weapons to use on the Witnesses. They try to persuade the Witness men to commit immorality with the Witness women. Those from Bunda are taken to the police and these join in beating them. The police tell the Witnesses: "The government is ours. You go to God, if there is one, and ask him to come and help you." When the other atrocities are reported to the police, their reply is: "Go and tell God. Let him help you. If he doesn?t do so, you will be finished this year."

    Surely these words take one?s mind back far beyond the time of the sadistic regime Nazi in Germany?back all the way to the first century of our Common Era when Christ Jesus was falsely charged with sedition against the government and was nailed to a torture stake. Read in your own Bible how the chief priests and scribes and elders of the nation "began making fun of him and saying: ?Others he saved; himself he cannot save! He is King of Israel; let him now come down off the torture stake and we will believe on him. He has put his trust in God; let Him now rescue him if He wants him, for he said, "I am God?s Son."?"?Matt 27:41-43.

    Today, almost the identical mocking words are being spoken to Jehovah?s witnesses in Malawi because they, too, insist on remaining loyal to God as did his Son Jesus Christ, who earlier had told Pontius Pilate: "My kingdom is no part of this world."?John 18:36.


    northwest of Lilongwe; August 31, 1975: Members of the Youth League attack Jehovah?s witnesses. The men are knocked to the ground and the Youth Leaguers trample on their necks. The women are stripped and beaten and the Youth Leaguers use torches to burn the hair of their genital areas. Local women share in beating them. Five married Witness women are raped. One young girl of seventeen is raped by three different men. Those taking the lead in this persecution: Malawi Congress Party Area Chairman Yowase Kapulula of Lundu village; Kanjaye, the son of Biliyati of Thandaza village; Asedi Chavesi, the son of Magadi of Chilomba village, and Benala Mtsukwa of Msanda village.


    village, Lilongwe area; September 7, 1975: A group of Witnesses are taken to the area branch of the Malawi Congress Party, where their assailants strip both men and women. Then they bind them together to try to force them to have copulation and thereby commit adultery. One sixty-year-old Witness is bound in this way to a young Witness girl; another young man is bound to his own sister; even a menstruating woman is thus bound to one of the male Witnesses. The local chairman of the Youth League, Chipukupuku, also takes a torch and burns the hair from the private parts, chests and armpits of ten of the male Witnesses. The attackers, urged on by local women members of the League of Malawi Women, take one female Witness?stripped naked?and jump up and down on her legs and stomach while beating her with sisal leaves until she faints. The woman who is menstruating is beaten till she bleeds from mouth and nostrils.


    in Lilongwe; September 8: Members of the Youth League at night severely beat the Witnesses. One of the women is raped by four men; another is locked in her home, and three men rape her. When the Witnesses report these incidents to the police, the answer they receive is: "Tell your God. He is causing you to be robbed. Is he dead, so that his eyes don?t see?"


    north of Lilongwe; September 24: Refugee Witnesses return to their homes, and the village headman allows them to enter the village. That night, however, the Malawi Congress Party area chairman and a crowd of Youth Leaguers come and take the Witnesses to the party office at Dowa. Their attackers beat them and then take two Witness men and tie their genitals together. They beat them on the genitals so that if one tries to pull away from the beating he will injure the other. They tie heavy bricks onto the genitals of other Witnesses and make them walk with these. Among those responsible is a man named Chilunje, from Lumbadzi. When these atrocities are reported to the police, they reply: "Even though you may be killed, there is no help for you."


    village, west of Zomba; October 2: Fifteen Witnesses are arrested by Zomba police and tortured. Besides depriving them of food and severely beating them, their tormentors use wooden tongs on the genitals of men and women in an effort to force them to buy political party cards.

    Yet other reports relate about Party youths poking sticks into the genitals of Witness women. Surely the picture as a whole is at one and the same time both tragic and nauseating. And yet this is not all.


    into Detention Camps

    At the beginning of October the Malawi government issued a circular to all police stations?not to put a stop to the criminal attacks and to restore law and order?but to round up Jehovah?s witnesses and put them in detention camps, as at Dzaleka, Kanjedza and Malaku. In some areas these are large detention camps; in others, they are barbed-wire areas around the police stations.

    But for the Witnesses, the worst of it is that the orders call for only adults to be put there. This has meant the separating of parents from their children, even including suckling babies. The government order seems to be designed to keep the Witnesses from attempting to escape to any other country, since they could not take their children along; or perhaps to subject the Witness mothers to such anguish that they will violate their Christian conscience and join the political party. Entire congregations of Jehovah?s witnesses have now been rounded up and put into such detention camps. The experience of Jehovah?s witnesses in Nazi Germany is being repeated?this time in Africa.

    The Witnesses are thus left with no appeal to any governmental source for justice or protection against violence. They and not their attackers are arrested. When seeking police protection, they have repeatedly been met with statements such as, "We have no time to waste on you people, since you do not cooperate with the Party. Even though you may be given trouble, there is no point in your coming to us to report, since we are not here for you. Only if you show us a card for the Party will we assist you, and not otherwise. You can report to us only if someone is dead, and then we will only write a statement."

    In some areas the only place of safety the Malawian Witnesses can find is in the bush and forests?where literal animals and not beastly men live. From the Lilongwe area comes a list of fifteen congregations of Jehovah?s witnesses who have fled into the Dzalanyama Forest on the border between Malawi and Mozambique. Members of many other congregations spend their days in the town but go into the bush each night to sleep, either because of having been made homeless or to avoid a nighttime attack.

    When Will the Barbarities Cease?

    Though distressed by such barbaric persecution, Jehovah?s witnesses in Malawi and in the rest of the world are not shaken in their faith nor in their determination to hold firm for Christian principles. They recall the words of the apostle Peter in a time when Christians of the first century were undergoing similar persecution because they too were "no part of the world" but maintained undivided loyalty to God?s kingdom by Christ Jesus. To them, the apostle wrote: "Beloved ones, do not be puzzled at the burning among you, which is happening to you for a trial, as though a strange thing were befalling you. On the contrary, go on rejoicing forasmuch as you are sharers in the sufferings of the Christ."?John 17:16; 1 Pet. 4:12, 13.

    These words, however, in no way lessen the grave responsibility that rests on those inflicting such persecution upon innocent persons. If not before, then at the time of his execution of judgment upon an enemy world, Jehovah God promises to bring liberation and relief to all of those who have put trust in him and have remained faithful to him under severe trial. Then, and to all future time, this earth will never again be disgraced by scenes of barbarism, brutality and depravity practiced upon the defenseless. Then, on a global scale, "the meek ones themselves will possess the earth, and they will indeed find their exquisite delight in the abundance of peace."?Ps. 37:11.

    But could the atrocities in Malawi be made to cease before then? Yes, they could. If those in authority respected the Malawian constitution, such inexcusable attacks could be brought to a halt right now. Why should such Malawian officials let criminal elements, even though found within the ranks of their own party, make a mockery of the Malawian constitution and disgrace the nation in the eyes of the world?

    Is there within Malawi not even one man of authority with the wisdom and courage of a Gamaliel? If there is, then certainly now is the time for a man of that caliber to counsel his fellows, saying, as did Gamaliel with regard to the Christian apostles who had been arrested: "Keep clear of these men, I tell you; leave them alone. For if this idea of theirs or its execution is of human origin, it will collapse; but if it is from God, you will never be able to put them down, and you risk finding yourselves at war with God."?Acts 5:38, 39, New English Bible.

    Surely those now persecuted in Malawi merit the earnest prayers of all those having faith in God and in righteousness. (Compare Acts 12:5.) In addition to this, if the suffering of these innocent people is of heartfelt concern to you, why not write now to the Malawi representative in your country. or to any of the officials of the Malawi government whose name and address are listed with this article? Urge them to do what they can to bring a halt to the atrocities going on within their land.


    These "itching beans" are called chitedze in the Cinyanja language. The Scott and Hetherwick Chinyanja Dictionary says: "A kind of bean, curved S-shaped, velvety-brown pods, which when ripe and shaken cause the most intense itching; it is almost maddening to get the hairs down one?s neck, with a curious electrical sensation."

    [Box on page 12]


    His Excellency the Life President of Malawi

    Ngwazi Dr. H. Kamuzu Banda

    Central Government Offices

    Private Bag 301

    Capital City


    Malawi, Central Africa

    The Honourable R. A. Banda, S.C., M.P.

    Minister of Justice and Attorney General and Minister of Local Government

    Private Bag 333


    Malawi, Central Africa

    The Honourable P. L. Makhumula Nkhoma, M.P.

    Minister of Health

    P.O. Box 351


    Malawi, Central Africa

    The Honourable D. Kainja Nthara, M.P.

    Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare

    P.O. Box 5700


    Malawi, Central Africa

    The Honourable R. T. C. Munyenyembe, M.P.

    Minister of Education

    Private Bag 328

    Capital City


    Malawi, Central Africa

    The Honourable N. P. W. Khonje, M.P.

    Speaker of the Parliament of Malawi

    P.O. Box 80


    Malawi, Central Africa

    The Honourable D. T. Matenje, M.P.

    Minister of Finance, Trade, Industry and Tourism

    P.O. Box 30049

    Capital City


    Malawi, Central Africa

    The Honourable R. B. Chidzanja Nkhoma, M.P.

    Minister of Organization of African Unity Affairs

    P.O. Box 211


    Malawi, Central Africa

    The Honourable A. A. Muwalo Nqumayo, M.P.

    Minister of State in the President?s Office

    P.O. Box 5250


    Malawi, Central Africa

    Mr. Aleke K. Banda

    Deputy Chairman/Managing Director

    Press (Holdings) Limited

    P.O. Box 1227


    Malawi, Central Africa

    Mr. Richard Katengeza

    P.O. Box 5144


    Malawi, Central Africa

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