Digest of terms

Jehovah's Witness ethics

Founded in the 1870s in New York, Jehovah's Witnesses are now known globally from their evangelists and Watchtower magazine as enthusiasts for the norms of the Kingdom of God. These norms they see as prescribed in the Bible, of which they have their own translation. Distinctively, this proscribes the use of blood transfusions in any circumstances,

"You must not eat the blood of any sort of flesh, because the soul of every sort of flesh is its blood. Anyone eating it will be cut off." Leviticus 17:14. This is not a position shared with the mainstream churches, from whom they also differ theologically over the status of Jesus and the celebration of such festivals as Christmas and Easter. Their ethic is also distinctive in its repudiation of war - shared with other pacifists within other Christian churches - and leading to their persecution in Nazi Germany. The perception of heightened turbulence in world affairs and flourishing immoralities is regarded as evidence not only that God's Kingdom is urgently needed but that it will arrive very shortly. In the meantime,

proper conduct sexual relationships, use of food and drink is expected of all followers; misbehaviour is subject to strict discipline.

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