Jehovah's Witnesses: Between Tradition and Modernity
Doctor Philippe BARBEY, January 2016.
Founded by Charles Russell in 1870 in Pennsylvania, Jehovah’s Witnesses are close to the evangelical protestant pole. Their beliefs systematically refer to the Bible in matter of faith and Christian life (Sola scriptura). As the various Christian confessions are generally Trinitarian, Jehovah’s Witnesses estimate themselves in complete dissension with them on this fundamental religious point for them: God is strictly one (Unitarian monotheism) and consequently refuse the Trinity dogma (Christianity restitution). That is why Jehovah’s Witnesses have no part in any way in oecumenical movement whatever it is.
Jehovah’s Witnesses consider that they are the only ones to have succeeded in restoring the primitive Christianity that was rested by Jesus-Christ himself. They criticize other religions as belonging to what the Book of Apocalypse or Revelation calls Babylon the great because they took part in conflicts and wars of men. As for them, they preserve a strictly neutral and apolitical attitude which brought on us cruel persecutions throughout the twentieth century particularly under Nazi and communist regimes. They always expect God’s millenary reign which will restore a paradise on earth.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are present in almost all countries. They increase by approximately 1 to 2 % a year what represents more than one quarter of million additional baptized each year. In fact, their domiciliary evangelization activity is now an effective part of the worldly religious panorama.
Keywords: Jehovah’s Witnesses, Charles Russell, Watch Tower, Christianity, Millenarianism, Unitarianism, specific charisma, evangelization, Christian minority.