“They Have Tremendous Moral Strength”
AFTER some 40 years of persecution in Czechoslovakia, Jehovah’s Witnesses were able to hold circuit assemblies there. One in Ostrava, in May 1990, was reported on by Jiří Muladi in the newspaper Nová Svoboda (New Freedom). Among other things he wrote:
“About People Completely Human”
“For three days prior to the event, some 90 people got together in the Tatran Hall and cleaned it better than it had been cleaned in 40 years. Even if I get ahead of myself, I have to say this, that the hall was just as clean after the two day [assembly], without any paper or cigarette butts on the floor. By the way, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not smoke.
“The first day of the circuit assembly, there were 1,600 in attendance. . . . They began with a song sung by all. Many composers would be amazed at how beautiful these songs were. . . . Everything is done without fanfare. No introductions of the higher-ups. (Therefore I don’t even know who was the highest rank and imagine nobody cares about it.) No bowing and calling out slogans. Humility, kindness, and fellow feeling.”
Information About the Witnesses
“Jehovah is God’s name. In the Czech Bible, his name is translated (or substituted) by the name Hospodin [Lord]. Jehovah’s Witnesses insist on using the original name of God, and by their dealings they are determined to witness about his existence and his actions. . . .
“The faith of Jehovah’s Witnesses prohibits the use of weapons against humans, and those who refused basic military service and didn’t get to work in the coal mines went to prison, even for four years.
“Just from this it is obvious that they have tremendous moral strength. We could use such unselfish people even in the highest political functions—but we are never going to get them there. Jehovah’s Witnesses insist that humans have governed themselves only to their own detriment. Of course, they recognize governmental authorities but believe that only God’s Kingdom is capable of solving all human problems. But watch it—they are not fanatics. They are people who are absorbed in humanity. And now, you can think whatever you want of them.
“P.S. I do not belong to Jehovah’s Witnesses, even though I sympathize with many of their ideas.”
[Picture on page 25]
Assembly in the Lucerna Hall, Prague, Czechoslovakia