Kiev Reporter Praises Witnesses
OLEKSA KURPAS had high praise for the convention held by Jehovah’s Witnesses in Kiev, Ukraine, August 5 to 8, 1993. He wrote in Kiev’s Democratic Ukraine on August 10:
“The Republican Stadium has not seen such an attendance for a long time . . . Imagine 64,000 people (among them thousands of foreigners) living in hotels, visiting the stores, taking the public transportation. . . . The congress of Jehovah’s Witnesses was on a high level. The speakers giving the talks were loudly applauded (like the good old days), and tears rolled down my cheeks.
“Not all people know about this religion. In distinction from the Orthodox faith, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that Jesus Christ was not more than God’s Son, and the holy spirit is God’s force, or power, (that is, they do not accept the unity of the three in the Holy Trinity). They teach there is no hell. After a frightful judgment, the world will be transformed into a paradise, where the righteous people will live and the sinners will die. The followers of this faith give the family their main attention. This is something holy, the real basis of things, the most beautiful and warmest thing in the world. They have such a friendly attitude toward their brothers and sisters (and what is more remarkable—toward people of another faith). I have not seen such a thing as this. . . .
“A most interesting thing happened on Saturday, August 7. On this day at the International Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses, an unprecedented number were baptized, namely, 7,402. For this extraordinary and important procedure, six large dismountable pools were located on the Stadium’s running track. Sixty spiritually mature men performed the baptism by immersing in water these new preachers of the good news. This whole ceremony lasted 2 hours and 15 minutes. . . .
“The new disciples filed out of five sections in the stadium and were met with applause by those Jehovah’s Witnesses who were attending the convention. The number of those baptized in Kiev outnumbered the previous mark set in 1958 [of 7,136], at the international convention in New York. In general, with such a fine working organization as Jehovah’s Witnesses have, this religious movement in the near future will surely win over many Orthodox souls who have been in that belief for a long time.
“May the leaders of the various religions forgive me, but if they do not discontinue these ridiculous quarrels among themselves, they will lose hundreds of thousands of religious people. This convention showed that the achievement of peace and harmony among people of different nationalities and from various countries is really possible.”
[Picture on page 24]
Some of the 7,402 baptized at the Kiev, Ukraine, convention