“From Washington last week came some figures which caused one sect to rejoice, while other churches might well feel ashamed.
“In the biggest religious gathering ever assembled in the nation’s capital, Jehovah’s Witnesses held a three-day meeting of 57,500 persons. The members heard good news: Their numbers since 1900 have grown from 6,000 to 425,000 this year in 115 [now 121] countries. The Watchtower, major publication of the group, is now available in 32  languages and sells 1,210,000 [semimonthly; now 1,310,000] copies. . . . But even more encouraging to the Witnesses—who refuse to serve in the armed forces and will not salute the flag because they consider it an act of worship—was the increase of understanding of their beliefs. From 1935, when 500 Witnesses ran afoul of the law because of such accusations as peddling papers without a permit or disorderly conduct, the number of annual arrests rose to 2,500 in 1942. Last year, only 50 were arrested.
“The sad story was that, in general, churches and religious organizations are employing fewer workers and paying them lower wages than they did 22 years ago. The U. S. Department of Commerce revealed that religious groups this year were employing 218,000, but this was 4,000 below the 1929 figure. Moreover, in 1929 clergy and lay workers earned about $200 above the yearly average for all occupations (which was $1,421). Now the average yearly income is $3,024—but religious workers got about $750 less than that.”—Newsweek magazine, October 29, 1951.