What They Are Saying About and to Jehovah’s Witnesses
AMONG the many interesting expressions made about and to the witnesses of Jehovah by officials, clergymen and others, as recorded in the 1962 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses, are the following:
Upon seeing the Witness film “The Happiness of the New World Society” at his home, a premier mayor in the Republic of the Congo said: “This is a thing to encourage as much as possible.”
The deputy mayor of a certain town in French Guiana made a similar remark upon seeing the same film: “It is the first time that I have seen such a thing in my life! Everybody should see this film!” Further, he arranged with the mayor to have the film shown in the biggest hall in town. Among the comments heard was: “Now the priest tells us to read our Bibles, but Jehovah’s witnesses are ready to explain it to us.”
In the Malagasy Republic a Protestant clergyman, after several discussions with a witness of Jehovah, confessed: “I am thirsty for knowledge of the Bible, knowledge of the truth . . . I can see that you teach only what is in the Bible.”
At the Hamburg, Germany, assembly in 1961 many thousands of Witnesses were housed at schools that had been turned into dormitories. A caretaker at one of these schools where 500 Witnesses stayed commented: “These eight days were the nicest in my whole life, and I was very sad when the brothers took their departure and left the school so empty.”
A priest in Sicily, upon meeting a Witness that was calling on householders, invited the Witness to visit him. Among other things, the priest then said: “For years you have been coming into this territory with your literature, and my parishioners have been providing me with magazines; but, instead of burning them, I read them.” As to taking his stand for Jehovah, he cryptically replied: “When the fruit is ripe, it falls to the ground by itself.”
In the Bahamas, an onlooker at a Witness immersion asked: “Is this being done by Jehovah’s witnesses?” When assured that it was, he commented: “I knew it must be; no other organization would ever be seen where a white man would be baptizing a colored man. It must be Jehovah’s witnesses.”
The subject of hell was being discussed in the house of a lover of righteousness in the Dominican Republic by a Witness and an Evangelical preacher. Being unable to refute the Scriptural presentation of the Witness, the preacher jumped to his feet and angrily shouted: “Look! man, God is not a God of love!” He then left, never to return. And what about the householder? He says that now he and his house are for Jehovah!—Josh. 24:15.
A truth-hungry man in Somalia, Africa, complained to the Witness visiting him: “Why doesn’t the local priest tell us these good things instead of spending his evenings playing cards with the boys at the clubhouse?”
In Ghana an overseer and his assistant made a call on one of the Witnesses that was becoming weak spiritually. Others in the same house overheard their remarks, causing one of them to say: “These people are really good Christians; their brother has not been going with them these days, so they came to strengthen him, and now look how happy he has become. If our priest had been doing the same thing we might not have gotten lost from the Church. I am going to look into this religion more fully.”
Witnesses in the Leeward Islands, in the Caribbean Sea, en route to their convention were pleased to hear the immigration officer say: “We will take all of Jehovah’s witnesses first in a group. I know they can be relied on to return when their convention is over. These people never give us any trouble.”
In reply to her request for help in understanding certain Bible doctrines a woman in Czechoslovakia was surprised to hear the following from her Roman Catholic priest: “Dear lady, I am not in a position to give you a thorough answer to these Biblical questions. In fact, we, the church, are really responsible that the people know so little about the Bible, and I know that we shall have to suffer God’s punishment for this. But if you want to know more about the truth of the Bible, there are people living in our town who will be able to tell you a lot about your questions and these [Jehovah’s witnesses] you should see.” This woman had begun studying with Jehovah’s witnesses and was disturbed to find their teaching so different from that of the Catholic Church. But now she no longer had any qualms about continuing to study with them!