Jehovah's Witnesses To Be ExaminedBy Asger WESTH
Published 18.06.11 pm. 23:45
Members are encouraged by management to break contact with them, leaving the community.
The management of Jehovah's Witnesses encourages and guides consistently the 14,500 members in Denmark to break contact with and avoid people who leave the Faith.
That is the accusation from the support group for former Jehovah's Witnesses.
Jehovah's Witnesses gathered for event in Aarhus.Experienced it
Photo: Martin Kurt Haglund
Photo: Martin Kurt Haglund
"It's not something we just believe. As former members of Jehovah's Witnesses, we have seen the inside - and seen what happens when you break out, "said support group president Paul Dal.
He was in his time even one of the 'oldest' of Jehovah's Witnesses, as the leading figures in the religious community becomes known. Paul Dal whereas Jehovah's Witnesses in the July edition of the denominational magazine, The Watchtower, describes apostates as "sick of mind '.
"Jehovah's Witnesses are a very religious conceit. Many of the members are married and have family relationships. Therefore it has great consequences for the individual who chooses to leave the community. And you can not just leave the Jehovah's Witnesses and join the church or in another church. You will be ostracized and your friends and family in the community are told to avoid contact with you, "he says.
The spokesman for Jehovah's Witnesses in Denmark, Erik Jorgensen, rejects that renegade members regarded as insane.
"But with regard to follow the right lessons, they have a sick view of things. And the Bible has a clear guide to how to deal with apostates, "said Erik Jorgensen.
Jehovah's Witnesses have served in Denmark since 1890, but was not formally approved as a religious community in 1970.
This occurred in connection with the introduction of a new marriage, where Jehovah's Witnesses were allowed to officiate at wedding ceremonies. Simultaneously, Jehovah's Witnesses - something special - approved as a religious community and achieved a number of tax advantages. Today there are prepared a special guide for the acceptance of religious communities, where numerous criteria must be met. The guidance stipulates inter alia that 'regarded as a prerequisite to recognized religious communities, like the rest of society respects human rights, particularly freedom of religion and belief, including the right to change religion or to opt out of religious affiliation. "
"The lives of Jehovah's Witnesses are not up to," believes Paul Dal, support group for former Jehovah's Witnesses.
Church Rapporteur Per Bisgaard (V) will take the matter up in the Legal Committee and the church committee, while the Radicals church rapporteur Bente Dahl on the basis of the accusations have put a so-called Section 20 questions to Attorney General Lars Barfoed (K).
Bente Dahl want an answer to whether there is sufficient evidence that Jehovah's Witnesses today are living up to the current guidelines to be approved as a religious community.
"As politicians, we must not interfere in people's private, social relationships. But if management of a religious community recommends that its members should avoid contact and interaction with people who leave the community, it is mad, "states Bente Dahl.
Justice Minister Lars Barfoed (K) does not want to comment until he has submitted a response in Parliament.