Jehovah’s Witnesses have launched a month-long global distribution of a new tract entitled Where Can We Find Answers to Life’s Big Questions? to raise awareness of their official website, jw.org.
By Wisdom Mdzungairi
Accessible in about 500 languages, with publications available for download in almost 700 languages, jw.org is the world’s most translated website.
The campaign was launched last week ahead of the first ever international convention to be held in Zimbabwe from August 22-24 to be attended by over 50 000 local and foreign delegates.
The international convention will host 3 500 delegates from the United States, Germany, Brazil and other countries including visiting missionaries.
The convention series commenced in the US and then continued in Australia, Ecuador, England, Germany, Greece, Mexico, South Korea, and Zimbabwe.
Convention spokesperson John Hunguka said: “For the past two weekends now, and continuing into next week, Jehovah’s Witnesses will extend personal invitations to everyone from the whole country of Zimbabwe to attend the convention with them.”
According to the organisation, 1 million unique visitors go to jw.org each day. The site features articles and videos offering practical advice to people of all ages, backgrounds, and circumstances. One of these videos entitled, Why Study the Bible? will be linked to a QR code found on the new tract. This video merges live-action elements and animation to illustrate the practical benefits of studying the Bible.
It is currently available in over 450 languages and has been downloaded nearly 4 million times since it was released last November.
Speaking at a Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) press briefing in Harare on Thursday, Hunguka said the gathering was different from other smaller conventions held in different parts of the country.
In addition to the international convention to be held in Harare, the Witnesses will also organise regional conventions in Karoi, Mutare, Gweru and Bulawayo, according to Hunguka.
“We would like to express our appreciation to all government departments that have supported our convention. We normally hold at least 30 regional conventions annually but this one is unique in that it will host a huge number of delegates for the first time in the country. This convention is being held in Zimbabwe for the first time, it is the only country in Africa to have hosted this convention this year,” he said.
Hunguka said all Witnesses and invited guests were being encouraged to attend.
“On Monday [tomorrow], we are expecting at least 900 international delegates to arrive and the rest will trickle in as the week progresses,” he said, adding that the convention would provide insight into issues vexing families and how to deal with them.
“This programme is about seeking God’s kingdom and putting that first in our life,” Hunguka said.
He added the three-day programme was aimed at teaching people about basic bible principles and how it affects family life, personality traits and characteristics.
“We believe God’s name is Jehovah; he is the creator of all things. We owe our worship and obedience to Him as our creator,” he said.
Through talks, demonstrations, interviews, dramas and accounts, families would be affected in a positive way.
The international conventions are thrilling and festive occasions to attend, which the public will enjoy as the Witnesses gather together as families and friends for what promises to be an exceptional series of programmes.
“The programme will highlight a central theme of the Bible and two core beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses — that God’s Kingdom was established in 1914 and that Jesus Christ is the King of that Kingdom. Really, the convention marks the centennial of God’s Kingdom,” Hunguka said.
He added, as was true with all of the Witnesses’ meetings, there will be no admission fee nor will collections be taken.
Hunguka said other countries in Africa were also invited to attend similar international conventions held overseas.
Last year, 36 regional conventions were held and a total 87 439 attended at different venues all over the country and 1 276 new members were baptized. The international convention in Harare will begin next Friday at 9:20am each day until August 24.
Worldwide, there are over 7,9 million Witnesses in more than 113 000 congregations and in Zimbabwe there are 42 000 Witnesses.