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08-04-2004 00:19
ENGLISH VERSION: Religious Repression
In response to "Witnessing Religious Repression," a comment by Lawrence Uzzell on April 5.

I marvel at Lawrence Uzzell's misrepresentations of Jehovah's Witnesses in his otherwise sympathetic article regarding the Moscow court decision banning their activities.

The Trinity is not a "core" Christian doctrine. It is not in the Bible, and many people besides Jehovah's Witnesses get along just fine without it. As for "repeatedly" predicting the end of the world, I am aware of only one period of unfulfilled expectation in my lifetime (I am 53), and Jehovah's Witnesses have not speculated about this matter since 1975.

The notion that we are "discouraged from reading even nonreligious writings" is absurd.

Uzzell's calculation of average time spent in missionary activity at 216 hours per person per year, works out at 18 hours per month. I spend only about 10 hours a month in such activity, so his math must include the full-time work of thousands of individuals, which is comparable to that of the Orthodox clergy.

As for "selective commitment to religious freedom," Jehovah's Witnesses have no part in denying freedom to Old Believers or other religions in the "extreme case of Irkutsk," or anywhere else.

In June, the European Court of Human Rights will hopefully review actual facts regarding the case of Jehovah's Witnesses in Moscow, as opposed to popular misconceptions of the kind masquerading as impartiality in Uzzell's commentary.

Wes Gordon
Matthews, North Carolina

Moscow Times, April 8, 2004

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