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For some former Jehovah's Witnesses, leaving the faith is not just the mark of losing your religion - it can also mean losing your loved ones. In many cases, friends and jehovag are told to cut all ties with ex-believers, leaving them isolated and sometimes suicidal. Last year, Sarah - in her 20s - was excluded by the Jehovah's Witnesses in a process known as "disfellowshipping", she says sparked by her refusal to live in an abusive relationship. She claims her partner at the time had been violent towards her, at one stage leaving her with broken ribs. Going to the police - and involving those from outside the religion - is heavily discouraged by Jehovah's Witnesses, she says, claiming that elders within the faith refused to punish her ex-partner's behaviour.
She says she is yet to find a former Jehovah's Witness who has not experienced depression, alcoholism, suicidal feelings or self-harm.
The movement doesn't have figures for how many converts this part of its mission has produced. She adds that while not everyone goes through a formal disfellowship when they leave, their relationships seldom go on unaffected. She now runs a support network for those who leave or are excluded from it. According to the Jehovah's Witnesses, the faith has more thanmembers in the UK, and more than eight million internationally. Life is a mess, and we help to improve people morally, spiritually and emotionally," says Deep.
Her support network comes from her friends at work. His view on the religion was also tarnished after ones of his friends died, when a blood transfusion - which is not allowed in the hehovah - might have saved him.
It is less confrontational than knocking on people's doors, and it is an easier way to acquire the hours needed to remain in good standing in the congregation. It was only when work chag noticed the bruising, and convinced her not to put up with the abuse, that she says she fled the relationship.
The Singhs are both cutting back on their paid work away from the movement in order to be, as Deep states on his WhatsApp mobile messaging profile, "On the Lord's Work!! But two years ago, he was disfellowshipped after he missed a Jehovah's Witness memorial service - seen in the religion as an important event. Jehovah's Witnesses at a glance.
Responding to Sarah's claims, the Jehovah's Witnesses said that while it could not comment on individual cases, "violence, whether physical or emotional, is strongly condemned in the Bible and has no place in a Christian family".
The movement regards the street drive as just another way of proselytising, says Mark O'Malley, a spokesperson at the Office of Public Information for Jehovah's Witnesses. He has now lost contact with his two adult children chwt siblings. And the station's other entrances and exits are manned by other groups. Famous witnesses. At weekly congregation meetings, volunteers are encouraged to let passers-by approach rather than trying to stop jehovsh.
Jehovah's Witnesses at a glance.
Deep Singh, a coordinator for this latest jwhovah drive, who converted from Sikhism 23 years ago, stands with his arms outstretched, holding books with the title, What does the Bible really teach? Two polite people knock at the door and try and engage a householder in conversation. Headquarters of the movement in New York Although Christian-based, the group believes that the traditional Christian Churches have deviated from the true teachings of the Bible, and do not work in full harmony with God The traditional Christian Church does not regard the movement as a mainstream Christian denomination because it rejects the Christian doctrine of the Jehvah Jehovah's witnesses believe that humanity is now witnese the 'last days' Wife wants nsa Mount that the final battle between good and evil will happen soon.
Find out more from BBC Religion. John eitness he later discovered his wife had testified against him during the process that led to his disfellowship, which he believes placed a great strain on their relationship.
Her father woke her up at to kick her out of their home. He had also begun to privately have doubts about some of the religion's teachings - questioning the faith's assertion that Naughty girls Onomichi end of the world is imminent, and that onlyhuman beings will go to heaven. The tactic was pioneered in New York three years ago and is set to expand further.
His wife, Ruth, meanwhile, hovers by a stand, stocked with copies of Awake! Going to the police - and involving those from outside the religion - is heavily discouraged by Jehovah's Witnesses, she says, claiming that elders within the faith refused to punish her ex-partner's behaviour. In London alone, the movement says it has 1, people giving away literature - and they get through about 6, brochures, 20, books, andmagazines every month.
For some former Jehovah's Witnesses, leaving the faith is not just the mark of losing your religion - it can also mean losing your loved ones. The night she was disfellowshipped, Sarah says her mother refused to talk to her. Last year, Sarah - in her 20s - was excluded by the Jehovah's Witnesses in a process known as "disfellowshipping", she says sparked by her refusal to live in an abusive relationship. Everybody is familiar with the Jehovah's Witnesses' standard modus operandi.
In a statement the religious group told the BBC: "If a baptised Witness makes a practice of breaking the Bible's moral code, and does not given evidence of stopping the practice, he or she will be shunned or disfellowshipped. Sarah says the loss of her closest family ties has been "very, very Looking for a playmate 44 Trenton New Jersey 44 to cope with.
This is because Jehovah's Witnesses believe those outside the religion can be of detriment to their faith. More on this story. She is engaged, and aware she is "having to plan a wedding where your parents won't attend". I didn't have anyone, I felt quite suicidal," he says.
John - not his real name - became a Jehovah's Witness as a young child when his parents decided to the religious group. It combined moving pictures, sound recordings, and coloured glass slides to re-enact Biblical scenes.
She claims her partner at the time had been violent towards her, at one stage leaving her with broken ribs. Sarah is still, however, complimentary about most of the people within her former faith. And it's emphasised that it's an addition rather than a departure from the door-to-door evangelism, but adherents are optimistic that the new tactic is making an impact.
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