NEARLY 60 000 Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs) will gather next weekend for a three-day international convention to share their faith and fellowship.
Convention spokesperson John Hunguka yesterday urged everybody to attend their first ever international convention at the National Sports Stadium in Harare under the theme Keep Seeking First God’s Kingdom!
Hunguka said some 3 500 delegates from the United States, Germany, Brazil and other countries will be attending the international convention, which was being held in Zimbabwe for the first time. At least 2 000 were from the US. Others would come from Zambia, Kenya and Mozambique.
“People of many faiths pray for God’s Kingdom. This convention will explain what that Kingdom is and how it can be a positive influence in our lives. A highlight of the programme will be the keynote address on Friday morning, which will discuss how that Kingdom is benefiting people today,” Hunguka said.
“A core belief of Jehovah’s Witnesses, based on Biblical and historical evidence, is that Jesus Christ began to rule as the King of God’s Kingdom in 1914. The convention program marks this year as the centennial of that event.”
He said for the past two weekends now, and continuing into next week, JWs will extend personal invitations to everyone across the country to attend the international convention.
“Locally, all congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses will be supporting the activity of distributing printed invitations to the convention,” he said.
In explaining why a few African countries had been invited to Zimbabwe, Hunguka said other countries in Africa were also invited to attend similar international conventions held overseas. In addition to the international convention to be held in Harare, the JWs will also organise regional conventions in Karoi, Mutare, Gweru and Bulawayo.
Last year, 36 regional conventions were held and a total 87 439 attended at different venues all over the country and of 1 276 new members were baptized. The international convention in Harare will begin next Friday at 9:20 a.m. each day until Sunday August 24.
Hunguka added: “There is no admission fee. Conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses are supported entirely by voluntary donations.”
The convention series commenced in the United States and then continue in Australia, Ecuador, England, Germany, Greece, Mexico, South Korea, and Zimbabwe. These international events will coincide with the regional conventions held in smaller venues the Witnesses organize every year.
The international conventions will host delegates from other countries and some will also host visiting missionaries.
The international conventions were 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 programs.
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.”
As was true with all of the Witnesses’ meetings, there will be no admission fee nor will collections be taken.
Worldwide, there are over 7,9 million Witnesses in more than 113 000 congregations and in Zimbabwe there are 42 000 Witnesses.