BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
THE Jehovah’s Witnesses are holding online convention titled “Always Rejoice” for the first time in history with programmes being released in segments since July 6 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
JW spokesperson John Hunguka said the convention was available in over 360 languages with each member of the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses presenting two discourses during the convention.
“For the first time in our history, the grand-scale, multi-day conventions that Jehovah’s Witnesses have hosted each year at numerous large venues across the globe will not be held.
This year, conventions will be virtual in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic,” Hunguka said.
“Portions of the three-day ‘Always Rejoice!’ programme will be released incrementally in segments, which started on July 6, 2020, on our website jw.org. The convention will be available in over 360 languages. Each member of the governing body of Jehovah’s Witnesses will present two discourses during the convention. The programme will be presented in a variety of formats, including brief discourses, interviews, short videos, and a full-length video Bible drama.”
Hunguka said the decision to hold conventions online was not made lightly since millions of people benefited from public gatherings, which are always free of charge, around the world each year.
The organisation said the decision was in the interest of public health and safety and it was clear that cancelling gatherings was the right course, even in places where they would have been permitted saying our Creator values life highly, and believe that this arrangement honours that high standard.
Each year, many who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses attend the annual conventions and there are over 8,6 million active Witnesses worldwide, yet the 2019 conventions had a peak attendance of over 14 million with the programme available online, in hundreds of languages, this may be the most attended convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses to date.