Major World Religions Christian Sects Jehovah's Witnesses

About the Jehovah's Witnesses sect of Christianity, some of the history of the church, beliefs and meanings behind the religious tradition.

Jehovah's Witnesses

Although Jehovah's Witnesses has fewer members than many other Christian sects, energetic proselytizing has made it extremely well known.

The movement was founded by Charles Taze Russell (1852-1916), a Congregationalist haberdasher from Allegheny, Pa. At 1st his followers were known as Russellites, but in 1931 the name was changed to Jehovah's Witnesses.

The Witnesses believe that Christ became the King of heaven in 1914 and cast out Satan, thus beginning great troubles on earth which will climax in the Battle of Armageddon and the destruction of Satan. They believe that exactly 144,000 people will go to heaven, but that the rest of humanity will live in a paradise on earth. Jehovah's Witnesses believe that theirs is the only true faith and the only way to salvation. They refuse to salute flags or participate in wars between nations.

Today the sect has close to 2 million members, all of whom are considered ministers. Twenty-five percent of the Witnesses are Americans.

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