Witnessing to the Moslem community takes a lot of T: trust, tact, and trying hard. We need to completely trust in Jehovah for guidance (some of them perceived Witnesses as just “another Christian trying to antagonize us” so we need to rely on the power beyond what is normal when oppose); tact so as not to offend them (but to find a common ground); and trying hard because we really need to try, and try, until their circumstances change, until they open their mind to Scriptural truths, until their heart is enlightened, until they understand us better, until Armageddon comes.
Without them knowing that it’s a Bible study, we’re now studying the brochure: “The Guidance of God — Our Way to Paradise.”
Please allow this Moslem girl to narrate how she met the Witnesses and how she appreciated their Scriptural teachings.
Reflection Paper on Jehovah’s Witnesses My family and Islamic beliefs trained me not to judge people and to love my neighbors. This salient teaching of Quoran is deeply engraved in my heart and mind especially when I decided to study in a foreign land called the
Philippines. I had no idea that this most cherished value would be tested one weekend when I heard a knock at my door. To my surprise, two women – who turned out to be a retired English teacher and a Baguio-based journalist – were standing at my doorstep, smiling. They were decently dressed and holding a bag filled with magazines and books so I welcomed them into my apartment. They identified themselves as Christian Jehovah’s Witnesses who volunteer their time and resources that Sunday morning to be able to reach out to their foreign neighbors. I had no iota then who Jehovah’s Witnesses were. What I knew was that they were Christians and they had Bibles. Raising my eyebrows and resisting an urge to be snooty, I asked myself: “Why are these people visiting me? What is their real motive? Did they know that I’m a Moslem and I read Quran which is entirely different from their Bible? Are these people trying me to introduce to their religion and later convert me?” A cloud of doubts and fears were hovering over my head. Yet I pushed aside those thoughts for two reasons: my mind was preoccupied with homeworks and exams. Second, I was taught to be respectful with other people. The initial visit was short and sweet. I found myself answering their questions such as my country of origin, my purpose of staying in
Baguio, my experiences with Filipinos, my course in college, my family, etc. To my surprise, they did not talk about their religion. Rather, they allayed my fears by explaining that they are genuinely interested with their neighbors because the Bible – Christianity’s Holy Book – told them to do so. They reassured me that the love they showed to people – regardless of their race and nationality – moved them to highly respect the people’s religious beliefs and cultural backgrounds. I found nothing about them or their purpose. In fact, it aroused my curiosity. Probably something good would come out from this. As they visit me from time to time, my knowledge on these international volunteers — as they identify themselves — grows. I learn that Jehovah’s Witnesses play a significant role in our society. Poverty They educate people about Bible-based principles on coping with poverty. For example, the Bible condemns immorality, drunkenness, gambling, and drug abuse. (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10) Such things are very expensive. They can make a rich man poor, and a poor man even poorer. Abandoning these vices and others like them does much to improve the economic situation of a family. Witnesses are working to help people to become educated, healthy members of a global society. Among other things, they teach illiterate adults to read and write. Through their publications, they offer instruction in hygiene, health care, and family relationships. At their meetings as well as on an individual basis, the Witnesses encourage one another to conform to Bible counsel to be honest, hardworking, and productive. The result is a strong, vibrant society made up of nearly seven million people worldwide. Moreover, their intense love for their God Jehovah and their fellowmen moves them to be caring and generous to others. Jehovah’s Witnesses –numbering to more than 6 million people in 236 lands around the world are sharing their material blessings with people in poor countries. When a severe famine strikes in one African country, they send tons of relief goods and clothing not only to their fellow believers but also to others from various religious backgrounds. This is in accordance with Bible teaching that “God is not partial.” World Peace Interestingly, Jehovah’s Witnesses play a pivotal role in promoting world peace. I’m amazed that they would rather go to prison and suffer than take up arms and kill their fellowmen. During Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime, thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses were killed in gas chambers and were severely persecuted in concentration camps for their refusal to join the military. They strictly adhere to what the Bible says at Isaiah 2:4: “And they will have to beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, neither will they learn war anymore.” The depth of the Witnesses’ respect for human rights was put to a grueling test during World War II, especially in Nazi Germany. Historian Brian Dunn stated: “Jehovah’s Witnesses were incompatible with Nazism. Most important of the Nazi objections to them was their political neutrality. This meant that no believer would bear arms.” ( The Churches’ Response to the Holocaust) In A History of Christianity, Paul Johnson said: “Many were sentenced to death for refusing military service . . . , or they ended in
Dachau or lunatic asylums.” Even so, they stood firm. Sociologist Anna Pawe?czy?ska described those Witnesses as “a tiny island of unflagging resistance existing in the bosom of a terrorized nation.”
Just imagine what a direct and dramatic drop in human rights violations there would be around the world if all people took this stand today and ‘learned war no more’!
Individual Witnesses do not disdain the culture of others. Neither do those who become Witnesses reject the culture in which they were reared, unless it disagrees with the principles in the Bible. In such cases they make changes in their lives. They recognize that in every culture there are praiseworthy features. If all people on earth would be able to show such intense love for one another, then there would be no wars, no ethnic strife, no theft, no killings, genocide or any conflict. Our world would have been a peaceful place to live in. Fortunately, their worldwide Bible educational program clears racial and ethnic barriers and crumbles the walls of nationalism by teaching the Bible’s view of race: There is only one race—the human race. (Acts 17:26) As a result of this Bible-based education, millions of people today do not “learn war any more.”
The intellectually stimulating conversations I have with them make me realize that there are many similarities between the Bible and Quran. Christians and Moslems are taught to love and respect their God and neighbors. If people would only seriously pay attention to the valuable lessons of these Holy Books, then the human race will be united as one happy, peaceful family. So the next time Jehovah’s Witnesses knock on my door, I would be happy to let them in. Because I find an ally in my long quest for prosperity and world peace.