It’s hard to find anyone who hasn’t had Jehovah’s Witnesses knock on their front door.
No matter your religious convictions, there’s good reason to make them feel welcome.
The Tucson Convention and Visitors Bureau says this year’s conference will pump nearly $6-million into the local economy.
Witnesses say they’re happy to visit Tucson, because they feel welcome.
As for knocking on doors, Congregational Elder Rob Soler says he occasionally encounters feisty dogs, but most of time, people are glad to listen.
“It all goes back to the command Jesus gave to Christians, go make disciples,” explains Soler. “He said that in Mathew 28:19-20. So we consider that command to be a literal injunction on Christians to go out and talk to their neighbors about what they’ve learned.”
Soler says Witnesses believe the end of the world will come soon, hence the theme of this year’s conference, ‘Deliverance by God’s Kingdom Is at Hand’.
He says Jehovah’s Witnesses are not out to force people to convert.
“We merely come by to discuss Bible topics with our neighbors,” he adds. “If they choose to listen to us, or not, it’s totally up to them.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses take their name from Biblical passages, Jehovah being the name used for God, and witnesses from Isaiah, “where God says his worshipers are his witnesses.”
They began knocking on doors in the late 1800s, the tradition starting with a group of Bible students.
They regard the Bible as accurate and true, but they also believe scripture should speak for itself.
“If you look at the account in Genesis, you’ll notice that it wasn’t referring to days in terms of 24 hour periods,” explains Soler, referring to the Biblical account of the beginning of the world.” Instead, it referred to 6 creative periods called days, in the same sense that I would say that something happened in my father’s day.”
All sessions at the Tucson Convention Center are open to the public, and no collection will be taken