Jehovah’s Witnesses

Jehovah’s Witnesses
   The Jehovah’s Witnesses are a religious sect that originated in the USA in 1872. They regard the return of Christ as imminent, after which the world will be theocratically governed and consist only of the 144,000 of the faithful; however, the elect will be chosen to reign with Christ in heaven. Jehovah’s Witnesses take a proselytizing view with regard to the faith and are active in door-to-door ‘calls’, but take a primarily fatalistic view about life and eschew interference with what God has decreed. Most spectacularly, this has resulted in the refusal to accept medical treatment that utilizes the blood of others. Such autonomous wishes are always respected, even if death is the outcome. Such wishes are not, however, extended to minors or to the guardians of minors; where guardians of minors refuse life-saving to those minors, the courts always overrule the refusal.
   See also: Christian Science; evangelism

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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