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A Church Like Any Other?

A Berlin court recently granted Jehovah's Witnesses the same privileges enjoyed by Germany's major Christian religions. DW-WORLD readers overwhelmingly agreed with the decision.

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A new Witness is baptized

I applaud the decision of the Berlin court to legalize the activities of Jehovah's Witnesses there. This decision bucks a recent trend in other parts of Europe to restrict or ban the activities of the Witnesses. I agree wholeheartedly with the statements about the unreliability of testimony by former members of a religious organization. It has been observed that if one wanted reliable information about Jesus from one of his intimate associates, the last person's testimony one would trust would be that offered by Judas Iscariot. -- Philip Drexler , US

I agree with the decision of the court. The accusations against the Witnesses are completely false. We want the best possible medical care, but without blood. We promote unity within families. Our education program is second to none. I am 38, have been brought up as a Witness, and have no regrets about the way my parents trained me. It is the best way of life. -- Seymour Griffiths , England

Worship of God is not merely a ritual or a Sunday event for Jehovah's Witnesses, but a way of life. Of course, they should have legal status. If not, what do they have....illegal status? They take their beliefs very seriously, and their actions, based upon the Bible, benefit themselves and those around them. -- James McCollough , US

In such states as Russia, Iraq, Iran and a few others, Jehovah's Witnesses are not allowed to exist legally. This is a violation of anyone's right to practice their religion freely. No other religion can say they are more unified and comply with Christ's teachings so wholeheartedly. Yes, they should be granted legal rights just like other religions. And the governments should endorse them for they are honest tax payers and do not pose any threat to anyone. -- Blair Edlund

Long overdue. These are good people who have strong beliefs, perhaps even more true to the faith in love than some other flavors of Christianity. As a Canadian, I am shocked it has taken this long for them to have the same status as other religious groups. No, I am not a member, but work with a few and my life is enriched by knowing them. -- Stuart Dickson , Canada

I was raised with Jehovah's Witness parents, made my own decision when 15 years of age to become a Jehovah's Witness. I raised three children, and three decided to become Jehovah's Witnesses on their own.Their children did the same. All are very happy, never abused, well-cared for, never on the state, never arrested for any criminal behavior. Good citizens of any country. Pay their taxes. Jehovah's Witness children are taught the Bible, but not forced to become a Jehovah's Witness. When of age, they make their own decision, and show their decision by baptism. -- Dick Gilman

I agree with the Berlin's court decision to grant the Jehovah's Witnesses legal status because our organization was already known and was legalized in more than 235 nations worldwide. God's Kingdom, which is the main theme that we preach, will bring back and restore this earth and become paradise so that all of its inhabitants will experience everlasting life, peace and happiness that this present system of things cannot achieve. -- Jhon Masanque , Philippines

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