Austria grants recognition to Jehovah's Witnesses

10th May 2009, Comments 17 comments

Some 20,000 Christian evangelical Jehovah's Witnesses will now have their faith formally acknowledged in a decision which stems from a July 2008 European Court of Human Rights ruling.

Vienna -- Austria granted recognition as a religion to the Jehovah's Witness movement last week after a campaign spanning more than 30 years, the ministry for education and religion announced.

Some 20,000 Christian evangelical Jehovah's Witnesses will now have their faith formally acknowledged in a decision which stems from a July 2008 European Court of Human Rights ruling.

In common with Austria's 13 other recognised religions, the movement can now raise funds, have its beliefs taught in schools and establish hospital and military chaplains.

Jehovah's Witnesses were persecuted under Nazi German rule for their refusal to take up military arms.

Other countries, notably Greece, have been brought to task for jailing Jehovah's Witness conscientious objectors.

The movement is Austria's fifth largest religion.

The Roman Catholic Church has about 5.6 million followers in a country of about 8.3 million, with some 400,000 Muslims and around 375,000 Protestants making up the top three.


3 Comments To This Article

  • Bob posted:

    on 10th May 2009, 12:57:18 - Reply

    Former third generation Jehovah’s Witnesses Paul and Pat Blizard list 101 of their strange beliefs and practices online. The first 40 are as follows:

    1. God is not a Trinity; the doctrine is inspired by the Devil.

    2. Jesus is not to be worshiped or prayed to - he is only an angel (a.k.a. Michael the archangel).

    3. Jesus Christ is a “created being,” who at one time did not exist.

    4. The Holy Spirit is not a person but is “God’s active force” i.e. gravity, electricity etc..

    5. Heaven is hope only for select Jehovah’s Witnesses. The majority of JWs hope to live on “paradise earth.”

    6. Heaven is limited only to 144,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses. There are only 9,105 alive today (2006 figures).

    7. Jehovah’s Witnesses are the only “true Christians.” All churches and denominations are considered “false religion.”

    8. There is no Hell or eternal judgment .

    9. There is no life after death except for the 144,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    10. Salvation is earned only by being a loyal Jehovah’s Witness.

    11. Jesus second coming happened invisibly and secretly in 1914.

    12. The “first resurrection” occurred in 1918.

    13. Jesus did not rise from the dead bodily but as a spirit being.

    14. Jesus was equal to Adam (just a man).

    15. Jesus could have sinned and failed in his mission.

    16. Jesus was not born the savior but became the savior at his baptism.

    17. God is not omnipresent.

    18. God is not omniscient.

    19. JWs are not sure of their salvation.

    20. All earthly governments are controlled by the Devil.

    21. The Holy Spirit is only available to select Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    22. They are forbidden to serve in the military.

    23. They are forbidden to buy Girl Scout cookies.

    30. They are forbidden to celebrate any holidays (Christmas, Easter, etc.).

    31. They are forbidden to celebrate their birthday.

    32. They are forbidden to run for or hold a political office.

    33. They are forbidden to vote in any political campaign.

    34. They are forbidden to serve on a jury.

    35. They are forbidden to own or wear a cross.

    36. They are forbidden to speak to former members who are shunned .

    37. They are forbidden to accept Christmas gifts.

    38. They are forbidden to purchase Christian products (books, music, plaques, pictures etc.).

    39. They are forbidden to read Christian literature.

    40. They are forbidden to have friends who are not Jehovah’s Witnesses.
  • Sturgen posted:

    on 10th May 2009, 10:25:07 - Reply

    Read the Bible and see for yourself what an apostate faith the Watchtower is, a spin-off of the Millerite Adventist 'great disappointment' evangelical movement of 1842.

    John 10:16 after reading the entire 10th chapter without watchtower influence and you will see that the 'other sheep' are the converted gentiles and not an earthly class.

    That's just one WBTS false doctrine among many others.
    Michael the archangel is not Jesus either!
  • Blaze posted:

    on 10th May 2009, 10:06:11 - Reply

    Yes,didn't Germany also just grant legal status to Scientology?