For Immediate Release
January 1, 2005
A message of hope continued to spread globally in 2004
“We talk to people about our beliefs and theirs. We offer hope, comfort, and answers from the Bible in a world increasingly plagued by questions. That is a primary objective of our internationally recognized preaching work,” explained Theodore Jaracz, a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. “But to do that we have to extend ourselves, which at times may mean learning another language to be able to reach people of another community.”
Some of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world have taken up foreign languages on their own. Or in recent years they have enrolled in free foreign-language classes organized through local congregations, in order to communicate with people of other language groups.
In the United States, for example, the majority of the 11,000 congregations are English, but the number of Spanish congregations is quickly nearing 3,000. Additionally, scores of other language groups are regularly meeting to build their knowledge and faith. Included are Albanian, Armenian, Cambodian, Greek, Korean, Navajo, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Serbian and Vietnamese. American Sign Language has not been overlooked and has become the fastest-growing of these groups.
In 2004, the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, an international publishing arm of Jehovah’s Witnesses, produced millions of educational tracts, magazines, books and Bibles to fill the needs of all of the aforementioned language groups. Also, since 1997, Jehovah’s Witnesses have maintained and updated the Web site www.watchtower.org, which provides accurate information about their beliefs and activities. As of June 2004, the Web site has included published educational information in 250 languages, from Afrikaans, Chinese, and French to Hebrew, Icelandic, Punjabi and Yapese. Among other helpful details, the Watchtower Web site makes available the postal addresses of branch offices around the globe, where people can obtain more information or receive personal assistance from Witnesses locally.
Contact: J. R. Brown, telephone: (718) 560-5600