Religion of 2014-07-09

Jehovah's Witnesses develop new evangelism tactic

The Jehovah's Witness movement has changed its standard modus operandi of evangelising the gospel.

Everybody is familiar with the Jehovah's Witnesses' standard modus operandi where two polite people knock at the door and try and engage a householder in conversation.

The visit is often less than welcome and there are plenty of examples of comic sketches mocking the phenomenon.

However, for the last year, the Christian-based religious movement has been trying a different method in the UK by recruiting commuters at train stations, shopping centres and parks.

Volunteers are targeting train stations, as well as shopping centres and other busy places, in 14 cities across Britain and Ireland - Belfast, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Dublin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield.

In London alone, the movement says it has 1,000 people giving away literature - and they get through about 6,000 brochures, 20,000 books, and 100,000 magazines every month.

The tactic was pioneered in New York three years ago and is set to expand further. At weekly congregation meetings, volunteers are encouraged to let passers-by approach rather than trying to stop them. The tactics seem the polar opposite of the doorstep approach - most of the day the volunteers stand there smiling but saying little.

The movement doesn't have figures for how many converts this part of its mission has produced. And it's emphasised that it's an addition rather than a departure from the door-to-door evangelism, but adherents are optimistic that the new tactic is making an impact.

Source: BBC
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