Jehovah’s Witnesses relaunch in-person meetings

“There is a collective shout of joy among Jehovah’s Witnesses."

 Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation in Tel Aviv (photo credit: WIKIMEDIA)
Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation in Tel Aviv
(photo credit: WIKIMEDIA)

Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world resumed holding in-person meetings last week, except where local government restrictions do not permit them to do so, the organization said.

The move comes ahead of two large-scale global events that the Witnesses are planning.

On April 10, some 120,000 congregations worldwide will hold a special lecture titled “Where Can You Find Real Hope?” Then, on April 15, events commemorating the death of Jesus Christ will be held in local congregations. 

“There is a collective shout of joy among Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world right now,” said Trey Upshur, a local representative for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Israel. “While we have prospered in many ways as individuals and congregations using technology to bring us together, nothing can adequately replace being together in person. We have longed for this moment for the better part of two years.”

The first in-person meeting of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Tel Aviv Kingdom Hall, April 1, 2022. (Credit: Courtesy of Jehovah's Witnesses of Israel)The first in-person meeting of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Tel Aviv Kingdom Hall, April 1, 2022. (Credit: Courtesy of Jehovah's Witnesses of Israel)

Jehovah’s Witnesses in Israel and the Palestinian Authority suspended their public ministry on March 10, 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic,carrying out their ministry through letters, phone calls and twice-weekly virtual meetings since then. Average attendance at the meetings topped 4,700 people each week in both Israel and the Palestinian Authority, although there are only 2,100 Jehovah’s Witnesses in some 35 congregations in the area, meaning Witnesses from around the world took part in the meetings too. 

For those who are still concerned about their health safety, all congregations in Israel will offer “hybrid” meetings. Over the past six months, many of the congregations have been equipped with the required technology to hold a productive meeting that allows for in-person and remote attendees, all of whom can participate in the discussions. 

Jehovah’s Witnesses will not yet resume its public ministry quite yet.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are politically neutral, according to a representative of the Witnesses in Israel, David Simozrag. There are around 8.6 million worldwide, including 2,000 in Israel.