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Now they are standing in the Westfalen Stadium, embracing fellow brothers and sisters. There are many young people, among them young straight-backed men in suits. " 'It's Great' Andreas and Stefanie Georg, 33 and 34, are among those sitting on the rows of seats in the Westfalen Stadium. Both have been Jehovah's Witnesses since they were young. They offer strangers licorice and apple slices, spread out wool blankets against the cold and help old people up the stairs.
They spend 40 hours per week doing missionary work, preferably side-by-side. They listen quietly to the speaker on the lawn below.
The pamphlet, Melanie says, contains a lot of information on topics she is familiar with: what it's like to feel like an outsider at school, or to have false desires "for sex or self-gratification." The pamphlet also includes a chapter on how a young Jehovah's Witness can determine if a potential partner is right for him or her.
Like a faith-based dating manual, it includes tips on how to "get to know" the other person.
They sit close together, still and pious in the seats usually occupied by cheering, swearing fans of the Borussia Dortmund football club.
They hold their Bible in front of them like a silver tray: the word of Jehovah. There are passages explaining why nicotine is forbidden but a glass of wine at the end of the day permitted, why blood transfusions are to be avoided and why non-believers must be converted. They don't mention that the Protestant church has described the translation of the Bible used by Jehovah's Witnesses as inaccurate and uncritical.
Org Community Information - The biggest, busiest JW community & support discussion forum for Jehovah's Witnesses, those interested in JW.
No premarital sex and countless hours of Bible study.
Once decried as a cult, the Jehovah's Witnesses have managed to successfully fight for the title of "statutory public body" in 12 of the 16 German states.
Like thousands of others, she has come to Dortmund with her family -- all of them strict believers, all of them dressed up for the special day -- for the annual North Rhine-Westfalia convention of Jehovah's Witnesses.
Having doubts about his faith, the oldest son stayed home.
It's a blow to the parents but the enthusiasm of their younger children compensates for the one son's lack of faith. family has traveled to Germany's Ruhr region for what many Jehovah's Witnesses consider the high point of the year.
They arrive in caravans, bringing Tupperware, coolers, blankets and, most importantly, their Bibles.Here they can pray among peers, feeling a sense of community instead of isolation.