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Markus, a student who left the Jehovah's Witnesses, says: "You try finding someone willing to put up with all of this crap!" Since his birth, he had been dragged to meetings. And when he brought his first girlfriend home, his father promptly sent her packing.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.Throughout the meeting, Bible passages are discussed at length and hymns are sung.
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.They spend 40 hours per week doing missionary work, preferably side-by-side. They listen quietly to the speaker on the lawn below.They sit close together, still and pious in the seats usually occupied by cheering, swearing fans of the Borussia Dortmund football club.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.