Le Nouvelliste – 20th July 2018
2500 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Shawinigan
SHAWINIGAN – No less than 2,500 Jehovah’s Witnesses arrived in Shawinigan for the annual regional gathering. They rented the Center Gervais Auto from July 20th to 22nd. Three days that will allow them to exchange, but mainly to perfect and strengthen their faith.
Thursday, the Gervais Auto Center was a real project. Indeed, the organizers had brought all their equipment, ranging from comfortable chairs to giant screens through the pool to begin baptism new followers.
Guy Paquet, Supervisor of the Regional Annual Meeting, took a few minutes to explain the purpose of this great meeting.
“Today, it takes courage to live in our society. The goal of our meeting this year is to inform, explain and equip our members to face daily situations with courage and in accordance with the values of our religion, “he says.
Saturday, a dozen adults will be baptized and make their official entry into this religious community. “We do not baptize people when they are small. We want it to be their decision, not that of their parents, “says Paquet.
A growing religion
Guy Paquet became Jehovah’s Witness at age 22. “At the time, it was really harder to go door-to-door. The Catholic religion was very strong and it was wrong to open the door and listen to us. Today, 25 years later, people are more open and I would even say that people are looking to fill a void, “says Mr. Paquet.
He adds that the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Canada is growing by about 1% and globally by about 3%. “There are more than eight million in the world,” he says.
Did Eloise Dupuis’ highly publicized death in 2016 in Quebec City, this young Jehovah’s Witness who died of bleeding after giving birth to her child, had repercussions on the community and on the number of faithful?
“Not really. This story is sad, but we will not change our values. Our religion evolves over time, but the writings remain the same and our values too, “says Paquet. Indeed, Jehovah’s Witnesses’ religion proscribed blood transfusions and the young woman died after repeatedly refusing this treatment that doctors had strongly recommended.
Throughout the weekend, participants will receive lectures, teachings, Bible readings and videos. Three days that will allow them to grow their faith and guide them according to their values.
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