Jehovah’s Witnesses reach hearts with Pidgin, attract huge crowds to ‘Love’ convention

Posted by News Express | 20 October 2019 | 1,364 times

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•A cross section of convention delegates at the Ota Assembly Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses

“Love No De Ever Fail”! is the theme of the pidgin version of Jehovah’s witnesses convention holding in Ota this weekend. It started on Friday, October 18, to be concluded today, Sunday, October 20.

There are clear indications that Jehovah’s Witnesses are seriously using Pidgin as tool to reach the heart, and they have risen beyond the general stereotypically description of  it as ‘Pidgin English’ or ‘Broken English’ Jehovah’s Witnesses adopted Nigerian Pidgin as a formal language of worship in 2015 but later adopted West African Pidgin. Since then, some have been switching the language of the congregation from English to Pidgin, having realised that majority of the publishers benefit more in Pidgin.

Love is the focal point of this year’s conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses holding in several cities across Nigeria.

The three-day conventions featuring the theme “Love Never Fails” will be concluded in the South-West region on Sunday, December 15. Conventions are holding in English, Pidgin West Africa, Yoruba, Igbo and Nigerian Sign Language.

“These events will illustrate the positive influence that love can have to bring people together from diverse backgrounds,” Afolabi Odeyemi, a local representative for Jehovah’s Witnesses, said in a statement.

On the convention programme highlights, Odeyemi said: “The convention programme will examine how Bible principles help people in practical ways. The Friday programme will address how love can help people surmount obstacles such as a troubled upbringing, chronic illness, or poverty. Saturday’s programme will consider how Bible principles help husbands, wives, and children to show love for one another. Sunday’s programme will include a public Bible discourse entitled “True Love in a Hate-Filled World – Where?” that will address overcoming prejudice and hatred.”

The statement stressed that conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses are free to the public and that no collections are taken.

It noted that “Love Never Fails” is one of the largest global conventions in 2019, spanning six continents and over 200 countries and presented in over 400 languages.

Speaking on the development of pidgin and the huge crowd at the convention Odeyemi said “It is all about communication;reaching the heart. Whatever language communicates best to those we are speaking to is the language that should be used…The apostle Paul told the congregation in Corinth that unless we use speech that is easily understood, how will anyone know what is being said? He then added: “You will in fact be speaking into the air.” (1 Cor. 14:9-11) Paul understood the importance of clear communication.

“Today many focus on promoting the English language. The world encourages the thinking that speaking English means that one is intelligent or educated. Thus, parents and family members are very eager to speak English or teach their children to do so. However, we as Jehovah’s people are different. The purpose of the Christian Congregation is not to learn English nor is one elevated if he speaks English. In fact, it is not unusual to hear pidgin spoken by those with a high degree of education, including professionals.”

Source: News Express

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