Q: Just some information I recently came across, the Watchtower is still an NGO registered with OSCE. This OSCE conference occurred just this month.
Scroll down to NGOs. JW associated NGOs are numbers 10, 93, 94, 243 and 328.
Also, we "convened" a meeting. Scroll down to September 26, 2007, Room #2, from 13:00-15:00 hours.
Now to some this may not seem a big deal, as it is not the UN, but we must keep in mind that in order to join any organization as an NGO, you must support that organization's charter. Part of this organization's charter is to spread democracy. There is an article on this political organization which goes very light on it *** g97 8/22 p. 31 OSCE—What Is It? Will It Succeed? **
Now some more of the things which we are required to support in order to join are as follows
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
CODE OF CONDUCT
ON POLITICO-MILITARY ASPECTS
a quote..."The participating States reaffirm the inherent right, as recognized in the Charter of the United Nations, of individual and collective self-defense."
Also it has been shown by a fellow servant of Jehovah that no one, except a government, can "join" the OSCE. Just like the UN, the Warsaw Pact or NATO, it is comprised only of governments. One can petition to become a recognized NGO (NON-governmental organization) in order to obtain standing with the OSCE.
In order to become a recognized NGO, one must declare support for the governing charter.
So they joined to the fullest extent they could possibly join. This is just as bad if not worse than the direct joining of the UN as an NGO, with that we perhaps had an excuse, as given by the society, but this there is no longer any way to avoid the subtle support of these governmental organizations.
Let me know your thoughts on this as it is disturbing.
A: Thank you for sharing this information. It should be of interest to all the brothers and sisters who are perplexed at the developments within the organization and have a hard time reconciling what Jehovah says about the shepherds of his people and what the shepherds themselves claim to be. After looking up the links that you provided it definitely appears that the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society is still intend on being friends with the world. The OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) recently held a Conference entitled "Human Dimension Implementation Meeting," in Warsaw, Poland, from September 24 - October 5, 2007. On its official website all members were invited:
"The Human Dimension Implementation Meeting is the largest human rights conference in Europe. It is also the only such event where representatives of civil society sit with governments on an equal footing. For two weeks, OSCE delegations, intergovernmental agencies, and NGOs come together to discuss the implementation of OSCE commitments on the protection of human rights, the rule of law, and democracy." — Ambassador Christian Strohal, ODIHR Director.
Note that at the OSCE conference the "representatives of civil society sit with governments on an equal footing." Its extensive attendance list also included representatives of Jehovah's Witnesses:
10. Administrative Centre of Jehovah's Witnesses, Russia
ul. Srednyaya, bldg. 6, pos. Solnechnoye; 197739 St. Petersburg; Russian Federation
Web site: http://www.jw-media.org
Mr. Sergey CHEREPANOV, Deputy Chairman
Tel: +7-911-238 88 93
Fax: +7-812-437 09 70
93. European Association of Jehovah's
Rue d'Argile, 60; B-1950 Kraainem; Belgium
Web site: http://www.jw-media.org
Mr. Marcel GILLET, Chairman of the Religious Freedom Subcommittee
Tel: +32-2-782 00 15; 785 08 13
Fax: +32-2-782 05 92
Mr. Paul GILLIES, Press Officer
Tel: +44-208-906 22 11
Fax: +44-208-906 39 38
94. European Association of Jehovah's
IBSA House, The Ridgeway; London NW7 1RN; United Kingdom
Mr. Marc HANSEN, Counsel for Religious Freedom
Tel: +32-2-782 00 15
243. Office of General Counsel for Jehovah's Witnesses
100 Watchtower Drive; Patterson, NY 12563; U.S.A.
Mr. Gregory ALLEN, Associate General Counsel
Tel: +1-845-306 07 11
Fax: +1-845-306 07 09
328. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society - Poland
ul. Warszawska 14; 05-830 Nadarzyn; Poland
Mr. Michal HOSZOWSKI, Public Information Desk Coordinator
Tel: +48-608 575 000
Fax: +48-22-739 19 97
Of the "OSCE delegations, intergovernmental agencies, and NGOs," that attended the conference, which one did "Jehovah's Witnesses" belong to?
The "TIMETABLE OF THE 2007 HUMAN DIMENSION IMPLEMENTATION MEETING AND SIDE EVENTS AS SUBMITTED BY CONVENORS" lists the many delegates who addressed the conference. Note who is also mentioned among them in Meeting Room 2:
Wednesday 26 September 2007
WORKING SESSION 4
Fundamental freedoms I, including:
Freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief; Freedom of movement.
Moderator : Mr. Jeremy Gunn, Member of the ODIHR Advisory Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or belief
Rapporteur: Ms. Neline Koornneef, First Secretary, Netherlands
Meeting Room 1
Title: Implementation of policies on Roma, Sinti and travellers
Convenor: EU- Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA), ODIHR/CPRSI, CoE Roma and Travellers Division
Meeting Room 2
Title: Conscientious Objection to military Service in OSCE Countries
Convenor: European Association of Jehovah’s Christian Witness
Meeting Room 3
Title: Turkmenistan: Steps forward, reform?
What is the OSCE, what does it stand for and what is its objective? An article in the 1997 AWAKE!, under the heading, "OSCE—What Is It? Will It Succeed?", said this:
By Awake! correspondent
AFTER World War II, a power struggle arose between Western democratic capitalist countries and the Eastern Communist Soviet bloc. Each bloc developed its own security organization: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East.
By 1975 the Cold War had thawed enough for 35 States, including the United States and Russia, to sign what came to be called the Helsinki Agreement. The Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) was born. It was a multilateral forum for dialogue and negotiation between the two blocs.
At the Budapest Summit in 1994, the CSCE changed its name to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Today, it is composed of 54 participating States, including the United States, Canada, and all the countries of the former Soviet Union.
The objective of the member nations of the OSCE is to guarantee the security of Europe as well as to foster the implementation of human rights, disarmament, democratic freedoms and the management of regional conflict.
A summit meeting of the OSCE was held in Lisbon, Portugal, on December 2-3, 1996. At first, attention was focused on NATO, since several NATO members, including the United States, are in favor of the expansion of NATO to include more nations from Central and Eastern Europe. But rather than support the enlargement of NATO to include former Eastern bloc allies, Russia and some of her former Eastern bloc allies want the OSCE to become the forum for matters of European security.
The Russian prime minister, Viktor Chernomyrdin, said at the meeting: “We are in favor of strengthening the OSCE, which is the only place in Europe where all States can work together. It is the best international place for discussing security and defense.”
The radiant afternoon sun seemed to create a climate of general optimism at the close of the summit, despite the comments of the press regarding its nebulous results. Whatever success or failure the OSCE may realize, peace lovers everywhere can be assured that true peace and security will soon be realized earth wide under the rule of God’s Kingdom.—Psalm 72:1, 7, 8. —g97 8/22 p. 31 OSCE—What Is It? Will It Succeed? (Bold mine)
From Jehovah's standpoint, is it alright for a worshiper of his to attend conferences of a worldly political organization, such as the OSCE, and address its delegates? Regarding Eusebius, who is highly regarded by many as "The Father of Church History," and who attended the Council of Nicaea in the year 325 C.E., convened by Roman Emperor Constantine, a WATCHTOWER article said this:
Why did Eusebius cave in at
the Council of Nicaea and support an unscriptural doctrine? Did he have
political objectives in mind? Why did he attend the council in the first place?
Although all the bishops were summoned, only a fraction—300—actually attended.
Was Eusebius perhaps concerned about preserving his social status? And why did
Emperor Constantine regard him very highly? Eusebius sat at the right hand of
the emperor at the council.
Apparently Eusebius ignored Jesus’ requirement that His followers be “no part of the world.” (John 17:16; 18:36) “Adulteresses, do you not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God?” asked the disciple James. (James 4:4) And how appropriate is Paul’s admonition: “Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers”! (2 Corinthians 6:14) May we remain separate from the world as we “worship [the Father] with spirit and truth.”—John 4:24. —w03 7/15 p. 31 Eusebius—“The Father of Church History”?
The above article, quoting from James 4:4, rightly
notes that "the friendship with the world is enmity with God," and if this
applied to Eusebius back in 325 C.E. then it certainly applies also to us today.
Yes, as the scripture goes on to tell us, "Whoever, therefore, wants to be a
friend of the world is constituting himself an enemy of God."
There is good reason why Jehovah has told his people not to put their trust in the "nobles" among them, nor in "the son of earthling man, to whom no salvation belongs." (Psalms 146:3-5; note Jeremiah 17:5-8, 13) The governing body members of Jehovah's witnesses know full well that one "cannot be partaking of the table of Jehovah and the table of demons," without "inciting Jehovah to jealousy." (1 Cor. 10:20-22) Like Eusebius, they have ignored Jesus' requirement that his followers be "no part of the world." In this, have they not made themselves God's enemy, the same as the world, the god of which is Satan! We personally may not be aware of the things being done in secret by the ones we look up to as our leaders, yet they cannot be hid from "him with whom we have an accounting." (2 Cor. 4:4; Heb. 4:13; 1 Tim. 5:24) How true Isaiah's prophecy rings for God's people today: "The aged and highly respected one is the head, and the prophet giving false instruction is the tail. And those who are leading this people on prove to be the ones causing [them] to wander; and those of them who are being led on, the ones who are being confused. That is why Jehovah will not rejoice even over their young men, and upon their fatherless boys and upon their widows he will have no mercy; because all of them are apostates and evildoers and every mouth is speaking senselessness. In view of all this his anger has not turned back, but his hand is stretched out still."—Isaiah 9:15-17.
The apostle Paul foretold that Jehovah's day "will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness gets revealed, the son of destruction." (2 Thess. 2:2-5) The apostasy can only come from within God's own household, in the way that the leaders of God's people in Jeremiah's day apostatized. At that time Jehovah promised that "in the intimate group of my people they will not continue on." (Ezek. 13:9; compare Luke 12:45,46)
This is a time of sifting! Will we be loyal to the "organization" and put our trust in the highly respected ones as our head, or will we put our trust in Jehovah and loyally reject the things he condemns? Are we in harmony with everything that is being done by our "nobles" in God's name, feeling that they can do no wrong, or are we "sighing and groaning over all the detestable things that are being done in the midst" of us? (Luke 22:31; Jer. 5:30,31; Ezek 9:4) Our obedience to Jehovah and our faith in his promises is being severely put to the test in the same way that God's people were put to the test in times past, before Jehovah brought his promised blessings upon those who proved faithful and endured. (Deut. 8:2; Dan. 11:35)
It is easy to obey when times are good, but what will our hearts reveal about us when things go contrary to what we expected, when the master seems to be delaying, and we suffer as a result? (Matt. 24:48; Hab. 2:3) Jesus said that he always did the things pleasing to his heavenly Father, yet "he learned obedience from the things he suffered." (John 8:29; Heb. 5:8) We, too, need to learn what it means to be obedient, remaining loyal to Jehovah under suffering. Look, the present circumstances within God's household are already revealing the genuineness of a person's claim to belong to Jehovah, by their love or lack of it. (John 13:34,35; Matt. 7:21-23; 24:12; 1 John 4:20,21) Our troubles come from within the congregations, from those who, in spite of God's warning, continue to put their trust in "the aged and highly respected ones"; and also from those who have forsaken and already removed themselves from God's household and are now vehemently denouncing anyone who remains a part of that household. (1 Tim. 1:5-7, 19,20) One just needs to look in on some of the forums that have sprung up for that purpose to see the hatred expressed towards anyone loyal.
"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." —James 1:2-4; New Living Translation.
Remember that Jehovah long ago foretold the present developments within his household, and at the same time has told us what he will do about it. Let us continue to endure and "not give up in doing what is fine, for in due season we shall reap if we do not tire out." (Gal. 6:9; 1 Peter 4:17-19)
UPDATES: (click on links, PDF files)
•RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CONCERNS IN AZERBAIJAN
ORAL STATEMENT BY THE EUROPEAN ASSOCIATION OF JEHOVAH’S CHRISTIAN WITNESSES
Presented to the OSCE HDIM, Warsaw, 29 September to 10 October 2008 —http://www.osce.org/odihr/27153
•From The European Association of Jehovah’s Christian Witnesses (regarding Jehovah's Witnesses in Egypt)
Contribution to the Report of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights on the implementation of the new review mechanism of the Human Rights Council, established by GA Resolution 60/251 and by the Human Rights Council in Resolution 5/1 of 18 June 2007 for the 7th session 2010 of the UPR (Dates of the WG: February 2010).
Societal Abuses and Discrimination
In the reporting period spanning 2008 and 2009, the international delegation met with representatives of Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, its National Council of Human Rights, and other officials during four visits to Egypt. In most contacts with government officials from 2006 to the present, the delegation has requested assistance in setting up a meeting with appropriate officials in the Ministry of Interior. The delegation and those who coordinate the worship of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Egypt would use opportunities to meet to constructively address any concerns regarding the Witnesses’ activities and worship. Regrettably, no meeting has been offered with the Ministry of Interior but rather State Security officers continue to harass and intimidate Egyptian Witnesses.
Religious Freedom Objectives
Segments of the Egyptian government, particularly members of the National Council of Human Rights, have taken commendable steps to help Jehovah’s Witnesses. Regrettably, the Ministry of Interior has not been directed to alter its posture regarding the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses has made it a priority to assist by repeatedly sending international delegations, and these have been able to obtain measurable improvements. Nonetheless, the overall result has thus far been disappointing. Even Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been unable or unwilling to assist in ending harassment and in allowing the Witnesses to receive a small shipment of Bibles for their personal use. (Italics added) —http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session7/EG/EAJCW_UPR_EGY_S07_2010_TheEuropeanAssociationofJehovahsChristianWitnesses.pdf (see page 5)
Are we surprised that the world still hates and persecutes us in spite of any UN guarantee of Religious Freedom? Jesus said: “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the One who sent me." (John 15:18-21, NLT) We are hated by the world because, like Jesus, we are no part of it, and because the world has rejected the One who sent Jesus, his heavenly Father—Jehovah God—to whom we belong. The only way we can be loved by the world is to compromise and become part of it; but that would speedily make us God's enemies. (Matt. 24:9; James 1:27; 4:4; 2 Cor. 6:14-18)