Jehovah’s Witnesses Hold Global Virtual Event in 240 Lands, 500+ Languages
Breaking a century-old tradition in the name of health and safety, the largest convention organization in the world has moved its annual in-person event to a virtual format for the second time in as many years, cancelling nearly 6,000 conventions in 240 lands.
For more than 100 years, Wisconsin has experienced thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses from all over the Midwest streaming into its hotels and restaurants during their convention days each summer.
In 2020, the pandemic unexpectedly interrupted that tradition moving the international religious organization to cancel in-person conventions throughout the world and launch a global virtual event. This was a first for Jehovah’s Witnesses, who have held public conventions in stadiums, arenas, convention centers, and theaters around the world since 1897.
Deborah Ziervogel, of Twin Lakes, Wisc., was only 9 years old when she attended her first convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses at the Milwaukee County Stadium in 1960. Every year after that, her parents made those conventions the family’s main event of the summer. Sixty years later, Ziervogel was again making plans to attend the convention when she learned that all conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses earth wide had been cancelled due to COVID-19. They were to be replaced by a virtual platform.
Although she was initially concerned that she would miss seeing the many friends she has made over the years, Ziervogel stated that she was “overjoyed” by the timely content of the virtual 2020 program. And her plans for the 2021 virtual convention? “It’s going to be my main event of the summer. It really is.”
“Powerful by Faith!” is the theme of the 2021 global event, which will be delivered in more than 500 languages to households throughout the globe over six weekends during July and August 2021, uniting some 15-20 million people in 240 countries. Since the convention is typically held from Friday through Sunday, the program will be available in six installments corresponding to morning and afternoon sessions. “Friday” morning’s session will be available for streaming or download beginning June 28, 2021.
The planning and translation of a program of this magnitude takes months of effort. With the uncertainty of whether it would be safe to bring thousands of people together in cities around the world, the organization opted for a virtual platform for the second consecutive year. However, the move has not curbed the enthusiasm for the annual event.
Congregations around the world are inviting the public to join them in this historic occasion.
“Faith has helped our global brotherhood to continue to thrive even during a pandemic,” said Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “Our faith will continue to unite us in worship—even virtually—as millions gather in private homes around the world to enjoy a powerful and inspiring spiritual program.”
All are invited to attend the event by going to www.jw.org on the web or JW Broadcasting on the free JW Library app available for iOS or Android, or on streaming platforms like ROKU TV, Apple TV, and others. The program is free and accessible to all. The schedule for download and global streaming is listed below.
For more information, please contact Jehovah’s Witnesses United States at (718) 560-5600 or email@example.com.