Jehovah’s Witnesses continue ministry inside prisons during pandemic

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Jehovah’s Witnesses United States of America continues to share their ministry inside prisons without sending ministers in person due to the pandemic.

Officials with the faith organization said COVID-19 shut down access to most U.S. prisons without warning and inmates were cut off from Bible education programs, which included weekly Bible-based discourses, audience discussions, individual Bible studies and video presentations.

“Our concern was for them,” said Dan Houghton, who helps coordinate the efforts of the Jehovah’s
Witnesses’ correctional facility ministry in the U.S. “They needed us now more than ever. They were cut off from their lifeline of spiritual feeding.”

In a matter of weeks, Jehovah’s Witnesses worked to provide ministry and activities around the country by utilizing virtual meetings and preaching through letters, telephone calls and video conferencing.

A 28-minute program with ASL translation debuted at all state prisons in July last year, which provided inmates video content produced by Jehovah’s Witnesses. It broadcasted three times a day every day to all 33 state prisons and potentially reached more than 130,000 residents.

Witnesses said they continue to build a spiritual life into local correctional facility systems in whatever way they can.

Houghton said some inmates realized that they had to “ramp things up” when the Witnesses
could no longer come in to help. This includes some becoming Jehovah’s Witnesses themselves.

“Life is sacred. Life is valuable,” said Houghton. “Everyone deserves the chance to learn Bible truths.
Some people might say, ‘They’re just prisoners.’ But that’s not how God views them and that’s not how we view them. We love these people.”

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