Jehovah’s Witnesses gather for a convention in Kitchener to celebrate their religion
Published Sunday, June 15, 2014 5:55PM EDT
Last Updated Sunday, June 15, 2014 6:49PM EDT
It may not be a common religion in Waterloo Region, but that hasn't stopped thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses from using Kitchener as the backdrop for one of their annual conventions.
They packed the Kitchener memorial auditorium to celebrate the religion through prayer and performance.
“It's very exciting, it's a very buzzy atmosphere here,” says the convention’s news coordinator, Robin Johnston.
Born out of a student bible movement in the 1870's, Jehovah’s Witnesses are stricter than traditional Christians with their faith. They don’t celebrate Christmas or Easter, but in spite of the rules, the religion grows by roughly 800 people per day.
“We have members of other religions here today that are curious about what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe and we warmly welcome them,” says Johnston.
Around five thousand people from multiple cultural backgrounds attend the convention daily during the weekend long event. The group isn't knocking on local doors, but they are encouraging others to consider their faith.
“I was a Sikh background I wanted to know why there is suffering in the world, says Paul Pama from Brampton. “When we compare the bible, this bible gave me the answer to the questions.”
And searching for faith is what attracts more than 19-million people every year for conventions like this one.
“It's inspiring. We are all brothers and sisters. We love each other and are here to learn about all mighty God Jehovah,” Pama adds.
Around thirty thousand people are expected to come to the Kitchener Auditorium over seven consecutive weekends.