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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 July, 2003, 12:32 GMT 13:32 UK
Witnesses unite at stadium
Millennium Stadium convention
The audiences sang songs as well as listening to speakers
Thousands of Jehovah's Witnesses have gathered at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff for their annual convention.

Around 10,000 people from across south Wales and the south west of England are expected at the three-day event.

Witnesses are well-known for their missionary work, in which they visit people's homes offering Bible literature.

A series of speeches, songs and meetings are taking place over the weekend, as well as a baptism ceremony and a costume drama.

The convention, which is one of 23 regional events being held in 17 British cities between June and August, started on Friday with an address from Michael Young, an Elder from Gloucester.

Alan Whiby, part of the team organising the event, said it came at a time when many people had "abandoned belief in God".

It is important to have a family atmosphere, especially for the children
Cynthia Thompson, convention delegate

"It's good to be reminded how we can glorify God and help others to appreciate his existence and what he has done for us," he said.

Roger Byng, from Bristol, said the convention was going very well.

"There is a good family attendance - we are expecting around 10,000 over the weekend," he said.

"The theme is about giving glory to God in our day-to-day lives."

Cynthia Thompson, from Chippenham in Wiltshire, said she had been attending the conventions for several years.

"Because of our belief, it is important to attend," she said.

"It is important to have a family atmosphere, especially for the children."


The Jehovah's Witnesses are a Christian sect with over six million members worldwide.

They were founded in Pennsylvania in the USA in the 1870s by Charles Taze Russell as a bible study group.

All true Jehovah's Witnesses are required to go witnessing from house to house offering Bible literature, and recruiting and converting people to what they call "the truth".

They work unpaid and some, called "pioneers", regularly spend at least 70 hours each month in door-to-door witnessing.

In the UK there are about 120,000 members who live by the rules of the organisation and call themselves Jehovah's Witnesses.

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19 Jul 03  |  Photo Gallery
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Who runs the Jehovah's Witnesses
12 Jul 02  |  Panorama
History of the Jehovah's Witnesses
12 Jul 02  |  Panorama
Jehovah's Witnesses: beliefs
12 Jul 02  |  Panorama

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