14 Million Tune In To Streaming Over Four Week Program
In a world where joy and unity may seem impossible to achieve, millions of Jehovah’s Witnesses have “united”together virtually to stream their six-part annual summer convention featuring the theme “Always Rejoice”!
The program which is available in 511 languages worldwide was designed to be released in six installments, each corresponding to a morning or afternoon session of what would have been three successive convention days. The final two sessions of this convention program will be streamed on jw.org on the weekends of August 22-23 and 29-30, completing this historic event for the Witnesses around the globe.
In early April of 2020, the decision was made to cancel all in-person conventions due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This signature event, held by Jehovah’s Witnesses for over 100 years, was redesigned to be streamed from a digital platform. Doing so ensured that all attendees could enjoy the convention from the safety of their homes. Two basic principles motivated the decision to move online – the love of neighbor and value for life.
Typically, these conventions are held in stadiums, arenas, conference halls, and smaller gathering places around the world Locally, four conventions were scheduled to be held during the months of July through September, at the Toyota Arena in Ontario, CA, where 7,000 were expected to attend each convention. The convention was cancelled in April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“While we would love to be together with our united family, we realize it is important to consider the safety of all those who would like to attend the convention,” said Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “Viewing the convention from a streaming platform has provided families the opportunity to draw close together and form a stronger relationship as they take in this vital spiritual food.”The online platform also allows viewers to absorb the information at a personalized pace, reviewing and repeating discourses as desired.
During the upcoming fifth and sixth sessions of the convention – what would have been Sunday – the program will highlight fundamental principles that encourage all to cultivate a joyful attitude during difficult times and the importance of developing a relationship with God. Event attendees will look forward to the conclusion of the feature-length film: Nehemiah: “The Joy of Jehovah Is Your Stronghold.” This film focuses on the life of the Bible character Nehemiah showing how he helps the ancient nation of Israel find joy in their worship of God.
While there are 8.6 million Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide, more than 14 million people attended the 2019 annual convention. These yearly conventions are open to the public each year, and many who attend are guests. With the program available online in 511 languages and with millions ofdownloads/streaming per session, this spiritual event has proven to be one of the largest in history for the Witnesses.
All members of the public are invited to view the streaming convention by accessing it on JW.Org, the official website of Jehovah’s Witnesses, under the “Library” tab. Those that are interested may also contact their local congregation. Previous sessions are also available for viewing and download. There is no charge for viewing the convention, and personal information is not gathered upon download or streaming.