The Banning of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia in 1941

The Banning of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia in 1941

This paper sets out a brief history of Jehovah’s Witnesses and discusses the particular theology of the Witnesses which contributed to their banning. 

Generally, scholars agree that Jehovah’s Witnesses have
been variously complicit in persecution they have received worldwide, and this paper
examines specifically the Witnesses’ mixture of naivety and arrogance in Australia prior
to the Second World War. It then briefly describes the circumstances surrounding the ban
and Witness reactions to the ban, including an appeal to the High Court which resulted in
the ban being overturned. This paper, which is based on a study of one religion’s fight for
survival in a western democracy, sheds light on the particular worldview of Jehovah’s
Witnesses and adds to our knowledge of this small sect, both generally and in a
specifically Australian historical context.


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