Enraged Priests Meet a Mild Response
Artur, a circuit overseer in Armenia, was visiting a congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He discovered that they had not yet shared in public witnessing, which involves using carts that feature Bible literature. To encourage this form of witnessing, Artur and his wife, Anna, along with another Witness named Jirayr, set up a literature cart in a small town. They chose a location with a lot of pedestrian traffic.
Passersby immediately began to show interest and take literature. Soon, however, this new witnessing method attracted the attention of opposers. Two priests approached the cart, and one of them, without warning, kicked it over. He then slapped Artur in the face, knocking his glasses to the ground. Artur, Anna, and Jirayr tried to calm the priests, but without success. The priests stomped on the cart and scattered the literature. After swearing at the Witnesses and threatening them, they left.
Artur, Anna, and Jirayr went to the local police office to file a complaint. They gave a statement and briefly spoke about the Bible to a number of police officers and other staff. The three Witnesses were then taken to the office of the senior policeman. At first he just wanted to know the details of the complaint. But when he learned that Artur, who is a burly man, did not fight back when slapped, the officer stopped asking questions about the case and started inquiring about the Witnesses’ beliefs. This led to a four-hour discussion! The officer was so impressed by what he heard that he exclaimed: “What a great religion! I want to join too!”
The next day, when Artur resumed public witnessing, he was approached by a man who had observed the events of the previous day. The man commended Artur for keeping his composure and not retaliating. He added that what he had seen caused him to lose all respect for the priests.
That evening the senior officer called Artur back to the police station. But instead of discussing the case, he asked more questions about the Bible. Two other policemen joined the discussion.
The following day, Artur again visited the senior officer, this time to show him some of our Bible-based videos. The officer called in other policemen to watch the videos as well.
As a result of the priests’ bad behavior, many policemen received a fine witness for the first time. This gave them a favorable impression of Jehovah’s Witnesses.