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Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Force Their Children to Adopt Their Faith?

Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Force Their Children to Adopt Their Faith?

 No, because worshipping God is a personal decision. (Romans 14:12) Jehovah’s Witnesses teach their children Bible principles, but when the children grow older, each one must decide for himself whether he will become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.—Romans 12:2; Galatians 6:5.

 Like most parents, Jehovah’s Witnesses want the best for their children. They teach their children what they think will benefit them: practical skills, as well as moral principles and religious beliefs. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that the Bible promotes the best way of life, so they try to instill its values in their children by studying the Bible with them and attending Christian meetings together. (Deuteronomy 6:6, 7) Each child, when he grows older, can then make an informed decision about whether to adopt his parents’ faith.

 Do Jehovah’s Witnesses baptize infants?

 No. The Bible does not endorse infant baptism. For example, it shows that before being baptized, first-century Christians heard the message, “gladly accepted” it, and repented. (Acts 2:14, 22, 38, 41) Thus, to be baptized, one must be old enough to comprehend what the Bible teaches, must believe it, and must have made a decision to live by those teachings. These are things that an infant cannot do.

 As children grow, they may in time choose to be baptized. However, to do so, they must understand the commitment they are making.

 Do Jehovah’s Witnesses shun their children if they choose not to be baptized?

 No. Although Witness parents feel sad if a child does not share their faith, they still love their child and do not sever their relationship solely because of their child’s refusal to become a Witness.

Each person, regardless of age, must decide for himself whether to get baptized or not

 Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses take their children with them when preaching?

 We include our children in our preaching work for a number of reasons. a

  •   The Bible instructs parents to educate their children spiritually, training them to worship God. (Ephesians 6:4) Since worship involves declaring one’s faith publicly, preaching is an important part of a child’s spiritual education.—Romans 10:9, 10; Hebrews 13:15.

  •   The Bible specifically encourages young ones to “praise the name of the Lord.” (Psalm 148:12, 13, King James Version) A key way to praise God is to talk to others about him. b

  •   Children benefit in a practical way from preaching with their parents. For example, they learn to communicate with all types of people, and they acquire such valuable qualities as compassion, kindness, respect, and selflessness. They also become more familiar with the Scriptural basis for their faith.

 Do Jehovah’s Witnesses participate in holidays or other celebrations?

 Jehovah’s Witnesses do not share in religious holidays or other celebrations that displease God. c (2 Corinthians 6:14-17; Ephesians 5:10) For example, we do not participate in birthdays or Christmas celebrations, which have non-Christian origins.

 Nevertheless, we enjoy spending time with family and giving generously to our children. Instead of letting the calendar govern family reunions and gift-giving, we organize gatherings and give presents throughout the year.

Christian parents enjoy giving to their children

a Generally speaking, Witness children do not participate in our preaching work without a parent or other responsible adult.

b The Bible mentions a number of children who pleased God by speaking to others about their beliefs.—2 Kings 5:1-3; Matthew 21:15, 16; Luke 2:42, 46, 47.

d Some names have been changed.