Help to Break Free From Delinquency
BY AWAKE! CORRESPONDENT IN FRANCE
RECENT events have brought to the fore an alarming breakdown of law and order in many of France’s deprived urban areas. According to the French magazine L’Express, “urban violence has multiplied practically fivefold in six years.” What is more, the number of minors involved in violent crime has increased dramatically.
In addition to engaging in vandalism, drug dealing, extortion, arson, and theft, delinquents have been directly targeting representatives of the State. Policemen, firemen, and public transportation workers, among others, are regularly subjected to violent aggression.
Why so much violence? “Against the backdrop of the collapse of the family unit, it is a revolt against all that the authorities represent,” explain two sociologists. They also cite “the [youths’] feeling of being abandoned by the authorities” and having no “prospect of a meaningful future.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses regularly preach the Bible’s message of hope in areas where delinquency is rife. In a recent program on French television, a journalist observed: “Jehovah’s Witnesses crisscross the suburbs and the deprived neighborhoods—areas that sometimes seem to have been abandoned by the social services, the police, and the republic. In these buildings and streets, they speak and they listen.” Their work has a positive impact, as the following letter from a youthful reader of Awake! observes.
“I would like to thank you with all my heart for your publications. Not only have you helped me personally but my relationship with my parents has improved. I am only 16 years old and of Muslim origin.
“What I want to say is that you have succeeded in bringing me out of delinquency. As a result, I follow my religion more closely, but I also read the Bible. Thanks to you, I am also continuing my schooling. What is more, you have helped several people in my neighborhood to break free from delinquency through your magazines—which I lend them each month. I am very grateful to you and feel indebted.”