Dating a jehovah witness

Members of the sect in Germany prefer to pair off their children within the faith community, and regional congresses make for prime matchmaking territory. Her hair is delicately pinned up, arranged in bud-like clusters. " Melanie, 17, was baptized as a Jehovah's Witness at 14.Like thousands of others, she has come to Dortmund with her family -- all of them strict believers, all of them dressed up for the special day -- for the annual North Rhine-Westfalia convention of Jehovah's Witnesses.Every so often, there is an interview with a Jehovah's Witness.These always follow the same format: Asked to tell about his missionary work, the interviewee enthuses about the experience -- it's wonderful.There are some 165,000 Jehovah's Witnesses in Germany.The number of children and youths among them is not recorded.No Masturbation, No Homosexuals Like many young Jehovah's Witnesses, Melanie has read a glossy pamphlet entitled "Questions Young People Ask: Answers That Work." It makes it clear that homosexuality is forbidden and masturbation demonized.The pamphlet, Melanie says, contains a lot of information on topics she is familiar with: what it's like to feel like an outsider at school, or to have false desires "for sex or self-gratification." The pamphlet also includes a chapter on how a young Jehovah's Witness can determine if a potential partner is right for him or her.

It's a community that presumes to have a say in who its young people marry.They arrive in caravans, bringing Tupperware, coolers, blankets and, most importantly, their Bibles.Here they can pray among peers, feeling a sense of community instead of isolation.Like a faith-based dating manual, it includes tips on how to "get to know" the other person.1) "Discuss something from the Bible together" 2) "Observe how the other person participates in meetings and sermons" 3) "Help clean the Kingdom Hall (a place of worship used by Jehova's witnesses) and with construction projects" How many German youths would rather sweep the floors of the Kingdom Hall than spend their summer days flirting at the swimming pool?

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Dortmund is home to the largest district convention of Jehovah's Witnesses in the country.

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