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Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Statement of Principles

This letter dated October 7, 1934, was sent to the German government by every congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Germany. This declaration of political neutrality failed to convince the Nazi regime that the Witnesses were harmless.


To the Officials of the Government:

The Word of Jehovah God, as set out in the Holy Bible, is the supreme law and to us it is our sole guide for the reason that we have devoted ourselves to God and are true and sincere followers of Christ Jesus.

During the past year, and contrary to God’s law and in violation of our rights, you have forbidden us as Jehovah’s Witnesses to meet together to study God’s Word and worship and serve Him. In His Word he commands us that we shall not forsake the assembling of ourselves together. (Hebrews 10:25) To us Jehovah commands: ‘Ye are my witnesses that I am God. Go and tell the people my message.’ (Isaiah 43:10, 12; Isaiah 6:9; Matthew 24:14) There is a direct conflict between your law and God’s law, and, following the lead of the faithful apostles we ought to obey God rather than men,’ and this we will do. (Acts 5:29) Therefore this is to advise you that at any cost we will obey God’s commandments, will meet together for the study of His Word, and will worship and serve Him as He has commanded. If your government or officers do violence to us because we are obeying God, then our blood will be upon you and you will answer to Almighty God.

We have no interest in political affairs, but are wholly devoted to God’s Kingdom under Christ His King. We will do no injury or harm to anyone. We would delight to dwell in peace and do good to all men as we have opportunity, but, since your government and its officers continue in your attempt to force us to disobey the highest law of the universe, we are compelled to now give you notice that we will, by His Grace, obey Jehovah God and fully trust Him to deliver us from all oppression and oppressors.

Reprinted and translated in Jehovah’s Witnesses: Proclaimers of God’s Kingdom (New York: Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, 1993), p. 694.