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Conscription fears across Europe could end Jehovah's Witnesses

Updated: Feb 5


As the clouds of war are gathering fast over the European continent many countries including Britain are contemplating a return to conscription and some form of mandatory military service. Considering the fact that the Watchtower fought long and hard especially in Europe for the right of its believers to abstain from military service it is very interesting to see how this new development will affect the Watchtower across Europe. To my understanding it depends in which European country you reside. In countries like France, Germany or Britain where large populations exist a form of secular service will be accepted as an alternative to serving in the army but that is not a given (such as working as a firefighter) whereas in other countries with small populations this will not be allowed as an alternative and prison sentences will return at a minimum to counteract public feeling and outrage. With that in mind this issue will become another explosive situation for the Watchtower and its membership since most young male Jehovah’s Witnesses will think twice before they decide to become the martyr for the Watchtower.

Here are some recent quotes from across Europe in regards to this recent development.

Canon fodder?

The following quote comes from euronews,I will include the link below,so under the heading Conscription is resurging across Europe. Is that a good thing?

“Europe’s armed forces, particularly those on the border with Russia, now realise they don't have enough manpower,” said Vincenzo Bove, professor of political science at Warwick University, who specialises in conscription. "They clearly see conscription as a solution to that." 

“Whether this is a good idea in terms of deterring a potential Russian invasion, we’re not really sure,” he continued, suggesting there was a lack of evidence about the effectiveness of conscript armies compared to regular forces.

Owing to the complexity of modern warfare, Bove questioned if conscripts could be properly trained to use the advanced equipment or tactics employed today in the short time available.

Besides economic concerns about the inefficiency of compulsory military service – with massive numbers of people prevented from doing something where they could be more productive – Bove raised ethical concerns about sending civilians into battle with little experience.

Having served in the Italian Navy for 15 years, he said: “Three years isn't enough to teach the basics of warfare… even using basic weapons requires a lot of training.”

“Some countries are talking about three-month programmes… that’s nothing. They won't even learn how to salute,” Bove added in jest.

So how this fears of a pan European conscription will affect the Watchtower remains to be seen but in any case if you are within this age bracket it is worth taking note and steps to protect yourself before too late.

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