Witnesses occupy free speech zone

By Ericka Perez

Every Monday through Friday, a Jehovah’s witnesses congregation sets up a blue tent in between the sheriff’s department and the stadium parking lot.

Underneath the tent there is a table filled with booklets, magazines and bibles ready to be handed out with information to anyone that is interested.

On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays there are members of the congregation who speak English and on Tuesdays and Thursdays there are members who speak Spanish, Chinese or other languages.

On Monday and Friday they can be found from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on other days from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Weekends and rainy days are the only days they do not set up.

The congregation decided to set up at ELAC to try and reach out to students. Ashley Sanchez a member of the congregation said that it is hard to find people at their homes. This is because many people always seem to be busy with school or work.

ELAC is a college that is occupied by thousands of students, which makes it perfect for the Jehovah‘s witnesses.

Their sole purpose is to try to get people to read the Bible, and get closer to God, Sanchez said. Although they are at the same place for hours on end, they don’t get many people.

Sanchez said that the most people she has spoken to has been around three to five.

It took around a year to get enough members and to get permission from her church. The congregation recently got their permit.

They have been at ELAC since the end of September and beginning of October. Although this is their first year at ELAC, they hope to be able to come back next semester.

The congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses is extremely large, reaching hundreds of countries overseas, and having members who speak different languages makes it easier to communicate with other people who don’t speak English. Although many of them are different ethnicities, they are all united by one belief.

Other places that they visit are bus stops, train stops, stores and walk house to house.

They also have their own website where people can get information and read the bible online at jw.org.

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