Patheos Watermark

You are running a very outdated version of Internet Explorer. Patheos and most other websites will not display properly on this version. To better enjoy Patheos and your overall web experience, consider upgrading to the current version of Internet Explorer. Find more information HERE.

Ethics and Community

Community Organization

God and Christ are believed to be at the head of the organization of Jehovah's Witnesses, making the movement a theocracy. The well-being of the organization is entrusted to a 12-member Governing Body, as well as the 144,000-member "anointed class."


Jehovah's Witnesses are movement of laypeople, with no professional clergy. Each congregation appoints elders. The elders are older men who preside over the affairs of the congregation, and accept responsibility for teaching and counseling.

Principles of Moral Thought and Action

The Bible is the primary source of reference for moral guidance, as it is regarded by the Witnesses as the infallible word of God. All teachings of the Jehovah's Witnesses are thoroughly supported by biblical references.

Vision for Society

Jehovah's Witnesses are pessimistic about society, which is irredeemably enslaved by Satan's power. However, the final cosmic battle between Christ and Satan is imminent, and the victorious Christ will restore the faithful to a utopia of peace, beauty, and abundance.

Gender and Sexuality

Jehovah's Witnesses have a high regard for marriage and encourage marriage within the movement. The role of the wife is to support the husband, although a number of important researchers and writers are women. Homosexuality is considered a disgraceful sin.