Delegates from 67 countries attend Jehovah’s Witnesses event
MANILA, Philippines – Thousands, including delegates from at least 67 countries, converged at the Mall of Asia Arena and the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City Friday, November 1, to attend the three-day 2019 International Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Paul Gillies, international spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses, said more than 5,500 foreigners are attending the event which has the theme: “Love Never Fails.”
Gillies said, the “convention seeks to demonstrate the positive influence that love can have to bring people together from different cultures and backgrounds.”
The delegates are from at least 6 continents, and from countries such as the US, South Africa, Germany, Solomon Islands, France, Madagascar, Italy, Papua New Guinea, Switzerland, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Austria, Nepal, Kazakhstan, and Australia, among others.
The big number of delegates is expected to infuse more than P700 million into the local economy. Ralph Balmaceda, a member of the local organizers, said that the delegates booked 55,900 room nights in 47 hotels in host cities in Metro Manila. They will be in the country for an average of 9 nights while some are staying for 4 weeks
“Local Jehovah’s Witnesses get an opportunity to meet and enjoy association with their fellow Witnesses from around the world, and the community here in Metro Manila is happy to accommodate the influx of international visitors at the local cafes, restaurants, hotels, and popular tourist destinations,” said Dean Jacek, Philippine spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Joining the overseas delegates are more than 25,000 local members of the organization from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Many of the foreign and local delegates attended wearing their traditional costumes, giving more color and life to the spiritual occasion.
At least 4,000 volunteers are helping organize the event. They are also coordinating with local government units, Philippine National Police (PNP), Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), and the Department of Tourism (DoT), among others.
Known for their door-to-door preaching activity worldwide, Jehovah’s Witnesses number more than 8.5 million members in 240 countries. – Rappler.com