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Jehovah's Witnesses return to door-knocking ministry

The tradition stopped to keep everyone safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

STROUDSBURG, Pa. — It's a message that's best spread in person.

"We're Jehovah's Witnesses. It's been a while since we've been here," Joshua Gilmour.

On 2nd Street in Stroudsburg, Jehovah's Witnesses returned to their signature door-to-door ministry.

"It's been about two and a half years, so to be back in the house-to-house work, to speak to our neighbors. It's really exciting," Gilmour said.

Robert Hendriks is the U.S. spokesperson for Jehovah's Witnesses. He said the tradition stopped to keep everyone safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

"We try to bring a message of comfort and love to our neighbors, and for us to bring a virus to them or take it away would have just been so incongruous with our message. Just wouldn't have made any sense to us and we would have felt very guilty about that," Hendriks said. 

Without being able to knock on doors, they had to get creative with how they reached out to people.

"We started writing letters and just in the United States alone, half of a billion hours, and tens of millions of letters were sent to our neighbors all over the country," Hendriks said. "Some receive them on multiple occasions. We also phone witnessed. So we started calling people on the phones."

The well-known tradition of door-knocking has gone on for more than 100 years without any interruption. The coronavirus pandemic was the first time Jehovah's Witnesses had to stop.

"We look at the first entry Christians, this is the same work that Jesus did when he was on the earth. It's the same work that they did in the same century. They went from house to house and from door to door, so that's the same reason we do it today," Gilmour said.

So if you hear a friendly knock, you know who it is.

Jehovah's Witnesses also launched a global campaign about an interactive Bible study program

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