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Jehovah’s Witnesses Announce Plans to Build Giant Media Center Despite Recent Spotlight on Child Abuse Allegations

The Jehovah’s Witnesses introduced plans to construct a 1.5 million-square-foot audio-visual manufacturing middle in Upstate New York, two miles away from the Witnesses’ headquarters in Warwick. The group plans to create extra movies with parenting system, regardless of a latest bombshell investigation alleging wide-scale youngster abuse and coverups.

Robert Zick, a Jehovah’s Witnesses spokesman, advised The Times Herald-Record that the media middle is a response to most of the people’s rising enhance of curiosity within the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ movies, particularly ones providing parenting recommendation and how you can reside a principled life. New content material is deliberate to be accessible in a number of languages.

The group’s outreach is now supplementing its conventional door-to-door method by placing more cash and manpower behind producing on-line content material in response to the rise and attain of social media platforms.

“We’re ramping up production in response to heavy demand” of audio-visual choices, Zick stated. “People find these materials to be useful, so we’re putting more resources behind them, and we’re putting everything under one roof.”

It will not simply be audio and visible gear underneath that roof—the Witnesses are additionally designing the brand new media middle to be livable. It can have residences, a health middle and underground parking.

Currently roughly 1,000 volunteers reside and work within the 1.6-million-square-foot headquarters. An further 1,000 volunteers are anticipated to take up residency within the new middle as soon as it’s completed.

It may take as much as 5 years for the advanced to be accomplished. At the group’s annual meeting on October 5, it was introduced that building will start in 2022 and end on the finish of 2026.

Jehovah's Witnesses Announce Plans to Build Giant Media Center Despite Recent Spotlight on Child Abuse Allegations
A gaggle of Jehovah’s Witnesses stand on a road nook on August 16, 2019 in Lawrence, Massachusetts. August 16, 2019 Getty/Spencer Platt

However, the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ announcement of the brand new media middle comes a number of months after a number of reviews revealed serious allegations of kid abuse towards the group.

The Hearst Television National Investigative Unit spent the final 12 months wanting into a long time lengthy youngster sexual abuse and cover-ups inside the U.S. Jehovah’s Witnesses chapters. The report got here out this August in a 3 half collection of reports reviews combining the investigation with interviews with 13 victims.

“Internal documents and letters from headquarters going back 30 years directed its approximately 13,000 congregations across the United States to handle abuse internally, send copies of files to headquarters—not police—in ‘special blue’ envelopes, and destroy documents laying out past policy,” the report found.

Kameron Torres, one of many victims interviewed, advised reporters that he was solely 6 years previous the primary time he was sexually assaulted by a member of the group.

The headquarters didn’t do something after his mom reported the abuse. “And the elders didn’t do anything. They said we’d look into this, we’ll take care of it, we’ll leave it in God’s hands,” he advised the The National Investigative Unit.

Jehovah’s Witnesses have 1.2 million within the U.S. and over eight million members worldwide. Many followers are actively concerned in recruiting extra members and spreading the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ message that solely true believers can be saved by God when the apocalypse comes.

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