Dutch MP's want to stop Jehovah's Witnesses shunning apostates
A parliamentary majority wants to launch an investigation into how Jehovah's Witnesses treat people who want to leave the faith. They worry that the religious community is using emotional blackmail to keep people there, Pointer reports after talking to the MPs.
According to the program, if someone leaves the Jehovah's Witnesses, the community urges all its members to "shun" them - they can have no more contact with that person ever again.
According to the VVD, D66, SP, and PvdA, this can cause serious psychological complaints for the people involved. It can also be used as a threat to convince people not to leave the community, they said. "It is a form of blackmail. It also appears to be a threat in a sense," VVD MP Ylysse Ellian told the program.
The parliamentarians want the government to investigate this practice and see if this means of pressure can be stopped.