The people: Witnesses are members of a worldwide Christian religion who actively share with others information about God, whose name is Jehovah, and about his son, Jesus Christ. They view first-century Christianity as their model.

The Bible: It is God's infallible, inspired word. However, some portions of the Bible are to be understood figuratively; or symbolically.

God: Jehovah, the creator of all things, is worthy of worship and devotion. His outstanding qualities are love, justice, wisdom and power.

Jesus: He is the son of God. He came to Earth from heaven and gave his perfect human life as a ransom sacrifice. His death and resurrection made salvation to eternal life possible for those exercising faith in him.

Interaction with society: Jehovah's Witnesses are found in all levels of society. However, they strive to avoid prejudices and controversies. Although not ascetics, they avoid being excessive in the pursuit of wealth, pleasure or prominence.

Family life: Witnesses view marriage as a serious, lifelong commitment. Parents should teach children scriptural values and provide loving discipline. They believe the Bible does not condone harsh physical punishment.

Other beliefs: While the church's opposition to blood transfusions is well-documented, the church does not oppose all medical intervention.

Spreading beliefs: The door-to-door visitation for which the church is known stems from a desire by each congregation to visit all the people in a neighborhood at least once a year with a Bible-based message. Contacts are also made on street corners, in parks and at other public places.

Stance on war: While the church recognizes the authority of nations to raise armies and defend themselves, members are expected to follow the example of Jesus and early Christians and refrain from participating in the wars and politics of the various nations. They firmly believe they must beat their swords into plowshares.