17,000 Jehovah's Witnesses gather

AMY JACKMAN
Last updated 16:47 12/01/2013
Pa Amaru
KEVIN STENT/Fairfax NZ
Pa Amaru of Titahi Bay is baptised by Jehovah's Witnesses Brother Ashley Vendt at at the Lower North Island District Convention, Te Rauparaha Arena, Porirua.

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Jehovah's Witnesses around the country all dedicated their lives to their god at the same time this weekend as part of a 3-day convention.

The six conventions have been attended by more than 17,000 people.

At the Lower North Island District Convention, 2604 people gathered at Te Rauparaha Arena, Porirua for the weekend.

Twelve people were baptised today at the same time as people were being baptised at the other five conventions.

Brother Finlay Hamilton said the baptisms were about people publicly dedicating their lives to Jehovah.

"They are taking a public step to serve Jehovah," he said.

"It is a serious decision to make. They do a few weeks of bible study beforehand and when they think they have made the decision they sit down with the elders and talk about it, so when it comes to the day they know what they are dedicating themselves to."

The six males and six females who were baptised were a range of ages, the youngest was aged 13.

All of the baptisms took place at the same time because the six conventions nationwide were all being run on the same programme.

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