As the world celebrates the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Jehovah’s Witnesses have emphasised the Bible’s message of hope for a future when disabilities will be no more.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 1 in 6 people globally live with a significant disability, which may include dementia, blindness, loss of a limb, or paralysis.
On December 3, 2023, nations around the world observed International Day of Persons with Disabilities, instituted by the United Nations in 1992 to “promote an understanding of disability issues.”
The WHO stated that “health inequities arise from unfair conditions faced by persons with disabilities, including stigma, discrimination, poverty, exclusion from education and employment, and barriers faced in the health system itself.”
“The mistreatment of the physically challenged is an age-old practice, in some cases even fueled by cultural misgivings” says Jahswill Stephen, spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“You will find stories of the disabled being mistreated in passages of the Bible but out of love, God made provisions for disadvantaged ones to be protected and even shown extraordinary kindness, even outlawing their mistreatment in any form.
“The idea of ‘never being sick again’ as promised in Isaiah 33:24 fills me with hope of a beautiful world to look forward to” says Elizabeth Gbenoba, who is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.