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27.03.2006 Regional News

Jehovah's Witnesses: Eclipses are natural happenings


Accra, March 27, GNA - Eclipses are natural happenings that occur with regularity and do not represent a threat nor carry some prediction of calamity, Jehovah's Witnesses said on Monday.

"They are evidence of the unchangeable laws that govern the universe. They testify to the infinite divine wisdom that established each heavenly body in the universe and that controls them," the branch office of Jehovah's Witnesses in Accra, Ghana stated.

The views of the Jehovah's Witnesses are contained in a message faxed to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), which sought the Organisation's view on the eclipse expected in Ghana on Wednesday.

The message sent by Mr Nathaniel Gbedemah of the Public Affairs Department quoted from the May 22, 1970 issue of Awake! a magazine of the Organisation, which said, "eclipses are marvels of Jehovah's creation, one more evidence that assures us that the universe continues functioning according to the perfect laws He has fixed". The message defined an eclipse as simply the hiding of celestial body by the interposition of another.

"It can be total or partial. It is total when the hidden body is completely covered. When a part of it is covered it is annular (ring shaped) or partial," the message said.

According to the message, a solar eclipse is produced when the moon, in its orbit, goes between the sun and the earth, projecting the shadow on the earth.

An annular eclipse occurs when the moon is exactly in front of the sun but it is not big enough, due to its distance and position, to cover the sun completely.

It leaves a ring of the sun visible, the message said, adding there are never annular eclipses of the moon because the earth's cone of shadow is always large enough to cover the moon when it is in an exactly straight line with the sun and the earth. Mr Paul Krudass, Member of the Ghana Branch Committee Jehovah's Witnesses has advised Ghanaians to protect themselves from being hurt on Wednesday by not looking at the sun with the naked eye.