The Facts on Jehovah’s Witnesses (Harvest House, 1988), p. 10
Why do Jehovah’s Witnesses prohibit practices like military service, saluting the flag, celebrating holidays, and blood transfusions?
These and many other practices are prohibited because the entire world system, apart from activity in the Watchtower Organization, is believed to be connected with the devil. Military service, patriotism, and celebrating holidays are all part of the devil’s scheme to trick men away from God. Thus the Society asks, “Do you want to be part of Satan’s world or are you for God’s new system? …getting out of Babylon the Great, the world empire of false religion… also means having nothing to do with the religious celebrations of the world.”*
Other practices are prohibited because they are wrongly thought to be prohibited by Scripture. Although the Bible only forbids eating blood (something associated with pagan rituals), the Society has wrongly interpreted this as a ban on blood transfusions, something entirely different. The Witnesses teach that accepting a blood transfusion may “cost… [one his] eternal life….”* Tragically, hundreds, perhaps even thousands of Witnesses and their children, have died because they have believed the Watchtower’s unbiblical view.*
*For documentation, see The Facts on Jehovah’s Witnesses.