The Jehovah’s Witness Church just released an official statement following the tragic death of Prince, who converted to the religion in 2003, as reported by People.
“We are saddened to hear about the death of Prince Rogers Nelson, who was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in 2003,” a representative for the church told the publication.
According to the spokesperson for the Jehovah’s Witness Church, Prince “found fulfillment as a Witness and in sharing his faith with others.”
In their official statement, the church added that they were not aware of Prince’s medical condition and what may have caused his death.
“We do not have any details regarding his medical condition or the cause of his death. Our thoughts are with his family and friends, particularly his fellow worshippers in the Saint Louis Park congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Minnesota. We hope that all find comfort in the Bible’s promise of a future time when death, pain, and tears will be no more.—Revelation 21:3, 4.”
Located behind Prince’s Paisley Park home on Audobon Road, the Jehovah’s Witness Church paid their respects to the legendary musician by turning the facility’s lights off. Orange cones were placed near the entrance to prevent people from entering the driveway.
The entire world was shocked when Prince became a Jehovah’s Witness back in 2003. For one, Prince was known for his sexual image, not to mention that he wrote songs with titles such as “Jack U Off” and “Sexy MF.”
In October 2003, a couple from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, revealed that Prince once knocked on their front door at around 2 p.m. with a Bible in hand, as originally reported by The Associated Press. The fact that the couple are Jewish made the unexpected visit from Prince even more bizarre.
“My first thought is, ‘Cool, cool, cool. He wants to use my house for a set,'” the woman, who identified herself as Rochelle, told the paper. “Then they [Prince was accompanied by Graham on this particular outing] start in on this Jehovah’s Witnesses stuff.”
“They stayed for about 25 minutes,” Rochelle added. “Left us a pamphlet.”
"I met Prince—and he tried to convert me into a Jehovah's Witness" https://t.co/allkGDevDZ— TIME.com (@TIME) April 21, 2016
According to Prince, how he became a Jehovah’s Witness was more of an awakening than a conversion. His “awakening” was motivated by a two-year conversation with Sly and the Family Stone bassist Larry Graham. Prince likened his conversion to Neo’s experience in the Matrix movie as well. Even though his public image and songs contradict his religion, Prince was a devout follower through and through. Prince attended meetings at a local Kingdom Hall on a regular basis, and was never spotted engaging in sexual conquests as they are prohibited by the church.
His opinions on gay marriage and abortion were also surprisingly conservative. He once landed himself in hot water in a New Yorker interview when he said: “God came to earth and saw people sticking it wherever and doing it with whatever, and he just cleared it all out. He was ‘Enough’.”
Prince went on to say that his statement was taken out of context, telling the Los Angeles Times that he regularly went to Bible Study meetings with gay people. The New Yorker, however, refused to take back their comments.
Given his earlier, raunchy image, it may come as a surprise to many that Prince grew up religious. He was raised as a Seventh Day Adventist. Since he was a child, Prince continually maintained that that an angel once cured him of epilepsy.
Prince was self-described strict teetotal vegan and Jehovah's Witness who, reportedly, died of an overdose (per TMZ) pic.twitter.com/B6nIUgZzki— Dennis and Callahan (@DandCShow) April 22, 2016
In the late 2000’s, reports emerged claiming that being a Jehovah’s Witness follower prevented Prince from undergoing a much-needed hip replacement surgery. In light of this, there are speculations connecting Prince’s death to the faith’s Watchtower beliefs about medical care.
[Photo by Stuart Wilson/Getty Images]