Is Serena Williams a Jehovah's Witness

Tennis pro Serena Williams: "We don't celebrate birthdays"

The tennis player Serena Williams suddenly lives very strictly according to the guidelines of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Why?

The US Open in New York is in full swing, but Serena Williams, 36, surprised these days with a statement that has nothing to do with tennis.

Serena Williams: "We are Jehovah's Witnesses"

When asked about the first birthday of daughter Alexis Olympia on September 1st, she said: "Olympia doesn't celebrate birthdays. We're Jehovah's Witnesses, we don't do that." It's no secret that Serena Williams belongs to the controversial religious community that forbids celebrating Christmas and birthdays or accepting blood transfusions, among other things. However, Williams never lived by their beliefs one hundred percent. Only last year Williams told the US "Vogue": "Being a Jehovah's Witness is important to me, but I've never really practiced it."

Dramatic events strengthen the bond with the religious community

That's not entirely true: as early as 2003 - when her eldest half-sister, Yetunde Price, was shot - Serena Williams took a break, during which she attended Bible lessons up to three times a week and attended meetings of Jehovah's Witnesses. Even now, a traumatic experience was apparently responsible for Serena Williams' adherence to the guidelines of her religious community more strictly: daughter Olympia was born by emergency caesarean section, one day later Williams suffered a pulmonary embolism, her caesarean section scar burst, and she had to go again to be operated on. This was followed by a six-day struggle for survival and six more weeks in which Williams was not allowed to get out of bed. Her mother Oracene Price, 66, was always by her side during this time and supported her daughter - also with the help of the Bible.

Tragic blows of fate

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