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The ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses shunned by their families

For some former Jehovah’s Witnesses, leaving the faith is not just the mark of losing your religion – it can also mean losing your loved ones. In many cases, friends and family are told to cut all ties with ex-believers, leaving them isolated and sometimes suicidal.

“I don’t speak to any of my family,” Sarah – not her real name – tells the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme.

“Because of being ‘disfellowshipped’, I can have no contact.”

Last year, Sarah – in her 20s – was excluded by the Jehovah’s Witnesses in a process known as “disfellowshipping”, she says sparked by her refusal to live in an abusive relationship.