In Acts 15, at the end of the Apostolic Council the Church sends the following letter to Gentile Christians:

The apostles and elders, your brothers,
To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia:
We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.

I'm interested in the part in bold. Judaism is known for having tons of dietary restrictions, whereas Christianity isn't. But my question is, what denominations of Christianity prohibit eating meat from strangled animals?

I think Jehovah's Witnesses is one. Are there any others?

  • 2
    More specifically, Jehovah's Witnesses don't eat animals which were killed in such a way that the blood is still in the flesh. They require that the animal be bled out before eating it.
    – user32540
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 0:28
  • Related. christianity.stackexchange.com/q/46207/23657
    – 007
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 1:01
  • What is a sect of Christianity?
    – 007
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 0:20
  • @Kris You know, denominations. Catholics, Orthodox, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Seventh-Day Adventists, etc. Commented May 22, 2018 at 0:27
  • 2
    @Kris OK, I edited it. Commented May 22, 2018 at 1:38

1 Answer 1


Seventh Day Adventists go one step further. Since the late 1860s the Adventist Church has advocated a vegetarian diet. In 1938 the SDA Church compiled Ellen White's writings on health into a book entitled 'Counsels on Diets and Foods'. Here are two quotes on the subject of eating meat:

"When the message comes to those who have not heard the truth for this time, they see that a great reformation must take place in their diet. They see that they must put away flesh food, because it creates an appetite for liquor, and fills the system with disease. By meat eating, the physical, mental, and moral powers are weakened. Man is built up from that which he eats. Animal passions bear sway as the result of meat eating, tobacco using, and liquor drinking." (p. 268-269)

"As a general thing, the Lord did not provide His people with flesh meat in the desert, because He knew that the use of this diet would create disease and insubordination." (p. 375)

No reference is made to Genesis 9:3-4 where God gives Noah permission to eat meat, but with this proviso:

"Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything. But you must not eat meat that has its lifeblood still in it."

There may be other Christian denominations that prohibit the eating of meat from strangled animals, but it would take a great deal of time and effort to track them down.

As for Jehovah's Witnesses, while they are asked not to eat meat that has been strangled, they are not under any obligation to make enquiries from the butcher to ensure the animal's blood has been drained (that it was not strangled). I believe this is left as a matter of conscience and is not a hard and fast rule.

Edit - Additional information on Christian denominations (other than Jehovah's Witnesses) who uphold the prohibition on eating the meat of strangled animals:

The Armenian Apostolic Church observe rituals similar to Jewish kosher slaughter (second paragraph): https://www.revolvy.com/main/index.php?s=Christian+dietary+laws

The Iglesia Ni Cristo (Church of Christ) forbids the eating of meat from strangled animals: https://iglesianicristoreadme.blogspot.com/2009/08/eating-animals-blood.html#.WxY1B0gvy00

Apparently, the Catholic Church can allow the eating of meat from strangled animals: http://newtheologicalmovement.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-church-can-allow-eating-strangled.html

  • "There may be other Christian denominations that prohibit the eating of meat from strangled animals, but it would take a great deal of time and effort to track them down." OK, but difficult or not, this is what my question is asking for. Commented Jun 4, 2018 at 19:37
  • @Keshav Srinivasan - fair comment. I've added my findings to my answer above but, because I'm going away for a few days, can only leave a brief overview with links. Hope that helps!
    – Lesley
    Commented Jun 5, 2018 at 7:11
  • @Lesley, I did not see in that link any statement from the Catholic Church that they allow eating of meat from strangled animals.
    – Michael R
    Commented Jun 9, 2018 at 15:11
  • @Michael R - The heading of the article from the New Theological Movement link is: The Church Can Allow Eating Strangled Animals, But She Can't Ever Allow "Pornea" and the relevant section is under the heading ‘Does the Church have authority to forbid that which is lawful in itself?’ It says: “although there is nothing wrong per se with eating the meat of strangled animals etc., the Law of the Church established by the Apostles bound the early Christians in such a way that it would have been sinful for those in the early Church to eat such foods (without grave reason)... The article continues
    – Lesley
    Commented Jun 9, 2018 at 16:25
  • "By this we see the great authority of God’s Church, and Councils which may make permanent or temporary decrees, such as are fitting for the state of the times or peoples...” The inference from the article is that the eating of meat from strangled animals in not set in stone. However, if I am wrong then I apologise and I will retract that comment. I also read a comment from a Filipino saying that because of the abject poverty of people living there, the Catholic Church allowed the eating of Dinuguan, a Filipino food that is made from pig's blood.
    – Lesley
    Commented Jun 9, 2018 at 16:26

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