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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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DECEMBER 2, 2016
ITALY

Citing Benefits to Inmates, Officials in Italy Provide Space for a “Kingdom Hall” Within Prison

ROME—In recognition of the positive community service Jehovah’s Witnesses provide, officials of a prison in the town of Bollate, located 15 kilometers (10 mi) north of Milan, have allocated a large room exclusively for the Witnesses to use as a “Kingdom Hall,” or place of worship.

The prison director, Dr. Massimo Parisi, explains that the Bollate prison was built with the aim of rehabilitating prisoners: “One of our objectives is to ensure that people regain hope, and in order to do this, we use various methods. We consider of no less importance spirituality.” For the last 13 years, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been permitted to offer free Bible studies to prisoners. Dr. Parisi describes the results: “[The] Witnesses have been cooperating with us for years and their Bible education efforts have produced positive changes in some of our prisoners. . . . So in this light, we thought it was a good idea to set aside a space for the Witnesses to use to help these inmates reach their full potential.” On two occasions within the last few months, over 100 inmates attended the Witnesses’ services.

An exterior view of the prison in Bollate.

Christian Di Blasio, a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Italy, states: “We are pleased that the Bollate prison officials have taken the initiative to facilitate our outreach by creating this place of worship within the prison walls. We look forward to continued cooperation with them to help inmates benefit from our Bible education programs tailored to their spiritual needs.”

Media Contacts:

International: David A. Semonian, Office of Public Information, 1-718-560-5000

Italy: Christian Di Blasio, 39-06-872941