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Jehovah’s Witnesses

English

2014 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses

 PREACHING AND TEACHING EARTH WIDE

Europe

Europe
  • LANDS 47

  • POPULATION 741,892,871

  • PUBLISHERS 1,601,915

  • BIBLE STUDIES 862,555

“Have You Come to the Wrong Place?”

A Somali woman in Sweden was invited to a meeting at the Kingdom Hall, and she decided to go. Things did not turn out well. No one welcomed her; everyone there just stared at her. She felt very awkward. Someone who probably noticed that she looked uncomfortable asked her, “Have you come to the wrong place?”

 “Yes, I actually think so!” she replied. Then she left. When the woman later met up with the Witnesses who had invited her, she was upset and told them that she would never go back again. They wondered what could have happened, as they did not remember seeing her at the Kingdom Hall. After a little further discussion, they all realized that by mistake she had gone to a church!

The Witnesses encouraged her to try coming to the Kingdom Hall again. She agreed to go, but she said that she would stay no longer than ten minutes if she felt uncomfortable. However, when she entered the  Kingdom Hall, everyone in the congregation warmly welcomed her! She enjoyed being there so much that she was the last one to leave the Kingdom Hall after the meeting. Ever since, she has regularly attended the meetings, and she is now a baptized publisher.

He Found an Invitation on the Street

Greece: Stergios now shares with others the treasure he found

Stergios is a young man who lives in Greece. One morning as he was walking home from work, he decided to walk down a different street rather than to take his usual route. Stergios saw something lying on the street that caught his eye. It was an invitation to the Memorial of Christ’s death. It featured the question: “How do you view Jesus?” Since there were people around him, Stergios hesitated to pick up the invitation from off the ground. When he arrived home, he started thinking about the printed question and was curious to learn more.

Stergios had planned to have coffee with some friends that afternoon. On his way to meet them, he decided to go by the street where he had spotted the invitation, hoping that it would still be there. It was, but people were still around, so he again hesitated to pick it up. On his way home after having coffee with his friends, Stergios headed straight for the same street—the invitation was still lying there. This time, he picked up the invitation and read it. After doing so, he decided to attend the Memorial.

At the end of the Memorial observance, Stergios accepted the invitation to have a free home Bible study. He started attending meetings and made good spiritual progress. He was baptized at a special assembly day in March 2013.

 A Radio Talk Show Broke Down Prejudice

In January 2010, Finn, a brother in Copenhagen, Denmark, went out for a walk and took some magazines with him. As he walked along a narrow street, he saw an elderly gentleman coming toward him. Finn offered him the December 2009 issues, which included several articles related to Christmas. When the elderly gentleman spoke, Finn recognized the man’s voice. He was a highly educated radio talk-show host. The next day Finn listened to the program and was very surprised to hear the host explain that he had accepted the magazines the day before. He then read portions of the articles over the air. Among other things, he read about the mysterious “star” that appeared in connection with the birth of Jesus. He admitted that it must indeed have been sent by Satan.

Encouraged by this response to the magazines, Finn decided to call on the talk-show host. In the course of the conversation that followed, Finn politely asked if it was possible to put a program on the radio about Bible subjects. Two weeks later he received a positive reply. More than 30 two-hour programs followed, all about Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Bible. The talk-show host and Finn discussed chosen themes and answered hundreds of calls from listeners.

One listener called the radio station’s technician and left his telephone number. He wanted to be contacted by the brothers. This was readily arranged. The man had heard slander about Jehovah’s Witnesses from friends and family for years, but because of the radio programs, his prejudice against the Witnesses had vanished. A Bible study was started, and in 2013,  the man attended the Memorial and the special talk. He attends all the Sunday meetings and makes meaningful comments at the Watchtower Study. Other people in the area have likewise responded favorably to the truth because of what they heard on these radio programs.

She Left an Invitation at Their Door

It was the last day of a district convention in Italy. As Lucio was saying good-bye to some friends, a couple approached the group. Lucio asked the couple which congregation they attended. “We’re not from a congregation,” they replied.

“Did someone invite you?” asked Lucio.

“No, we came on our own,” they replied.

Now Lucio was curious, so he asked, “Do you mind my asking what made you come?”

They said, “We found an invitation at our door, and we decided to come.”

When they told Lucio where they lived, Ester, his wife, exclaimed: “I left that invitation! It was the last day of the campaign, and I thought that rather than to throw away the unused invitations, it would be better to leave them at the doors where no one was at home.” Having found the invitation, the couple decided to travel to the Assembly Hall to attend the program the following Sunday. After a brief chat, Lucio and Ester invited the couple to their home for a meal, and they continued the conversation. The newly interested couple agreed to have a Bible study. They are always well-prepared for their study and now attend and participate in the meetings.