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Jehovah’s Witnesses


2016 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses

Israel: Using a tablet to preach about God’s Kingdom


Asia and the Middle East

Asia and the Middle East
  • LANDS 49

  • POPULATION 4,409,131,383

  • PUBLISHERS 718,716

  • BIBLE STUDIES 766,364

One Hundred Hours for One Hundred Years

In one Asian country, a well-known television actress and model accepted a Bible study. She immediately began to apply what she was learning and got rid of her spiritistic literature and Buddhist idols.

One of the woman’s close associates pleaded with her, saying: “Why don’t you stop studying  for just three years and concentrate on your career? After that, you can start studying again.”

The woman replied: “I have waited 24 years to find Jehovah. Why would I put off learning about him for another three years?”

The very week she was to join the Theocratic Ministry School, a film company contacted her. They offered her a lucrative four-year contract on the condition that she accept any movie role she was given. She declined the offer. In May 2014, she qualified as an unbaptized publisher, and as August approached, she decided that she would preach 100 hours that month. When asked the reason why, she said, “I want to celebrate the 100-year rule of Jesus by preaching one hour for every year he’s been ruling!” She achieved her goal. In January 2015, she was baptized, and she now serves as an auxiliary pioneer.

Making the Best of a Night in Prison

In Sri Lanka, four sisters set off by bus to preach in an unassigned territory that was predominantly Buddhist. On their second day of preaching, a monk and a taxi driver accosted the sisters. Soon an angry crowd of about 30 people surrounded them. The police arrived, took the sisters to the police station, and held them overnight in prison cells, even though no charge of any wrongdoing was made. They were put with hardened criminals and were subjected to verbal abuse and filthy language, yet their presence in the prison opened opportunities to give a witness. One of the  sisters said: “I was confined with murderers, but I was able to talk to them about the truth. They were surprised that I was there, and they had many questions about my beliefs. One person even asked me, ‘Why are you so happy?’”

Sri Lanka: Four sisters traveled by bus to preach in unassigned territory

The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka has accepted our submission for a fundamental rights case against the police for holding prisoners without a valid charge. The case is still pending.

Help for a Bedridden Woman

Michiko, a pioneer sister in Japan, was conducting a study in sign language with an elderly woman in a hospital. The sister asked the staff if there were any other patients with whom she could talk. Michiko then met Kazumi, who could hear but could not speak. Kazumi was bedridden following a car accident at the age of 23 and was unable to swallow food or even drink water. She had many questions and readily accepted a Bible study.

Japan: Kazumi enjoys writing warm, upbuilding letters

Michiko asked the questions, and Kazumi used her hands to point to the answers in the paragraphs or to write them out. When Kazumi obtained a cell phone, Michiko was able to consider the day’s text with her each morning. Although Kazumi weakened physically, she kept growing spiritually to the point of expressing a desire to become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. At the age of 61, after studying for 13 years, Kazumi finally became an unbaptized publisher.

 Because Kazumi is bedridden, the congregation arranged for her to listen in to all the meetings and assembly programs. Various sisters in the congregation read Kazumi’s prepared comments at the meetings.

Kazumi writes warm, upbuilding letters that are tailor-made for each Bible student who attends the meetings. She witnesses to the hospital staff and to those who visit her. Kazumi tells them, “If you study the Bible, you will be happy.”

A Monk Learns the Truth

In a Southeast Asian country, a sister went to an optician at a hospital, where she met a monk. She asked him, “Would you like to have perfect health and live forever in a beautiful place?” A friendly discussion ensued,  and she gave him the brochure Listen to God. The monk gave her his phone number, which she passed on to a brother in the congregation. Soon afterward, the brother contacted the monk and invited him to attend the special talk. The monk thoroughly enjoyed the meeting, especially the singing of the Kingdom songs, and was very impressed that everyone gave him such a warm welcome.

When the monk asked if the Witnesses have religious universities or seminaries, the brother explained that we conduct personal Bible study courses and offered to study with him. By the next week, the monk had finished chapter 1 of the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? He continued to study, began attending the meetings, and also gave comments during the Watchtower Study.

When the monk attended a circuit assembly, the branch representative invited him to visit Bethel. The following week the monk traveled some ten hours to get to Bethel, where he was given a warm welcome. At the end of February 2015, he left the monkhood and continues to enjoy studying the Bible and participating in Christian meetings.

Lost, but Found Again

Recently, pioneers were sent to northeastern India, where the good news had not been preached in many years. The pioneers found much interest and wanted to find a suitable place to hold meetings. While going to a Bible study, they saw a building under construction and thought of inquiring about it. As they walked a little farther down the road, they decided to  go back. Behind the building, they met an elderly woman and told her that they were Jehovah’s Witnesses. Her face lit up. “I am also one of Jehovah’s Witnesses,” she said and warmly welcomed them into her house. She showed them her collection of literature from the 1970’s and 1980’s. She had studied with pioneers 30 years earlier and had attended some meetings despite opposition from her husband. She was convinced that she had found the truth but later lost contact with the organization when the pioneers left the area. All her children became members of various churches, but she refused to attend any church.

India: An interested woman shows her literature collection from the 1970’s and 1980’s

 Recently, the woman’s children had started pressuring her to enroll as a member of the Catholic Church so that she could have a Catholic burial when she died. Her own sister even insisted on taking her to the Catholic church to enroll, but on the way there, they were in a traffic jam and had to return home. Her sister said that they would go again the next day, but she got sick. It was that very afternoon that the pioneers called on the interested woman! She is now studying the Bible again, attending meetings, and encouraging her children and grandchildren to study as well.