Volume I
Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain

Authors: Gerhard Besier & Katarzyna Stokłosa (Eds.)
Berlin/Münster: Lit 2013 (Studies in Contemporary Church History 5); 734 S.; 24,80 €;

ISBN 978-3-643-11508-9

The religious association of Jehovah’s Witnesses has existed for about 150 years in Europe. How Jehovah’s Witnesses found their way in each of these countries has depended upon the way this missionary association was treated by the majority of the non-Witness population, government and established churches. In this respect the history of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Europe is also a history of the social constitution of these countries and their willingness to accept and integrate religious minorities.

Jehovah’s Witnesses faced suppression and persecution not only in dictatorships but also in some democratic States. In other countries, however, they developed in relative freedom.

How the different situations in the various national societies affected the religious association and what challenges Jehovah’s Witnesses had to overcome – and still do in part even until our day – is the theme of these three history volumes.

Table of Contents

Volume II
Baltic States, Great Britain, Ireland, Romania, Scandinavia, USSR/CIS

Authors: Gerhard Besier & Katarzyna Stokłosa (Eds.)
Berlin/Münster: Lit 2015 (Studies in Contemporary Church History 6); 792 S.; 24,80 €;

ISBN 978-3-643-13039-6

The history of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Europe has always been one of persecution. Volume 2 of this trilogy continues to document this history across Europe. For the first time, the situation of a religious minority under different political systems can be compared across the continent.

The studies provide insight into the methods of repression by governments and mainstream churches, the survival strategies of Jehovah’s Witnesses, as well as their various experiences under Eastern European dictatorship. An initially relaxed relationship with Jehovah’s Witnesses after 1990 turned back to the history of religious discrimination.

By violating the universal human right of religious freedom, the same conditions that prevailed in the Soviet era are now threatening to return. For the first time in German-speaking countries, this volume also documents the history of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Romania, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom.


Jan Achim Richter in Portal für Politikwissenschaft, published 2 January 2014.
Download the review.

Tim B. Müller in H-Soz-Kult, published 2 December 2015.
Read the review.


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