Jehovah’s Witnesses have been present in Germany for well over one hundred years.
As a Christian religious community, we have always promoted and spread Christian biblical values. For doing so, we endured severe oppression and persecution during the National Socialist dictatorship and the East German regime.
After the reunification of Germany, we endeavoured to convert the legal entities of the religious association into bodies regulated by public law.
This led to a legal battle that lasted more than 15 years and resulted in Jehovah’s Witnesses being awarded corporate rights in the State of Berlin in 2006 (initial award).
Eleven years later, the last German federal state finally awarded corporate rights on 27 January 2017. This brought the entire process to a successful conclusion for Jehovah’s Witnesses. Since that time, we have been a corporation under public law and recognised as a religious association throughout Germany.
During the 26 years of legal proceedings, it was repeatedly established that there are no doubts about the law-abidance of our religious association. The accusations raised throughout the legal procedure were also proved to be groundless. The pages that follow provide more details about the initial and secondary awarding of corporate rights, as well as a chronological summary of our history in Germany.