“Persecuted for His Faith”
THE town of Cernobbio in northern Italy established a memorial site in a local park to remember victims of human rights violations. One of the plaques unveiled in their memory is dedicated to Narciso Riet. Born in Germany of Italian parents, Riet became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in the 1930’s. During the Hitler regime, Jehovah’s Witnesses were persecuted because they refused to put Hitler above the true God, Jehovah.
When the Gestapo discovered that Riet was involved in bringing copies of The Watchtower into the concentration camps, he fled to Cernobbio. There he was asked to translate The Watchtower into Italian and to distribute it to his fellow believers nearby. His energetic activities did not go unnoticed. An SS officer and his men burst into Riet’s home, arrested him, and seized the “criminal” evidence—two Bibles and a few letters! Riet was deported to Germany, incarcerated in the Dachau concentration camp, and executed shortly before the end of World War II. He was “persecuted for his faith,” says the Cernobbio plaque.
The faith of Narciso Riet and hundreds of other Witnesses who fell victim to Nazi persecution is an encouragement to Christians today to remain faithful to Jehovah, the only Personage in the universe worthy of their worship. (Revelation 4:11) Jesus said: “Happy are those who have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake.” God will remember their deeds and bless them for their courageous course.—Matthew 5:10; Hebrews 6:10.