Luxembourg, with its 999 square miles (2,585 square kilometers) and 350,000 inhabitants, is among the smallest countries in the world. It is located in the center of Europe, between France, Belgium and Germany. Although small, Luxembourg is an independent and sovereign state. It is highly industrialized. Yet, thick forests and rolling hills make it a pleasant land. Happily, too, Luxembourg has a constitution that guarantees freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom to form corporations.
For centuries Luxembourg was proudly known as a Catholic stronghold. Today, however, the government financially supports, not only the Catholic Church, but also the Protestant and Jewish religions. In spite of the motto of Catholic Luxembourg, “We’ll remain what we are,” over 700 Luxembourgers today are advertising the good news of God’s Word from house to house as Jesus Christ did. How has this come about? The answer is found in the modern-day history of Jehovah’s witnesses.
THE KINGDOM MESSAGE REACHES LUXEMBOURG
Already in the years 1922 to 1925 brothers from Strasbourg, France, distributed Bible literature in Luxembourg. This distribution started with the tract entitled “A Challenge” and ended with “Ecclesiastics Indicted.” At this time there were none of Jehovah’s witnesses living in Luxembourg. However, in 1929 the Watch Tower Society’s office in Magdeburg, Germany, dispatched Brother August Riedmiller to Luxembourg as a pioneer. When he married a pioneer sister from Lorraine, France, in the summer of 1930, she joined him in that territory. They distributed the books The Harp of God, Deliverance, Creation and Government, also some booklets and the magazine The Golden Age. A pioneer sister from Danzig, Germany, served for a short period together with this couple, and Brother Schröder, another pioneer, also was dispatched from Magdeburg, Germany, to Luxembourg.
A wonderful instrument for proclaiming the message among the people was the Photo-Drama of Creation, presented in four parts. The office at Magdeburg, Germany, sent brothers to Luxembourg to show this extraordinary Drama that acquainted viewers with the divine purpose, taking them from creation to the end of Christ’s millennial reign. In the year 1930 the Photo-Drama was shown in the city of Luxembourg and at Esch-sur-Alzette, as well as in many other places. In Luxembourg city, more than 300 persons were present every evening. In Esch-sur-Alzette, too, there was great success. Many addresses were handed in, and these people were visited by Brother and Sister Riedmiller.
CATHOLIC OPPOSITION BEGINS
The Catholic Church, which had long held the monopoly in regard to religion in Luxembourg, took steps to try to stop the progress of the truth of God’s Word. At its instigation, police regulations were made to discourage people from viewing the Drama and to create the impression that it was prohibited. This impression was furthered by means of false reports in the Catholic press.
Nevertheless, using the addresses received at public meetings held after the Photo-Drama, pioneers were able to find the first persons in Luxembourg who were truly interested in the truth. In the south, the first Luxembourger who endeavored to become a true footstep follower of Christ was Fred Gores. How he got started is expressed by his following words:
“On one of the evenings, when public meetings were held, I got acquainted with a man in his middle thirties. And we both expressed the desire to convey to other people the new truth learned. After talking it over at my home, we informed Mr. Riedmiller of our determination. Shortly after that, Mr. Riedmiller brought along a large supply of booklets with the title ‘The Kingdom, the Hope of the World,’ some books and a so-called testimony card. As far as I remember, this testimony card was written in two languages: one side was German, and the other, French. The purpose of calling was mentioned on this card, together with a brief witness about the end of the world and the hope of a paradisaic earth.
“We beginners, my partner and I, one day took courage and went to a street we picked out to make our first try. No one had shown us how it was to be done. We had never done anything similar before. In spite of that, we took good courage and fully trusted in Jehovah. He would assist us, we thought to ourselves. And, indeed, Jehovah did help us in his own way. In a friendly manner we greeted the people and presented the testimony card. While the people were reading the card, we opened the suitcase and displayed our literature. It is noteworthy that, right from the beginning, we each went to the doors alone, without any fear that someone would ask questions that we might not be able to answer. We knew that it was the truth we represented. This strengthened us and made us confident, come what may.
“I well remember the first house I visited. A kindly man, of advanced age and with an artificial limb, at once accepted the book Creation and ordered a Bible. We had a friendly conversation and I promised to return to him as soon as possible to deliver the Bible . . .
“The joy to have had such a fine reception at the first house gave me the needed strength to continue, although in the next houses the people were skeptical, yes, even rejecting the message. After a short while, the police appeared and made a quick end to our work. They confiscated our suitcases with all the contents, drew up a protocol and ordered us to go home. What else could we do? Of course, we complained to Mr. Riedmiller about these experiences but he comforted us by supplying us with new literature. We bought a new suitcase—this time of cheap cardboard—and we tried again. Gradually we became wiser, and, after repeated confiscations of our literature and equipment, we started to hide the literature in the pockets of our overcoats and went from door to door without a suitcase. In this way we were less conspicuous.”
In Luxembourg city it was especially Eugen Reuter who started the proclamation work, in 1931, using the booklet The Kingdom, the Hope of the World. But opposition was encountered here too. Brother Reuter recalls: “Repeatedly Brother Riedmiller, as well as other pioneers, had been stopped by the police in their preaching activity from door to door because of the law on peddling. The proclamation of the truth proved to be a thorn in the flesh of the Catholic clergy in particular. Because of freedom of religion being guaranteed by the constitution, our preaching could not be stopped. Therefore, the pretext of peddling was used in an effort to stop the witnessing. The attempt was, however, without success. Because of the resistance, our zeal was stirred up. In spite of court convictions and, at times, acquittals, more and more interested persons had an active share in witnessing. The police accused us of peddling and taking orders for books.
“After three years of activity by Brother Riedmiller, an important countermeasure was taken by the authorities. Brother Riedmiller was escorted by two policemen to the German border and expelled from Luxembourg. Our lawyer stated that top officials had explained to him that August Riedmiller was deported from Luxembourg to protect the Catholic Church in the country. After several months the police urged Sister Emma Riedmiller to leave the country too. The third pioneer from Germany voluntarily left the country sometime later because of his impending expulsion.”
By this means opposers expected to stop the preaching activity. But they had not taken into consideration that the seed of truth in the meantime had become well rooted. In time, the first Luxembourgers were ready for water baptism. On September 25, 1932, in a private bathing establishment in Esch-sur-Alzette, the baptism was held. Now the foundation was laid for the theocratic organization in Luxembourg and nothing could stop the progress.
SUPERVISION FROM SWITZERLAND
In 1933 the work of Jehovah’s witnesses in Germany was banned by the Nazis. So the office in Bern, Switzerland, took care of the brothers and interested ones in Luxembourg. Legal battles also were directed from there, as well as meetings for Biblical instruction; and the publishers were aided to organize and strengthen themselves spiritually. Brothers were sent from Switzerland to Luxembourg at regular intervals to serve as public speakers. This brotherly assistance soon produced further fine results.
The fifteen publishers already engaged in field service in 1934 distributed 3,164 books and booklets during that year, despite tremendous difficulties and resistance. To reach the villages in the north, these fifteen publishers frequently had to cover eighty miles a day by bicycle. With great exertion, they gradually visited and preached in all the villages and cities of the country.
With the increasing distribution of literature, the police reports accumulated as well. The unanimous decisions of the Court of Peace were consistently rendered as “guilty of colportage.” Again and again the brothers appealed these decisions and so their cases got to the Court of Appeal and finally to the Supreme Court. Even these higher authorities upheld the decisions of the lower courts, and again the Witnesses were pronounced guilty.
But these courageous fighters gradually observed that the people to whom they preached were divided into two groups. One group, under the influence of the clergy, was unfriendly toward the Kingdom witnesses and frequently assaulted them at the doors. Stirred up by this group, some policemen even went so far as to try to intimidate the Kingdom publishers with the words: “If you place even a single book, we will hang you from the highest tree.” Other law-enforcement officers apologized and stated: “You understand, we were called and we must do our duty.”
In 1936 the number of Kingdom publishers grew to nineteen, divided among three congregations. It was in this year, too, that some of these publishers traveled to a larger foreign assembly for the first time and returned home with new strength to continue their activity. At the assembly, in Lucerne, Switzerland, they met Brother Rutherford, president of the Watch Tower Society for the first time. How impressive it was for the brothers to witness the courage of this fighter for Jehovah! Brother J. F. Rutherford told the delegates from Germany that when they returned to that “cunning old fox in his den,” Adolf Hitler, they should give notice that God’s kingdom rules and that no power of this world would be able to bring about the downfall of Jehovah’s king. Then he raised his arm, as was done in salute to Hitler, but declared, “Hail Christ.” All these experiences and talks were very upbuilding for the brothers from Luxembourg. They again took courage to continue their activity.
As they did so, in addition to using testimony cards, they made greater use of the portable phonograph to play Biblical discourses for listeners. This method brought much joy to the brothers in Luxembourg; by their using this means to preach, the officials could not hinder them so much.
Suddenly, on May 10, 1940, Luxembourg was surprised by an invasion. In fact, almost all Europe was flooded with German troops with one blow. There was not much time to think about it. In the city of Esch-sur-Alzette, the officials decreed that all inhabitants should take the necessary things and leave at once for the French border.
On that day the activity of most of Jehovah’s witnesses practically ceased in the country of Luxembourg and the publishers were dispersed like a flock of sheep without a shepherd. The individual publishers faced severe trials during the next five years. Well-known brothers, who took the lead, were taken into protective custody because of reports made by some Germans who had settled here and who served as spies for the German army. After several months in the prisons of Luxembourg and Trier, the brothers were released but forbidden to do any preaching. However, even during these crucial war years it was possible to do some underground work, and, as a result, a few new disciples were baptized. Two brothers from Luxembourg, suspected of having continued preaching, faced a specially severe test. They were the only Witnesses from Luxembourg sent to the concentration camps.
FAITH TRIED IN CONCENTRATION CAMPS
One of these two brothers, Victor Bruch, supplies this report:
“In the prison of Trier we were given the familiar form to sign. By my signature I would confirm that I had followed a doctrine of error, that I disowned my faith, that I did not possess any literature from the Watch Tower Society, that I would not distribute it anymore, that I would report anyone who approached me with literature, and that I would respect all German laws. The Gestapo tried to weaken us by all means. When I persistently refused to accept these offers by not signing the form, the Gestapo took me into the concentration camp in Buchenwald/Weimar, on January 2, 1941. First we two brothers were transferred to the penal settlement for three months and we had to work in a quarry, with poor food and not enough rest. I can never forget the following episode:
“When we arrived in Buchenwald, we were shaved bald, and chased naked to the bath across an icy street, then again across the street to the barracks where we were given clothes. There at a long counter we received from a prisoner our prisoner’s clothes, one piece after another, starting with the shorts. Behind this prisoner who supplied us with our things another prisoner stood, opposite me. Repeatedly he asked what there was new outside the camp. I did not reply. We were informed in prison that frequently the Gestapo disguised themselves in prisoner’s clothes in order to spy. I thought about this while he was asking and decided, ‘You’re not going to find out anything from me.’ As I received my final piece of clothing, he said to me: ‘You can talk to me, I am the same as you.’ It was indeed Brother Ernst Hassel from Saarbrücken. Later I understood this curiosity; the brothers had been in custody since 1937 and were cut off from the organization. The knowledge that one had was always pondered over and during the daily discussions at the various tables it was exchanged in fragments.
“After several months, it was in January 1942, the officials of the camp announced that if a prisoner possessed an additional pullover, besides the one received from the camp, he should hand it in immediately for the soldiers on the eastern front. Because all of Jehovah’s witnesses refused to supply even a handkerchief for war purposes they all had to stand for hours on the parade grounds on January 15, 1942. Then they took away the pullovers and, as a penalty, we had to work nights. Under floodlights we had to level a hilly area into a playing field. It was hard work after quitting time, with the soil frozen hard and with a temperature of −20 degrees Centigrade (−4 degrees Fahrenheit). Our shoes were taken away from us and we had to march wearing wooden clogs. But even during these hard times Jehovah assisted us. Only three weeks passed and all the clothing that had been taken away from us was placed in the prison block, neatly cleaned and repaired, with the remark that it was an overly hasty mistake. The officials in Berlin had not approved this method. . . .
“We were removed from our community block in the spring of 1943 and scattered in various political blocks. The camp management hoped to break the resistance of Jehovah’s witnesses in this way. But just the opposite occurred. Now we had a better chance to share our faith with others.
“In February 1944 craftsmen were needed in Lublin and so I was sent there. An effort was made to change us into being good Germans and not Luxembourgers anymore, much less witnesses of Jehovah. When I refused, I again had to go to a camp. My private clothes were torn from my body and I was brought to a secondary camp, in Pulawy. Here in Pulawy, a sawmill, we experienced terrible nights. The prisoners slept in a barracks together with the guards, separated from them only by a wooden partition. Almost every night there was repeated shooting between the partisans and the guards.
“As the Russians approached, we were deported to Auschwitz. Those brothers and sisters who had been in Auschwitz for a time had positions of trust. Several sisters were allowed to walk to the city without a guard to make purchases for their mistresses. In this way the sisters could contact brothers outside. They cared for a special, hard and dangerous job. They copied whole Watchtower articles into blue paper-covered school notebooks and tried to circulate them among as many as possible. I got some to read too. One theme I remember very well. It was ‘Consolation for the Dispersed Ones.’
“Again the Russians advanced. That meant for us a transfer to another area. It was a mad chase across Germany. Some of us were jammed into closed cattle cars and sent away. Our food for this journey was one loaf of bread. This had to last for three days. But in this case, too, we could rely on Jehovah’s wisdom. One brother told us: ‘If they already say three days, then we had better divide up our bread for six days.’ The fact was that ten days remained. At the stops we ate plantain (or ribwort), grass and anything that was growing near the railroad tracks, in order to keep from starving. On the eleventh day we arrived in Ravensbrück. More than 1,500 died of hunger during the last days of that trip. As soon as someone died, he was placed at the end of the railroad car and the carcasses were piled up in layers.
“In emergency barracks we were separated from the other prisoners by barbed wire. We had to be content with a half liter of vegetable soup and a slice of bread a day.
“Again the Russians seriously threatened the camp. This meant a transfer into another region. It was necessary to march for days. We brothers always tried to stick together. There were forty-nine brothers and one interested person who stuck together and encouraged one another. During one night there was shooting such as I had never heard before. When dawn broke we noticed, to our great astonishment, that the German guards had disappeared. After we washed ourselves, which for weeks had been very rare, we fifty went to the nearby village to find out what had happened. We observed there that all public buildings were occupied by Americans.
“Then we came together on a meadow at the outskirts of the village and a brother spoke a prayer of thanksgiving to Jehovah for His wonderful liberation. This took place on May 3, 1945, in Rubz. For days, we continued to march until the brothers gradually scattered so as to arrive at their homes. Jehovah had helped us to survive a difficult and trialsome time. This was possible only with his aid.
“On June 18, 1945, I arrived at home in Esch-sur-Alzette. To my greatest joy and gratitude, I there found my wife and children, who had arrived home only five days earlier than I. And this occurred after our being separated without any word from one another for almost two years.
“Through all these difficult years the text in Proverbs 3:5, 6 was a fine guide for me. It states: ‘Trust in Jehovah with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding. In all your ways take notice of him, and he himself will make your paths straight.’”
REORGANIZATION AFTER THE WAR
Shortly before the second world war, the Society’s office in Brussels, Belgium, had been instructed to supervise the activity of Jehovah’s witnesses in Luxembourg. Immediately after the war, this office dispatched a pioneer to Luxembourg. It was Brother Emil Schranz, the first Luxembourger pioneer. During the war he had served in Belgium. Now he visited all brothers known to him. Congregations were organized anew and the activity prospered. The year 1946 saw thirty active publishers, with a peak of thirty-nine.
Many organizational changes made after the war caused the work to grow rapidly. Instead of working with testimony cards and phonographs, the brothers themselves were enabled, through training received in the Theocratic Ministry School, to deliver public discourses and to give a witness at the doors. Also, the home Bible study activity progressed, and this caused tremendous prosperity.
An additional push for freedom of preaching was now advisable. It was decided to incorporate a nonprofit legal society to care for the Kingdom interests in a better way. On July 18, 1946, this important milestone was reached in the history of Jehovah’s witnesses in Luxembourg. Notice of legal registration was published in the Amtsblatt Memorial of October 23, 1946. This legal society has proved very useful to the brothers.
UPBUILT BY BROTHERS FROM BROOKLYN HEADQUARTERS
In 1947 there was another great event in the history of Jehovah’s witnesses in Luxembourg. The first large assembly was held there. Brothers F. W. Franz and Grant Suiter served the brothers with Scriptural words of counsel at this assembly. It was the first time that brothers from the Society’s Brooklyn headquarters had visited Luxembourg. A sister who was very young at that time later expressed her feelings about this occasion in these words:
“I cannot forget that these brothers had a meal together with us in the kitchen. I often thought that these brothers were used to speaking in larger and nicer halls than the one in Luxembourg, which was located beside a noisy bowling alley. But this did not hinder the two brothers from presenting a thorough witness and they did not complain in any way. On the morning of June 11, 1947, the baptism talk was delivered in French by a brother from Brussels and six brothers were baptized. This was for us a grand event. The public talk, delivered in German that evening by Brother Franz, had the theme ‘The Joy of All the People’ and was attended by 123 persons. Starting from this year, the brothers were encouraged to continue organizing larger meetings, such as circuit assemblies, which they did.
“Because of the fine success of this first big assembly, the brothers courageously organized and advertised the larger assemblies thereafter in the following way: A group of from four to six persons using bicycles with placards fastened on both sides rode about the town. All the streets were covered. Other brothers, wearing sandwich signs advertising the assembly, walked up and down the streets. Sometimes we were hit by stones, and almost always scolded.”
In March of 1949 the first Gilead School graduates, Brothers Nelson and Cummings, were sent to Luxembourg. They greatly strengthened the rather small organization, and through their initiative the street work with magazines was introduced. It served to advertise Jehovah’s kingdom more and more, but the Catholic Church showed a great desire to silence the witnessing activity.
The Society’s president, Nathan H. Knorr, was present at the first large international assembly held in Europe after the war, in Frankfurt am Main, August 24-26, 1951. Delegates from Luxembourg also attended. When Brother Knorr later stopped in Luxembourg to speak to the brothers, the occasion proved to be a great witness, and even today the brothers talk about it. This time it was possible to rent a nice hall, and the brothers endeavored to fix up everything the night before. But alas, the hall was used by other people till the last moment. Therefore our brothers had to put forth great effort. A conversation between two men who used the hall before us was overheard. One said to the other: “I am anxious to find out what the president of this society looks like.” A publisher who overheard this conversation was quick of mind and replied: “Oh, you don’t have to be anxious. The president is there, in front of the platform on a ladder, hanging some cloth with hammer and nails.” The two men were astonished. What a difference from the usual Catholic glorification of men! And on the following day one could see Brother Knorr as he rode a bicycle along with the brothers through the streets of the capital city to advertise his own talk. How fine and pleasant it was to observe that he himself engaged in the activity suggested from the assembly platform!
This short stopover by Brother Knorr proved to be a great blessing for the work in general and for this special meeting. The 205 in attendance who listened to his talk made up the largest theocratic meeting until that time in Luxembourg. All these events contributed to strengthening the internal organization, and in the same year the number of publishers increased to more than one hundred for the first time, as 113 publishers were active in the field service.
NOT PEDDLERS BUT PREACHERS
The years 1952 and 1953 brought big court cases again for the organization. Some publishers, among them minors, were stopped by the police as they engaged in their preaching activity in Fischbach, and an official report was made. They were accused of violating the law against peddling. When the case was presented, a young publisher defended herself so well before three judges that she was exonerated. But what happened to the older publishers? Because they were older persons they were found guilty during the same trial.
This decision caused a big change to take place for God’s people the following year, 1953. The Society’s lawyer distinctly impressed on the minds of the judges during the session in the Court of Appeal in Luxembourg that it did not make sense for the court in Mersch to exonerate one part of the group and find the other part guilty, since both groups did the same preaching work. This inconsistency even caused the public prosecutor to work in favor of the brothers. He himself proved to the high court that in this activity one cannot speak of “selling,” because this term includes a financial gain from which the seller lives. However, this is not the case with Jehovah’s witnesses, be they old or young, the public prosecutor argued. And what was the outcome this time? During its public session on March 26, 1953, the district court arrived at the following decision:
“In considering the facts that the latest Luxembourger Jurisprudence decided that the action of both appellants does not constitute any selling nor an offer to sell or take orders, there is consequently no violation of the law of 1.1.1850 about peddling. For this reason the first decision is reversed and both defendants are exonerated.”
Most of the police respected this great victory in behalf of Jehovah’s witnesses, and since that time no further court cases have arisen. The brothers are thankful to God that his people today enjoy religious liberty in Luxembourg.
It was at about the same time, in the year 1952, that the municipal government of the capital city granted the Witnesses use of the municipal banquet hall in the Clercle building, at the Paradeplatz. This event caused much astonishment because till then only the Catholics were accustomed to use it by permission of the government. From then on, the attitude of the authorities toward Jehovah’s witnesses became continually better and more tolerant.
BRANCH OFFICE ESTABLISHED
The year 1955 represented another milestone in strengthening the internal organization. After a stopover in Luxembourg in autumn of that year, Brother Knorr decided to open up a new branch office of the Watch Tower Society in Luxembourg. Thus that country would no longer be supervised by the Belgium branch office. This change resulted in enlarged activity. During the 1957 service year six active congregations had already been formed, and a peak of 230 publishers was reached. The magazine distribution increased from 16,157 in 1955 to 47,174 during 1956.
One who lives in such a small country as Luxembourg often thinks in small quantities. Therefore it is understandable that the sixteen delegates from Luxembourg who attended the 1958 international assembly in New York were astonished when they saw how large the organization was. They returned strengthened in their faith and had much to report to their fellow Witnesses there.
Brother Knorr visited Luxembourg again in 1960. The city of Luxembourg then gave Jehovah’s witnesses permission to use the city theater, and, on July 14, 502 persons attended the public talk. All of this, as well as the faith and patience of the local Witnesses, contributed to an increase to 303 publishers in 1961.
During the next year, eleven brothers from Luxembourg were called to the Kingdom Ministry School at the Society’s branch in Wiesbaden, Germany. This contributed very much to their training, which led to further progress in the organization. When they returned to their own congregations, they were able to take care of the Kingdom interests in an even better way.
PREACHING IN A VARIETY OF TONGUES
Although Luxembourg is a small country, foreigners from more than thirty nations are living there. When the Kingdom publishers go from house to house, it is not surprising for them to meet people speaking many different languages, so they have tried to advance the Kingdom interests among those various language groups. For instance, through patient, intensive visits it was finally possible in November 1963 to organize an Italian congregation with twelve publishers in the city of Luxembourg. In cooperation with the Society’s branch in Belgium, an Italian circuit assembly was held in Luxembourg for the first time in November 1967; 342 persons attended.
In this respect it is interesting to note that in Luxembourg the official language is French. But the people themselves speak the dialect of Luxembourg, which originated with the Celts and incorporates words from languages of neighboring lands.
In the neighboring country Belgium, where French is spoken, is a small territory consisting of many villages and towns where people still speak the German language. A few publishers were active among them, but they needed more opportunity to hear the good news in their own tongue. In the spring of 1965 it was decided that these people should be taken care of by the Luxembourg branch. By that October a congregation with twenty-two publishers was operating in the German-speaking area in Eupen. During May 1970, it was possible to organize a circuit assembly in this area.
However, the fine progress of the work directed from Luxembourg does not appeal to the opposer of God, Satan the Devil. He, too, has been active in many ways. The year 1965 was one of trials for the brothers. It has always been Satan’s tactic to sow misunderstandings, controversies and other problems among the brothers. This came increasingly upon the brothers in 1965. Some organizational changes were therefore made. Anton Letonja temporarily served as branch overseer for several months. Then Albert Steimann was sent to Luxembourg and was appointed as branch and district overseer. During this time of test, most brothers stood firm. Many understood much better the text in Psalm 127:1, where we read: “Unless Jehovah himself builds the house, it is to no avail that its builders have worked hard on it.” Jehovah’s organization has to be kept clean. A special pioneer who has served for eight years in the country remarked about this time, “The whole country prospered anew,” spiritually speaking. The year 1965 was crowned with a fine occasion, the first international assembly, where 3,835 delegates assembled for a spiritual banquet.
It was on June 5, 1968, that Brother Knorr arranged for the Society to purchase a building located in a very nice area of the capital city, for use as a branch office and missionary home. This building has contributed very much to the witness given and to further progress of the work. Alterations were also made to provide a very attractive Kingdom Hall. Stimulated by this building project, many other congregations seriously considered building their own Kingdom Halls.
While the Catholic Church has lost much of its former power and influence here, spiritual prosperity, progress and blessing abound among Jehovah’s worshipers. Most people that these call on are polite, but show little interest in God’s Word. This is not surprising, since the authenticity of the Bible is doubted among the clergymen. In fact, one cleric in Luxembourg city remarked that the Bible is a book written by men who just expressed their own religious opinions. No wonder church attendance has decreased!
In contrast, however, publishers of the Kingdom message are upholding the Scriptures and have shown their desire to have a greater share in Jehovah’s service. For example, during the month of June 1975 there was a peak of 790 Kingdom proclaimers in Luxembourg.
Back in 1958, a government official visited the Society’s branch office and was astonished over the progress of Jehovah’s witnesses. Confidentially he mentioned that the Witnesses were then the second-largest religion in Luxembourg and he suggested that the Witnesses ask the government to support the work financially.
That they have not done, of course. Their reliance is placed on Jehovah, to whom belong “the beasts upon a thousand mountains,” as well as “the productive land and its fullness.” (Ps. 50:10, 12) The fact that God is giving them the increase is evident in that 1,519 attended the celebration of the Lord’s Evening Meal on March 27, 1975. How many of these persons, or others, will yet join them in Jehovah’s service is not known. Nevertheless, they are determined to continue preaching the good news in Luxembourg until the work is done. For this unspeakable privilege and the rich blessings they enjoy, their gratitude and praise ascend to Jehovah, their loving heavenly Father.