There are some 165,000 Jehovah's Witnesses in Germany.
The number of children and youths among them is not recorded.
Once decried as a cult, the Jehovah's Witnesses have managed to successfully fight for the title of "statutory public body" in 12 of the 16 German states.
This gives them the same legal status as, for example, the Protestant church.
Like a faith-based dating manual, it includes tips on how to "get to know" the other person.
1) "Discuss something from the Bible together" 2) "Observe how the other person participates in meetings and sermons" 3) "Help clean the Kingdom Hall (a place of worship used by Jehova's witnesses) and with construction projects" How many German youths would rather sweep the floors of the Kingdom Hall than spend their summer days flirting at the swimming pool?
Every so often, there is an interview with a Jehovah's Witness.
The majority of those following the faith in Germany hail from the Ruhr region, which is densely populated and has relatively high unemployment. The girls' skirts might be a little longer and the children might look a bit more nicely coiffed, but it would be difficult to assign this group of people to any particular faith community.Members of the sect in Germany prefer to pair off their children within the faith community, and regional congresses make for prime matchmaking territory. Her hair is delicately pinned up, arranged in bud-like clusters. " Melanie, 17, was baptized as a Jehovah's Witness at 14.Like thousands of others, she has come to Dortmund with her family -- all of them strict believers, all of them dressed up for the special day -- for the annual North Rhine-Westfalia convention of Jehovah's Witnesses.Witnesses Beget Witnesses "I fell in love with a non-believer once but it didn't work," says Melanie.It's easier to be with someone who shares the same values.They hold their Bible in front of them like a silver tray: the word of Jehovah. There are passages explaining why nicotine is forbidden but a glass of wine at the end of the day permitted, why blood transfusions are to be avoided and why non-believers must be converted. They don't mention that the Protestant church has described the translation of the Bible used by Jehovah's Witnesses as inaccurate and uncritical.