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Jehovah’s Witnesses Returning to In-Person Meetings

After Two Years Virtual, Congregations Will Meet Together Again Beginning April 1

All congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses across the world are being encouraged to
begin holding in-person meetings during the week of April 1.

After Two Years Virtual, Congregations Will Meet Together Again Beginning April 1 (Courtesy JW.org)

For most of the last two years, buildings for worship have remained closed globally due to
the risks associated with meeting in person. Jehovah’s Witnesses in the U.S. also
suspended their public ministry on March 20, 2020. Since that time, they have carried on
their ministry through letters.

Lloyd and Kim Gill from Baltimore County, Maryland, have been attending meetings since the 1970s. “I am looking forward to the heartfelt joy of seeing our friends in person, enjoying a warm hug or handshake, and hearing their voices as we sing,” said Kim. Reflecting on the transition from in-person to virtual, Lloyd said, “We missed the warm personal interactions that characterized our meetings.”

For most of the last two years, buildings for worship have remained closed globally due to the risks associated with meeting in person. Jehovah’s Witnesses in the U.S. also suspended their public ministry on March 20, 2020. Since that time, they have carried on their ministry through letters and phone calls while holding twice-weekly meetings in a virtual format.

Average attendance at these meetings exceeded 1.5 million each week in the U.S., even though there are fewer than 1.3 million Jehovah’s Witnesses in some 13,000 congregations.  

“There is a collective shout of joy among Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world right now,” said Robert Hendriks, U.S. Spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “While we have prospered in many ways as individuals and congregations using technology to bring us together, nothing can adequately replace being together in person. We have longed for this moment for the better part of two years.”

The move back to in-person meetings coincides with two global events being held in all 120,000 congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The first is a special lecture scheduled in most congregations for April 10, 2022, entitled, “Where Can You Find Real Hope?” Additionally, the annual commemoration of the death of Jesus Christ will be held on April 15, 2022, the very day he sacrificed his life 1,989 years ago. Both of these gatherings will be held in person at local Kingdom Halls with live speakers. No collections are ever taken.

“The timing of resuming in-person meetings could not be better,” said Hendriks. “Bringing everyone back together for these special events will have a powerful effect on the worldwide congregation.”Guidelines for holding “hybrid” meetings have been sent to all congregations in the United States. Over the past six months, many Kingdom Halls have been equipped with the required technology to hold productive meeting that allows for in-person and remote phone calls while holding twice-weekly meetings in a
virtual format. Average attendance at these meetings exceeded 1.5 million each week in
the U.S., even though there are fewer than 1.3 million Jehovah’s Witnesses in some
13,000 congregations.


“There is a collective shout of joy among Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world right
now,” said Robert Hendriks, U.S. Spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “While we have
prospered in many ways as individuals and congregations using technology to bring us
together, nothing can adequately replace being together in person. We have longed for
this moment for the better part of two years.”

Courtesy JW.org


The move back to in-person meetings coincides with two global events being held in all
120,000 congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The first is a special lecture scheduled in
most congregations for April 10, 2022, entitled, “Where Can You Find Real Hope?”


Additionally, the annual commemoration of the death of Jesus Christ will be held on April
15, 2022, the very day he sacrificed his life was 1,989 years ago. Both of these gatherings will
be held in person at local Kingdom Halls with live speakers. No collections are ever taken.
“The timing of resuming in-person meetings could not be better,” said Hendriks. “Bringing
everyone back together for these special events will have a powerful effect on the
worldwide congregation.”


Guidelines for holding “hybrid” meetings have been sent to all congregations in the United
States. Over the past six months, many Kingdom Halls have been equipped with the
required technology to hold a productive meeting that allows for in-person and remote
attendees, all of whom can participate in the discussions. A pilot program was held in October and November in countries around the world to assess how this could be done most effectively. The lessons learned in these pilot meetings have helped form the plan for moving forward with reopening all Kingdom Halls, where the law permits.

“It has been heartwarming to see the peace and unity among Jehovah’s Witnesses during
this very divisive time,” said Hendriks. “We know resuming in-person meetings will bring
us even closer together. We’re anxious to see one another again.”

As of now, Jehovah’s Witnesses have no plans to resume their public ministry, though
their “alternative” ministry continues. In fact, since the start of the pandemic through
November 2021 in the U.S. alone, Jehovah’s Witnesses spent more than 400 million hours
in virtual Bible studies, writing letters of comfort to their neighbors and making phone
calls. They have released 77 new language translations of the Bible and held two global
virtual conventions in more than 500 languages.


“No time was wasted in the past two years,” said Hendriks. “Our congregants have been
busy and productive helping each other and their neighbors through this most
challenging time. That’s what love and unity are all about.”
For more information on Jehovah’s Witnesses go to jw.org.

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