Countries With the Largest Jehovah's Witness Populations

A sign for a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in London, England. Editorial credit: 1000 Words /
A sign for a Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses in London, England. Editorial credit: 1000 Words /

Jehovah's Witnesses are a religious group with populations distributed across the world. Jehovah's Witnesses have distinct beliefs other than those of mainstream Christianity. Elders in Warwick, New York form their governing body which through bible interpretations is responsible for doctrine establishment. This denomination traces its existence back to the 1870s when it was founded by the co-founder of the Zion’s Watch Tower Tract Society, Charles T. Russel. Immortality of the soul, hellfire and trinitarianism are doctrines that they consider unscriptural. For proper worship, Jehovah Witnesses consider the use of God’s name very important. Across the globe, they have outstanding features which include the refusal of blood transfusions and military service, literature distribution containing interpretation of the bible, door-to-door preaching, failure to observe holidays like Christmas and Easter and preference of use of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures which is their own Bible translation.

Countries With the Largest Jehovah's Witness Populations

North America

The United States of America and Mexico have the largest Jehovah’s Witness populations not only in North America but in the world. They have 1,232,293 and 871,207 peak publishers respectively, according to Watch Tower Society of Pennsylvania. In the U.S., this comprises of an approximate 0.8% of the total population. This large population is attributed to attention brought about by religious persecution experienced the 20th century as described by Archibald Cox, a former U.S. Solicitor General.

South America

Brazil, which geographically covers almost half of the South American continent, has the world's third largest Jehovah’s Witness population accounting for 858,799 peak publishers. It has about 800,000 Bible studies hosted in 11,000 congregations. With this immense growth, the denomination has embarked on application of construction teams to increase the number of kingdom halls in the country. Other nations like Colombia, Argentina and Venezuela have 173,802, 150,823 and 149,355 peak publishers respectively.


Among the 15 countries with the largest populations are four African countries led by Nigeria which has 381,398 peak publishers. The Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Angola take positions 6, 9 and 14 in the world with 216,696, 191,311 and 143,322 peak publishers respectively. In Nigeria the ration of Jehovah’s witness to the general population is 1:500, which has facilitated preaching and subsequent growth in numbers.


Italy, Germany and Ukraine are the only European nations among the top 15 countries in the world with large populations of Jehovah’s witness. They have documented 251,192, 165,470 and 140,300 peak publishers each. This low numbers in comparison with the American continents is part due to the rampant Christianity especially Catholicism in Europe.


Japan has the seventh largest Jehovah’s Witness population in the world (213,473 peak publishers). After the end of the Second World War, which left the country in devastation, several religions like Jehovah’s Witness erupted and continued to grow to date. Conferment of purpose to the people from interpretation of life was welcomed by the Japanese. The other country in Asia with a high population is the Philippines with 210,914 peak publishers.


Despite criticisms and setbacks associated with the Jehovah Witnesses, there is a continued and increased presence in the world attributed to their firm beliefs and persistence. They have occasionally found themselves in confrontation with other religious groups due to bible interpretations. They do not salute to flags due to objection to military service, which sometimes causes conflict with governmental bodies. These controversies are major setbacks in their growth.

Countries With the Largest Jehovah's Witness Populations

RankCountryNumber of Peak Publishers
1United States1,232,293
6Democratic Republic of the Congo216,696

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