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Markus, a student who left the Jehovah's Witnesses, says: "You try finding someone willing to put up with all of this crap!
" Since his birth, he had been dragged to meetings. And when he brought his first girlfriend home, his father promptly sent her packing.
"This is our big family reunion," says Michael Krenzer, a spokesman for the Jehovah's Witnesses in Dortmund.
And since the family must expand, "many Witnesses naturally meet their future spouses here," says Uwe Langhals, another spokesman, who has been a Jehovah's Witness since he was 15.
No premarital sex and countless hours of Bible study.
These are just some of the conditions those who fall for a Jehovah's Witness must adhere to. She has painted her fingernails, polished her patent leather shoes and donned a new dress from H&M.
Yet many of them are victims of this community, which promises paradise -- but for many, becomes a hell on earth.
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.
Every so often, there is an interview with a Jehovah's Witness.
These always follow the same format: Asked to tell about his missionary work, the interviewee enthuses about the experience -- it's wonderful.
How about waking up near to the beach, look no further.