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Jainism: An Introduction to Some Western Jains

Updated on July 8, 2018

Jainism was introduced to Germany and rest of European countries by some scholars of Indology in 17th to 19th Century. It was Virchand Gandhi, a Barrister from India who introduced this religion to North America and the world through World Parliament of Religions at Chicago in 1893. Barriester Champatray Jain, another Jain scholar from India, introduced Jainism to England.

Lot of research was done by European scholars in 18th to Early half of 20th Century. But all this was limited to promotion of just knowledge.

Then came the second half of last Century. A large number of Jains from India, Uganda, Kenya and some other countries migrated to Europe and North America. Although they were not interested in propagating Jainism in non-Jains, people of other faiths slowly got attracted towards this less known religion.A small but increasing number of people started to adopt Jainism.

Here I am introducing some of the great western individuals, who have converted to Jainism.

Italian Pop Singer Claudia Pastorino
Italian Pop Singer Claudia Pastorino

Pop Singer Claudia Pastorino

Claudia Pastorino is a famous Pop Singer from Italy. Claudia was born in Genova. She was attracted to Jainism and dedicated herself to study of this faith.

She has written many books on Jainism in Italian language.

She learned Prakrit language and translated Saman Suttam in Italian.

She also translated the famous book on Jainism, The Book of Compassion, in Italian language.

She works for Animal Rights and is a staunch vegetarian

Patrick Krueger from Germany
Patrick Krueger from Germany

Patrick Krueger from Germany

Patrick F. Krueger, born 1972 in Tübingen, is head of the Center for Jaina Studies (CfJS) of Freie Universität Berlin. He attended Rudolf Steiner School of Anthroposophy (Theosophy) until 1990 and spent afterwards several years in Sweden, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Afterwards he studied Ancient and Modern Scandinavian Philology, Norse History and Archaeology at Ernst-Moritz-Arndt Universität Greifswald and assisted in a research project on old Icelandic language (computational linguistics) as well as in the development of a dictionary of modern Icelandic language.

Subsequently, he graduated in History of Indian Art (including Sanskrit) and East Asian Art (including Tibetan language) at Freie Universität Berlin and Ancient and Modern History of South Asia at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

At Freie Universität Berlin he was introduced to Jainism and Jaina Studies by Prof. Klaus Bruhn who is one of the leading experts in Jainology and was once a student of Ludwig Alsdorf and Walther Schubring. Patrick Krueger is focused on Jaina Art, History and Religion. In 2011 he
founded the Center for Jaina Studies at the Department of History and Cultural Studies of Freie Universität Berlin. In addition to his academic activity he is committed to spread the knowledge of Jainism and Ahimsa to the non-academic public. Hence he joined in 2010 the team of the Jaina web portal and online magazine

Pierre Amiel France
Pierre Amiel France
Ba Ba Jainisme (Basics of Jainism) by Pierre Amiel
Ba Ba Jainisme (Basics of Jainism) by Pierre Amiel

Pierre Amiel A French Jain

Pierre Amiel is a retired Public Administrator from France. He first heard about Jainism at the age of 22. After retirement in 1993, he decided to promote Jainism in French language, and started to right articles in Jain Spirit, a Jain magazine published from England. in1998 his first book on Jainism, French translation of Lord Mahavira: A Study in Historical Perspective was published. In very next year, his another book Le Jainisme, Philosophie et Religion de L’Inde a translation of Dr. Vilas Sangave's English book Aspects of Jain Religion was published. In 2003, his own book Les Jains aujourd’hui dans le monde was published which later got translated in English and published as Jains Today in The World by a Jainology research Institute from India. In 2008 his another book B.A.-B.A. Jainisme was published. He has also introduced Tavarth Sutra, Samay Sar and Niyam Sar in French language.

He has given several lectures on Jainism in seminars.

Pierre Amiel became my penfriend in 90's. At that time, I remember, he wrote that he wanted to spread the message of Jainism in all the French Speaking world. He has really taken strong steps to fulfill his ambitions.

Dr. Michael Tobias
Dr. Michael Tobias
Life Force: The World of Jainism, a book by Dr. Michael Tobias
Life Force: The World of Jainism, a book by Dr. Michael Tobias

Film Maker Author Dr. Michael Tobias

Dr. Michael Tobias is a Film Maker, Author and Ecologist. He has written several books on Ecology, Animal Rights, Jainism and other subjects. One of his famous book on Jainism is Life Force: The World of Jainism, which is known as the Best book on Jainism.

He produced a film on Jainism Ahimsa –Nonviolence which was release all over United States and appreciated on large scale.

He regularly writes on various subjects in American print media, including the Forbes magazine.

Charlotte Laws, American Author
Charlotte Laws, American Author

Charlotte Laws: a Multi Dimensional Personality

Charlotte Laws is an American author and Animal Rights Activist. She is also a politician from Los Angeles.

She also host some TV shows and is an actress too.

She has written two books on Jains and Jainism.

Really she is a multi dimensional personality

Dr. Robert Zydenbos is a renowned scholar of Jainism and Dravidian studies. He was born in Canada and is of Dutch origin. He has written several books on Jainism, including Moksha in Jainism, and Jainism Today and its Future.

He regularly visits Dharmasthala and Shravanabelagola in Karnataka, India, the sacred places of Jains.

Dr Natalia Zheleznova from Russia
Dr Natalia Zheleznova from Russia

Dr Natalia Zheleznova: Russian Scholar

Dr Natalia Zheleznova is research scholar of Jainism inMoscow State University Russia. She has a deep study and faith in the literture of Acharya Kundkunda. Has visited Shravanabelagola. Recently she got Kund Kund Bharati Award from Kund Kund Bharati, a Prakrit research institute from New Delhi.

Dimitris Gf Jain from Greece
Dimitris Gf Jain from Greece

Dimitris Gf Jain: A Jain from Greece

Dimitris Gf Jain was born to orthodox Christian couple of Greece, but he never embraced Christianity due to philosophical reasons. He embraced his own lifestyle, and later got to know it matched with Jain philosophy and its teaching.

He is a Vegan Jain, knows Greek, English and Hindi languages. He is probably the only Jain in Greece.


Submit a Comment
  • profile image


    2 years ago

    we need to spread the principal of jainism in all over the world

  • jainismus profile imageAUTHOR

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 

    7 years ago from Pune, India

    Thank you Neeraj for reading and appreciating.

  • profile image

    Neeraj Kallimani 

    7 years ago

    Never knew Jainism is been embraced with such love by people of other nationalities. Thanks for bringing this to light.

    I have also read many of your other articles and they make real sense. Continue your good work and thanks again.

  • profile image

    Jain global - peace and pride 

    7 years ago

    Since Jainism, as the third oldest religion on Earth (following Zurasth was spread throughout India 500 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, the values passed down by our 24 Tirthankars and Jain monks had progressed this movement of increasing worshippers and followers of Lord Mahavir and his predecessor: Lord Parshwanath, because they brought not only (Ahinsa) and pure vegetarianism but their own theory of karma (for our good and bad karmas, the reaction will be dealt with in the same lifetime as a serve) along with 5 values(AGAINST lying, possessiveness, theft, adultery and violence) to the world to remind regions that "god" isn't the sole creator of this universe, their modern thinking of humanity prevails and we can all, as human beings, reach enlightenment of self-study this was thousands of years before the birth of younger religions like Christianity, Islam or Sikhism.... We believe anyone who learns about Jainism+ Mahavir bhagwan's sacrifice before he was Prince and after he became immortal, feels more than blessed or inspired worldwide.

  • profile image

    dinesh jain 

    7 years ago

    though i am jain by birth,but i really got its real feel during the Ist year of my engg. graduation. i was deeply influenced by its universal principals, one being that every living being howsoever small may become GOD.

  • profile image

    ravinder jain 

    7 years ago

    we are feeling happy and welcome in jainisam.our friend took visit india for tirth yatera

  • profile image

    Ramshetty DS 

    7 years ago

    I am a jain and glad to know that jainism is becoming global religion

  • jainismus profile imageAUTHOR

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 

    8 years ago from Pune, India

    Thank you all for the comments

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Great to see that Jainism is now global.

  • profile image

    pradeep m. jain 

    8 years ago

    amaziiiiiiiiiiiing work mahavirji

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Jainism had been and will be one of the most truthful ,scientific and non violent religion of all..


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