Friends of Man

A unique Christian denomination birthed from the Swiss Watch Tower Society, embracing millennialism, restorationism, and a vision of a philanthropic assembly.

The Friends of Man is a Christian denomination established in 1919 by Frédéric-Louis-Alexandre Freytag, who was previously associated with the Swiss branch of the Watch Tower Society since 1912. This group initially bore names like the Angel of the Lord, inspired by a verse from the Apocalypse, and the Angel of Jehovah Bible and Tract Society before becoming known as the Church of the Kingdom of God or the Philanthropic Assembly of the Friends of Man.


The inception of Friends of Man traces back to Freytag’s departure from the Watch Tower Society after publishing his personal interpretations and proclaiming himself as the rightful successor to Charles Taze Russell. Following his expulsion by Joseph Rutherford in 1920, Freytag initiated his own publications, including “The Message of Laodicea,” and journals like “The Monitor of the Reign of Justice” and “Newspaper for All.” The movement saw its first community established in Turin, Italy, in 1946. After Freytag’s death in 1947, the leadership saw several successors, with the movement rebranding as “Amis sans frontières” in 1984.

Beliefs and Practices

The Friends of Man incorporate Christian doctrines of restorationism and millennialism, emphasizing the transformation of humanity’s character through Gospel practice. They hold a unique belief that only 144,000 individuals will ascend to heaven, adhere to an antitrinitarian view, and promote vegetarianism. Their philanthropic efforts have been significant since 1951, focusing on aiding the disadvantaged and disaster relief. The denomination celebrates specific feasts and structures their meetings around the study of Freytag’s writings, though certain rituals like baptism and the Last Supper are exclusive to the Swiss branch.


The Friends of Man have undergone several leadership transitions, currently overseen by an elder in each community. Their global headquarters is located in Cartigny, Switzerland, with a significant presence in France and other countries. The denomination organizes annual congresses featuring speeches, artistic galas, and concerts, fostering a sense of community among its 71,500 members spread across twenty countries.

This denomination’s journey from its foundation by Freytag, through its development under subsequent leaders, to its present-day practices and organizational structure, highlights a unique path within Christian denominational history. The Friends of Man’s emphasis on millennialist beliefs, philanthropy, and a distinctive ecclesiastical organization sets it apart as a notable example of religious innovation and continuity​​​​​​.

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