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Eastern Europe

 
Ukrainian evangelical Christians celebrate the Reformation on the streets
Ukrainian evangelical Christians celebrate the Reformation on the streets

About 160,000 Christians gathered in Kiev. Evangelicals are “grateful for the opportunity and freedom to share the Good News in Ukraine today”.

 
 
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Interview

 
Welsh evangelical leaders gathered to equip each other for mission
Welsh evangelical leaders gathered to equip each other for mission

More than 350 attended the first Wales Leadership Forum conference. Chris Street: “Current generations know very little or nothing about the Bible and who Jesus is”.

 
 
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Reformation 2017

 
‘Soli Deo Gloria’ through 120 voices
‘Soli Deo Gloria’ through 120 voices

“The goal is not only to sing, but to tell what God has done in our lives”, says the director of the Choir of the Reformation of Galicia, one of several groups touring in Spanish regions this year.

 
 
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Faith and the workplace

 
“I get most of the questions about my faith at work”
“I get most of the questions about my faith at work”

Slavik Lytvynenko is an Ukranian research professor in Prague. “Athanasius taught me that work has meaning only when done with the divine perspective in mind”.

 
 
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Terrorist attack

 
Barcelona attack: 13 killed and many injured
Barcelona attack: 13 killed and many injured

One person dies and five terrorists are killed in Cambrils as they were carrying out a second terrorist attack. More than 100 people have been injured in the Las Ramblas jihadist terrorist attack. 

 
 
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Summer

 
Speaking about Jesus in Mallorca’s beaches
Speaking about Jesus in Mallorca’s beaches

German Christian ministry Gospel Tribe reaches out to young tourists through worship services, prayer and personal testimonies. “Jesus would have been here, He cared about people”.

 
 
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Italy

 
Hope in the midst of ruins
Hope in the midst of ruins

Pastor Pietro Evangelista runs an association to help those affected by the earthquakes in Italy. "We want them to know that the evangelical church is present", he says.

 
 
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Reformation 2017

 
Big week of celebrations in Spain gathered thousands of evangelicals
Big week of celebrations in Spain gathered thousands of evangelicals

The 8th Evangelical Congress was held, a Festival of Hope celebrated Jesus in the centre of Madrid. A commemorative service gathered 8,000. “Spanish society benefits from the action of evangelical churches”, says Justice Minister.

 
 
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Faith in action

 
Young evangelicals in France come together to share God’s love
Young evangelicals in France come together to share God’s love

Hundreds of young participants meet in Le Havre to receive training, enjoy fellowship, take part in social projects and share the gospel. A big celebration on France’s national day will close the week.

 
 
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Arts

 
Zwingli play successful in home place Zurich
Zwingli play successful in home place Zurich

A mystery play narrates the Swiss Reformer’s life from the point of view of Anna Reinhart, his wife. 

 
 
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Barcelona

 
Spanish nurses presented a paper on the Reformation at international congress
Spanish nurses presented a paper on the Reformation at international congress

“Nursing Theses: 500 years after Luther’s 95 theses” was the paper presented by evangelical professionals at a congress with 8,200 nurses from 135 countries.

 
 
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Italy

 
A blacksmith of the faith in Trento
A blacksmith of the faith in Trento

Evangelical pastor Hector Peñafiel, a welding master, uses his skills to teach his profession and share the gospel with asylum seekers. “They can plan their future now”, he says.

 
 
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Freedom of speech

 
Protests against a Catholic bishop for his views about homosexuality
Protests against a Catholic bishop for his views about homosexuality

A bishop in Spain was booed by 100 people after a Sunday worship service. “Debate is being replaced by coercion”, says Jaume Llenas, secretary general of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance.

 
 
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Intolerance

 
Afghan Christian in Germany presumably killed because of her faith
Afghan Christian in Germany presumably killed because of her faith

Friends and church leaders supported the two children of the “exemplary” mother in the funeral. The police talks about a probable “religious motivation” of the Muslim attacker.

 
 
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Bible

 
Reading John’s Gospel in the former Madrid Inquisition square
Reading John’s Gospel in the former Madrid Inquisition square

Around 200 people read the Bible publicly in Madrid’s Main Square, a place where “heretics”, followers of the Reformation, were condemned.

 
 
Arrow
Valladolid (Spain)

 
Musical tribute to the Spanish ‘heretics’
Musical tribute to the Spanish ‘heretics’

The Ensemble Bohórquez recounted the history of salvation through the pieces of classical Protestant composers. The concert took place in Valladolid, a key Spanish city in the times of the Reformation.

 
 
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Easter

 
Spanish newspaper distributes ‘Jesus’ film to readers
Spanish newspaper distributes ‘Jesus’ film to readers

Regional newspaper ‘El Diari de Terrassa’ gives 3,000 copies of the movie to its readers. The idea comes from an evangelical church in the city.

 
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France

 
Evangelical church attacked near Paris
Evangelical church attacked near Paris

The pastor of the Armenian Evangelical Church of Alfortville and his wife were sleeping in the first floor when the fire started. It is the third arson attack against an evangelical church in France in the last 12 months.

 
 
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Theology and psychology

 
Who is pastoring the pastors?
Who is pastoring the pastors?

Church leaders are usually “at the limit of their emotional and spiritual resources”, says José Hutter, theologian and pastor in Spain. A national seminar will address the challenges of Christian leadership. 

 
 
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Metal

 
Brian ‘Head’ Welch: “I just tried Jesus and found the answer for life”
Brian ‘Head’ Welch: “I just tried Jesus and found the answer for life”

After the Madrid show of ‘Nu Metal’ band, Korn, the guitar player met a group of fans and told them how Christ changed his life. Watch the video.

 
 
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Barcelona

 
“How did the elderly people in your church meet Jesus?”
“How did the elderly people in your church meet Jesus?”

A local church dedicates special service to honour the elderly in the community. “In Barcelona, there are 23,000 people over 85 living alone.”

 
 
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Barcelona

 
Evangelical church in Barcelona smeared with offensive graffiti
Evangelical church in Barcelona smeared with offensive graffiti

“We see this as an opportunity to make ourselves known [...] after every attack, there is an opportunity to share the gospel”, pastor Jorge Álvarez says.

 
 
Arrow
René Mansilla

 
International Church in Karlsruhe
International Church in Karlsruhe

Today’s multicultural European society seeks to integrate the foreigner yet often fails because of the differences that exist between cultures. We believe that this is a challenge that God is putting in front of the churches of today.

 
 
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Hungary

 
Christians working with refugees met for European roundtable
Christians working with refugees met for European roundtable

About 160 participants from 28 countries met in Hungary for practical training, resources and networking. It has been the most attended Refugee Highway Partnership Roundtable so far.

 
 
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Farming

 
Switzerland: 800 Christian farmers prayed together
Switzerland: 800 Christian farmers prayed together

The Farmers Conference showed how the Christian faith is lived out in the world of agriculture. New generations shared their views.

 
 
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Sexual exploitation

 
“Pasarea”, a short film to denounce human trafficking
“Pasarea”, a short film to denounce human trafficking

Sexual slavery is “still taboo in our society”, says Mikaela Bruce, director of “Pasarea” (The Bird). It tells the story of a Romanian girl trafficked into Spain for prostitution.

 
 
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Expository preaching

 
Preachers circles in Spain
Preachers circles in Spain

The participants of the “Preaching Workshop” come from “a wide diversity of backgrounds and denominations”. One of its aims is “to train a whole new generation of Bible preachers in Spain”.

 
 
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Basel

 
End-of-year youth camp challenged 6,500 to rediscover ‘The Book’
End-of-year youth camp challenged 6,500 to rediscover ‘The Book’

The youth event in Switzerland had live music, international speakers and time to study Scripture in small groups. “We love the #Bible and we are fascinated by it”.

 
 
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Geneva

 
Praying for Europe in Calvin’s cathedral
Praying for Europe in Calvin’s cathedral

Hundreds of Christians gathered in St. Pierre Cathedral in Geneva, to pray for Europe. Aitor De la Camara, of the movement 'Prayer 24-7' in Spain, recalls the event.

 
 
Arrow
Cities

 
Flashmobs denounce persecution of Christians
Flashmobs denounce persecution of Christians

About 400 Christians publicly showed their solidarity with the Persecuted Church in three Swiss cities on Human Rights Day.

 
 
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Surf and faith

 
“God is the creator of the world and, therefore, of the waves”
“God is the creator of the world and, therefore, of the waves”

Christian Surfers seeks to make the practice and culture of surfing consistent with the values of Jesus Christ. “This is about loving our neighbor and serving others”.

 
 
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Castelldefels (Spain)

 
“I am imperfect, I am unique, I am valid”
“I am imperfect, I am unique, I am valid”

The Evangelical Church of Castelldefels (Spain) leads “Imperfect”, a new restaurant to help people at risk of social exclusion.

 
 
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Europe

 
Thousands of Christians marched against slavery
Thousands of Christians marched against slavery

Walk for Freedom in many European cities dennounced that “every 30 seconds, someone becomes a victim of modern-day slavery”. Churches had Freedom Sunday special worship services.

 
 
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Students and young graduates

 
“The Bible and the Gospel have something to say about modern economy”
“The Bible and the Gospel have something to say about modern economy”

Students and young graduates will participate in the Biblenomics conference in Berlin (Germany), October 21-23. Economist Arttu Makipaa shares the vision behind this European network. 

 
 
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Canary Islands

 
“Guaguaseo”, a bus to serve the homeless
“Guaguaseo”, a bus to serve the homeless

Hairdressing and other services will be offered in a bus driving through the streets of Fuerteventura (Spain). A project of a local evangelical church.

 
 
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Switzerland

 
‘Let’s have an open and peaceful discussion’
‘Let’s have an open and peaceful discussion’

A Swiss Evangelical leader whose house was attacked by pro-abortion radicals invites the aggressors to sit down around a table.

 
 
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Germany

 
‘Young Life’ leaders from 27 countries met in Frankfurt
‘Young Life’ leaders from 27 countries met in Frankfurt

The annual theological training conference is intended to build a deeper Biblical understanding, and give a contemporary evangelistic vision to young leaders.

 
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Italy

 
From Wittenberg 1517 to Trent 2017
From Wittenberg 1517 to Trent 2017

Evangelical Reformed Baptist Churches gathered in Trent to express their commitment to Protestant values. Evangelicals celebrate Reformation in Rome’s Martin Luther Square.

 
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Arrow
Pontevedra

 
Portuguese and Galician Christians gather for annual regional meeting
Portuguese and Galician Christians gather for annual regional meeting

The gatherings, which started in 1967, are promoted by the Scripture Union of Galicia (Spain) and Portugal, the evangelical church of Marín and the Brethren Assemblies.

 
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Madrid

 
Spain: 700 teenagers thought through Christianity’s big questions
Spain: 700 teenagers thought through Christianity’s big questions

"Many found answers, and many have come to know the real Jesus better”, says Gerson Mercadal, coordinator of Reboot Spain, an event organised by Fundación RZ, Ravi Zacharias Ministries in Spain.

 
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Czech Republic

 
Camp for teenagers helps churches develop young leaders
Camp for teenagers helps churches develop young leaders

And adventure camp is the first part of a Czech training programme for Christians aged 13 to 17. “Pastors and Christian leaders shared with them stories of their calling and lives”.

 
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Reactions

 
Spanish evangelicals: “We lift our prayers to God for Barcelona”
Spanish evangelicals: “We lift our prayers to God for Barcelona”

“We identify with the pain of the families”, the Spanish Evangelical Alliance says. Churches, denominations and regional evangelical bodies also express their grief.

 
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Houston

 
Former inmates clean cars to thank the police
Former inmates clean cars to thank the police

"We have always made things dirty because we were outside of Christ, so we do this a sign of being clean and washed and made new”, a former prisoner says.

 
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Media

 
Spanish tv channel presents Hillsong as a “hipster cult”
Spanish tv channel presents Hillsong as a “hipster cult”

The La Sexta news service compares Hillsong in Spain to Scientology. No evidence is offered in two journalistic pieces full of misconceptions.

 
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Conference

 
Keswick Convention calls Christians to be “captivated by God’s Word”
Keswick Convention calls Christians to be “captivated by God’s Word”

Theologian Don Carson spoke on the freedom offered by the gospel. Rising numbers of children and youth among the 4,000 conventioners visiting the English Lake District each week.

 
Arrow

 
I am not on sale
I am not on sale

Young Christians gathered at Madrid’s central square Sol to denounce human trafficking. A flashmob highlighted the work of three evangelical NGOs which support women who escape sexual slavery in Spain.

 
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Evangelical presence

 
Old pencil factory becomes Christian convention centre
Old pencil factory becomes Christian convention centre

The Keswick Convention (UK), now 142 years old, seeks to serve “the next generation of Christians” through the Derwent project. The gifts of hundreds of small donors will make it a reality.

 
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Bern

 
Kids celebrate Christian youth movements in front of Swiss parliament
Kids celebrate Christian youth movements in front of Swiss parliament

About 1,400 children and teenagers (with parents and youth leaders) asked the Swiss government to readmit nine Christian youth organisations that have been expelled from the national “Youth + Sport” programme.

 
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Hamburg

 
German Christians: ‘Pray for the G20 summit’
German Christians: ‘Pray for the G20 summit’

Violence could break out in Hamburg as thousands protest against world political leaders. Christians set up five Houses of Prayer.

 
Arrow

 
The abilities of Mefi-Boset
The abilities of Mefi-Boset

Christian ministry Mefi-Boset has been working with people with intellectual disabilities in their leisure time, and supporting their families in Terrassa and Barcelona (Spain) for 20 years. 

 
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Bulgaria

 
Bible reading marathon in Sofia celebrates 1,150 years of Cyrillic Alphabet
Bible reading marathon in Sofia celebrates 1,150 years of Cyrillic Alphabet

Seven hours of continuous reading of the Holy Scriptures in the Bulgarian capital. “We desperately need to recover our Christian identity”, organizers said.

 
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Social media

 
‘Mosaico’: YouTubers against the flow
‘Mosaico’: YouTubers against the flow

Twelve young Christians from across Spain create common platform to share videos faith and daily life. 

 
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Faith and sports

 
Basketball in prison, six years of witness
Basketball in prison, six years of witness

Young volunteers organise basketball games in a prison of Barcelona, sharing time and Christian values with the inmates.

 
Arrow

 
‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country
‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country

Bilbao hosted the Spanish Evangelical Alliance's annual meeting (assembly). Politicians, professors and evangelical representatives shared views on social reconciliation. The theme was also analysed from a theological perspective and in workshops. 

 
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Refugees

 
Asylum seeker who attacked woman reading Bible has “personal problems”, says police
Asylum seeker who attacked woman reading Bible has “personal problems”, says police

The incident will not have much influence on the public opinion, pastor in Austria tells Evangelical Focus.

 
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Sexual slavery

 
Evangelical activists denounce death of a woman in a brothel
Evangelical activists denounce death of a woman in a brothel

Ionela Olguta (from Romania) died in the basement of a night club in Málaga. The Spanish Evangelical Anti-Trafficking Network demands “zero tolerance against trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women”.

 
Arrow

 
The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible
The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi spoke about how the biblical worldview shaped the West. 300 professionals attended annual GBG meeting on faith and work in Cullera (Spain). Photos: J.P. Serrano, S. Vera.

 
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Movement Day Global Cities

 
Being a Christian in a big city
Being a Christian in a big city

In New York, 3,500 people from over ninety countries were challenged to have an impact in urban areas in the spheres of action, social involvement and culture. Bill Hybels, Timothy Keller and Mac Pier among more than 50 speakers.

 
Arrow
Málaga 

 
Mission at the workplace
Mission at the workplace

The Business Ministry Training took place in Málaga, to connect European ministries focused on the business world.

 
Arrow
Madrid

 
Short films to fight against corruption
Short films to fight against corruption

Spanish Christians organised a short films contest about daily corruption. Members of the “#Breakupwithit” campaign were part of the jury.

 
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Culture

 
Luther Bible protagonist at Frankfurt book fair
Luther Bible protagonist at Frankfurt book fair

The book fair has more than 7,000 exhibitors on site. The German Bible Society offered a special beer in celebration of the 500 years since the start of the Protestant Reformation.

 
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A faith minority

 
Photographic archive narrates history of Spanish evangelicals
Photographic archive narrates history of Spanish evangelicals

From old Protestant manifestos to pictures of the latest musical events, the Evangelical Documental Graphic Archive has worked to capture the public presence of the evangelical churches.

 
Arrow
Madrid

 
Spanish youth leaders reflect on the mission of the church
Spanish youth leaders reflect on the mission of the church

Hundreds gathered to learn, celebrate Jesus and share experiences during the Youth Specialities Europe summit. Local churches should be “communities of forgiveness” for everyone.

 
Arrow
La Aracuania (Chile)

 
Another evangelical church is burnt in Chile
Another evangelical church is burnt in Chile

Eighteen churches has been burnt in the region. Pamphlets of the Weichan Mapu Auka organization, demanding freedom "for the Mapuche political prisoners" were found nearby.

 
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Freedom of speech

 
Evangelism is “illegal advertising”, says Spanish town
Evangelism is “illegal advertising”, says Spanish town

Authorities of Lloret de Mar fine local church for talking to tourists and offering evangelistic tracts. Mayor argues the activity breaks local regulations. 

 
 

 
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AUDIOS Audios
 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation

Pastor Gary Wilkerson talks about what all evangelical Christians can learn from the Protestant Reformation and underlines the need for more churches with both a sound doctrine and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

 
Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe

Is the arrival of thousands of Muslims to Europe a threat to Christianity? What is the growth of evangelical churches in Eastern and Southern Europe? An interview with theologian and Lausanne Movement representative Lindsay Brown.

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission Evi Rodemann: Youth and mission

“We want to see the youth not just being equipped, but also being multipliers”, Evi Rodemann director of Mission-Net. The European Congress took place in Germany from December 28 to January 2.

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch Pablo Martinez comments on Evangelical Focus’ launch

Author and international speaker Dr Pablo Martínez discusses the main challenges in Europe nowadays and hopes Evangelical Focus will be a useful tool to help build bridges between churches and society.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest

About 70 people from European countries met at the Younger Leaders Gen gathering in Hungary (19-22 October) to discuss the challenges of the church in the continent and build partnerships. Photos: Evi Rodemann and Jari Sippola.

 
I am not on sale I am not on sale

Young Christians gathered at Madrid’s central square Sol to denounce human trafficking. A flashmob highlighted the work of three evangelical NGOs which support women who escape sexual slavery in Spain.

 
Stamps to commemorate the Reformation Stamps to commemorate the Reformation

Poland, Lithuania, Namibia and Brazil are some of the countries that have issued special stamps on the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s 95 theses.

 
‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country ‘Reconciliation’ in the Basque Country

Bilbao hosted the Spanish Evangelical Alliance's annual meeting (assembly). Politicians, professors and evangelical representatives shared views on social reconciliation. The theme was also analysed from a theological perspective and in workshops. 

 
The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible The Progress of Europe, deeply connected to Bible

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi spoke about how the biblical worldview shaped the West. 300 professionals attended annual GBG meeting on faith and work in Cullera (Spain). Photos: J.P. Serrano, S. Vera.

 
Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016 Impressions of Lausanne's #ylg2016

Around 1,000 young Christian leaders from 150 countries are participating in the 2016 Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering, to reflect on global mission.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Creation Care and the Gospel, in France Creation Care and the Gospel, in France

The conference drew about 90 delegates from across Europe. Scientists, theologians, activists reflected together on the theme “God’s Word and God’s World”.

 
“It is inconsistent to say we love the Creator while we destroy His creation” “It is inconsistent to say we love the Creator while we destroy His creation”

In creation care, “we need more people who lead by example”, says well-known Brazilian politician and activist Marina Silva. 

 
Human traffickers recruit girls and boys online Human traffickers recruit girls and boys online

The new video of the European Freedom Network addresses the dangers of social media. 

 
“Remember you are dust” “Remember you are dust”

Vaughan Roberts speaks from 25 years of ministry experience to share four lessons on staying the course as a Christian, despite ongoing battles with the world, the flesh, and the devil.

 
Walk Walk

A two-minute video on the meaning of Jude 24.

 
Playmobil animation on Luther’s life Playmobil animation on Luther’s life

British video platform GoChatter uses 4,000 individual photos to create stop motion video on Martin Luther's life.

 
Individualism: from the Protestant Reformation to 21st century capitalism Individualism: from the Protestant Reformation to 21st century capitalism

Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi on how the Protestant Reformation underlined individualism as a means to please God, and how secular Europe corrupted it.

 
Students in Europe: “We are present” Students in Europe: “We are present”

A summary video of the IFES Europe conference which brought together 1,700 students from many countries in Aschaffenburg (Germany) to reflect on God's mission in society.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
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Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.