ADVERTISING
 
Friday, August 23   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Society
Should Christians join social protests?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Terrassa
 

City honours leading figure of 20th-century Spanish Protestantism

The city of Terrassa dedicates a square to pastor Samuel Vila and his wife, highlighting his theological, literary, editorial and social work and their defense of religious freedom.

SOURCES Protestante Digital AUTHOR Evangelical Focus, Samuel Crespo TERRASSA (SPAIN) 28 MARCH 2018 11:47 h GMT+1
Alfredo Vega, Mayor of Terrassa, showing the plaque with Eliseo Vila. / J. Torrents

For centuries, Spain was a Catholic country where the Protestant churches were silenced and even persecuted.



Many still have a lack of knowledge about who evangelical Christians are and what they believe, but that is starting to change. Today the Spanish evangelical community is more present in the public arena and the media.



The celebrations of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation were an opportunity for the Spanish evangelicals to show what they do, and to open new ways of collaboration with public authorities.



National and regional politicians recognised the ‘crucial role’ of evangelicals in the advance of freedoms in Spain, and their work helping those in need and social exclusion throughout the country.



During 2017, many local and regional authorities had institutional meetings with evangelical leaders. Mayors praised the social action carried out by associations led by evangelical Christians and their churches.



 



SAMUEL AND LIDIA VILA



One of the last recognitions to Spanish evangelicals has taken place in Terrassa (Catalonia). The city council paid tribute to Samuel Vila, and his wife Lidia, dedicating a square of the city to them on Sunday 25 March.



Samuel and Lidia were one of the main foundations of the evangelical church in Spain during the 20th century for their pastoral, literary, pulishing and social work, and for the defense of religious freedom in times of the Franco dictatorship.



A few meters from the Evangelical United Church of Terrassa (Unida), which is part of Vila´s legacy, the mayor of the city, Alfredo Vega, presented a plaque with a brief review of his work, which will give the square its name.



the Mayor was accompanied by Eliseo Vila, son of the Samuel and Lidia, and the current president of the Christian publishing house Clie, as welll as by pastor of the Unida, Andreu Dionís.



 



The plaque has a short review about the pioneer work of Samuel and Lidia Vila. / J. Torrents



Eliseo Vila reviewed the life of his parents and remarked that at a time when Terrassa was unknown, the Vila family carried the name of the city all over the world. Both for his extensive literary work, as for the publishing activity, but also for the intense work that pastor Vila developed in favor of freedom of speech and religious freedom.



Samuel spoke to heads of state and ministers, exchanged letters with Spanish dictator General Franco, and participated many international forums to denounce the lack of freedom of the evangelical people.



 



“AN ACT OF JUSTICE



The mayor of the city recognized that throughout the forty years of democracy, Terrassa has paid tribute to politicians, trade unionists, activists or other people who in their time fought for freedom and democracy in times of dictatorship; but never to a religious person, so that the tribute was an act of justice.



Vega emphasised that their values and convictions led the Vila family to do all their work from Terrassa. For this reason, it was necessary to honor them with “the greatest honor that a city can give, which is to give the name of a public space”.



The event was also attended by Daniel Rodríguez, President of the Spanish Federation of Evangelical Entities (FEREDE), who highlighted the recognition of the Spanish writer throughout Spanish-speaking America.



After the tribute, there was a baptism service in the church premises, which was attended by the mayor and some councilors of the city.



 



“ONE OF THE MOST DANGEROUS AGITATORS”



Samuel Vila, born in Rubí (Barcelona) in 1902 in a Protestant family, has been one of the most important figures of Spanish Protestantism during much of the twentieth century.



 



Samuel Vila. / Archivo, Clie

His legacy is extensive, but one of the most relevant events is the foundation of the Clie publishing house in Terrassa in 1924, as well as the evangelical church of the Catalan city. Beyond his editorial work, Vila helped to found 52 churches throughout Spain with the Spanish Christian Mission.



The dictatorship considered him "one of the most dangerous agitators in Spain.



Along with his friend and collaborator José Cardona, then secretary of the Baptist Union, Vila facedgovernors, opened places of worship, published books and magazines in hiding, and spoke before the British Parliament in defense of the religious freedom in Spain.



In all this work, he was always accompanied by his wife Lidia, who died in 2014 aged 100. Editor, translator, teacher, musician and preacher, her work was fundamental in putting the foundations of the evangelical faith in Spain during the Franco dictatorship.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - City honours leading figure of 20th-century Spanish Protestantism
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
Testimony: Wildfires near Athens Testimony: Wildfires near Athens

Nico Spies, a Christian worker in Athens, gives details about the wildfires in Greece.

 
Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process

The Brussels representative of the European Evangelical Alliance offers a Christian perspective on the crisis: “We can’t reduce people to just a number that needs to be controlled”.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’ IFES World Assembly: ‘Messengers of Hope’

Students, graduates and staff of the global evangelical student movement reflected together on how the books of Luke and Acts apply to today's universities.

 
Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission Christians at work - the missing link in fulfilling the Great Commission

Photos of the Lausanne Movement Global Workplace Forum, celebrated in Manila.

 
European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference European Freedom Network Bridge 2019 conference

Images of the fifth EFN gathering. Experts, activists, counsellors and church leaders met in Pescara, Italy.

 
Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference Glimpses of the ELF 2019 conference

Evangelical leaders from across Europe meet in Wisla (Poland) to network for mission in a range of fields. The vision is to renew the biblical church and evangelise Europe.

 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
VIDEO Video
 
How has Christianity influenced the modern world? How has Christianity influenced the modern world?

Paul Copan, Chair of Philosophy and Ethics of Palm Beach Atlantic University, explains how many key features of Western civilization, are the legacy of the biblical faith being lived out by believers in society.

 
Chinese Homecoming Gathering: Thousands say 'we’re one' Chinese Homecoming Gathering: Thousands say 'we’re one'

Christians from China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, and North America, from different ethnic backgronds, came together to pray for unity as the body of Christ.

 
How have global missions changed over the last century? How have global missions changed over the last century?

The centre of gravity of Christianity has shifted from Europe to Africa, says Nana Yaw Offei Awuku, Director of the Lausanne Younger Leaders Generation initiative.

 
Christian organisations call to pray for new British Prime Minister Christian organisations call to pray for new British Prime Minister

Representatives of the National Day of Prayer, the Evangelical Alliance and CARE express the need for churches to pray for the new leadership of a country divided by Brexit and other issues.

 
GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration” GWF in Manila: “Kingdom building requires global collaboration”

850 from 108 countries met for the Global Workplace Forum, June 25-29. The gathering was organised by the Lausanne Movement. “Every workplace is a place of ministry”.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

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