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Arrow
Parliamentary election

 
Poland’s governing party wins parliamentary election
Poland’s governing  party wins parliamentary election

Conservative and Eurosceptic party Law and Justice (PiS) narrowly retains its majority with 235 seats, but loses it in the Senate.

 
 
Arrow
Interview

 
“God is at work with politicians and culturally engaged people”
“God is at work with politicians and culturally engaged people”

Mikael Laursen leads the “FrikirkeNet”, a Danish project of free churches. He explains how they have had every third member of Parliament visiting a church.

 
 
Arrow
Conflict

 
Catalan pro-independence political leaders given long jail terms
Catalan pro-independence political leaders given long jail terms

Thousands protest in Barcelona’s streets, airport and train stations. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez says Spain is a “consolidated democracy” as the worst political crisis in forty years continues.

 
 
Arrow
Southern Europe

 
Socialists win Portugal election
Socialists win Portugal election

António Costa strengthens his position as Prime Minister. Despite a low turnout (54%), far-right populism failed to gain significant support.

 
 
Arrow
Emergency
1

 
Lesbos: 12,000 quadruple the capacity of the Moria refugee camp
Lesbos: 12,000 quadruple the capacity of the Moria refugee camp

The fields around the Greek the refugee camp are “oversaturated”. Pau Abad, a volunteer on the ground, shares about the “hopelessness” of the hundreds of families who continue to arrive every week and will face “a very tough winter”.

 
 
Arrow
Eastern Europe

 
Albanians ‘emotionally shaken’ after earthquake
Albanians ‘emotionally shaken’ after earthquake

Houses, schools and other buildings suffered severe damage, but no human deaths have been reported. The tremor “has the potential to bring people closer to each other and to God”, say Christians in Albania.

 
 
Arrow
Religious freedom

 
Russian local authorities hinder the building of Protestant places of worship
Russian local authorities hinder the building of Protestant places of worship

“Protestant communities find it practically impossible to get permission to build churches”, a lawyer says. Up to 90% of places of worship are officially recorded as residential property.

 
 
Arrow
LGBT

 
Next census will allow UK citizens to choose different sex from birth certificate
Next census will allow UK citizens to choose different sex from birth certificate

The government survey takes place every 10 years. “If you're not sure how to answer, use the sex registered on your official documents (…) or whichever answer best describes your sex”, the guidance for 2021 says.

 
 
Arrow
Election

 
Christian guide on Austrian election asks parties about 15 “touchstone” issues
Christian guide on Austrian election asks parties about 15 “touchstone” issues

Five of the main candidates responded on topics like bioethics, refugees, freedom of belief, and environmental care. The parliamentary election will be held on September 29.

 
 
Arrow
End of life

 
Steep fall in “traditional” Christian funerals
Steep fall in “traditional” Christian funerals

Most British want a non-traditional farewell service and Spaniards are opting for cremation. One in ten Swedes have already supressed any kind of ceremony.

 
 
Arrow
Interview

 
“The more Christians keep silent on controversial themes, the narrower the space for freedom of speech gets”
“The more Christians keep silent on controversial themes, the narrower the space for freedom of speech gets”

Finnish MP Päivi Räsänen shares her thoughts about the police investigation opened against her for quoting the Bible on homosexuality. She is “amazed” that “so many are praying for me and my country”.

 
 
Arrow
Prayer

 
Evangelicals launch “Pray for Switzerland” initiative ahead of national election
Evangelicals launch “Pray for Switzerland” initiative ahead of national election

Believers are encouraged to choose a Canton and a minister of the government to pray for. “A special strength and hope for our nation is found in prayer”, the Swiss Evangelical Alliance says.

 
 
Arrow
"Both lives matter"
1

 
20,000 walk in silence against drastic relaxation of abortion law in Northern Ireland
20,000 walk in silence against drastic relaxation of abortion law in Northern Ireland

Demonstrators gathered in front of the parliament building in Belfast. “We werere not asked about this undemocratic change, which does not reflect public or political opinion here”.

 
Arrow
Open letter

 
Spanish evangelicals raise voice against “religious fundamentalism” stigma
Spanish evangelicals raise voice against “religious fundamentalism” stigma

The Spanish Evangelical Alliance sends a letter to the Human Rights Secretary of Uruguay after the latter said that “the new phenomenon of evangelical fundamentalism” is a threat to “democratic foundations”.

 
 
Arrow
Freedom of speech

 
Finnish Christian MP under incitement investigation for quoting the New Testament
Finnish Christian MP under incitement investigation for quoting the New Testament

The politician had criticised the Lutheran Church’s participation in the Helsinki LGBT Pride events. “I hope this won't lead to self-censorship among Christians”, she says.

 
 
Arrow
Polítics

 
Giuseppe Conte returns as Prime Minister
Giuseppe Conte returns as Prime Minister

Five Star Movement party reaches an agreement with the Democratic Party. His return will not bring any change in religious freedom issues.

 
 
Arrow
United Kingdom

 
Boris Johnson will prorogue Parliament in September
Boris Johnson will prorogue Parliament in September

Queen consents a suspension of five weeks, which could prevent attempts to block no-deal Brexit. The Archbishop of Canterbury was asked to chair a citizens forum on Brexit.

 
 
Arrow
Violence

 
More than 400 religious places attacked in Northern Ireland in 3 years
More than 400 religious places attacked in Northern Ireland in 3 years

Christian charity CARE reports 445 attacks since 2016. In a letter to all political parties they call for “immediate action and a fund to help churches”.

 
 
Arrow
Spain

 
Spanish television issues a rectification on the false information about an evangelical pastor
Spanish television issues a rectification on the false information about an evangelical pastor

Telecinco accused a pastor of pederasty. “The information was false”, they said in the noon news. “We thank God because the truth has finally shone”, evangelicals point out.

 
 
Arrow
Prayer

 
“Pray that Christians would rise up with a new boldness and courage”
“Pray that Christians would rise up with a new boldness and courage”

In the weekly prayer initiative ‘Revive Europe’, students identify the deep issues in their own society and share specific prayer requests. More than 25 countries have been prayed for since February.

 
 
Arrow
Interview

 
“We want to prevent that counseling of gay people who struggle with their sexual identity is criminalized”
“We want to prevent that counseling of gay people who struggle with their sexual identity is criminalized”

The German government plans to ban so-called ‘conversion therapies’. Reinhardt Schink, Secretary General of the German Evangelical Alliance, says the law proposal is “neither coherent with its assumptions, nor consistent in its approach”.

 
 
Arrow
Greece

 
“A lot of Greeks still struggle to make ends meet”
“A lot of Greeks still struggle to make ends meet”

George Kaloterakis (Greek Evangelical Alliance) analyses the situation after the legislative election. “Pray that Greek Evangelicals become a healing agent in the divisions that permeate our society”.

 
 
Arrow
European Union

 
Ursula von der Leyen, new President of the European Commission
Ursula von der Leyen, new President of the European Commission

The Christian Democrat has lead three German government ministries: Family, Health and Defense. Of a Protestant family, she was born in Belgium and has 7 children.

 
 
Arrow
Analysis

 
Christians “fed up” with corruption join Czech protests
Christians “fed up” with corruption join Czech protests

Evangelicals analyse the biggest demonstrations in the Czech Republic since the Velvet Revolution. Prime Minister Andrej Babis remains in power after surviving a parliament no-confidence vote.

 
 
Arrow
Peace
1

 
Swiss collect 130,000 signatures to control weapons export
Swiss collect 130,000 signatures to control weapons export

Evangelicals help lead the “Alliance against exportation of weapons to countries in Civil War”. The popular initiative brings together people from all areas of society.

 
 
Arrow
Evangelism

 
‘Good news and good music’: Tens of thousands attended FestiMadrid
‘Good news and good music’: Tens of thousands attended FestiMadrid

“My desire is that millions of Spaniards go to Heaven just as I will go”, evangelist Luis Palau said in Madrid. Dozens of artists and speakers shared the gospel throughout the weekend.

 
 
Arrow
Work and faith

 
“Graduates need to be rooted in the character of God”
“Graduates need to be rooted in the character of God”

Adrian Petrice, coordinator of IFES Graduate Impact, talks about the challenges for university graduates who start their work life. “Pray that they will give reason for the hope they have in Jesus”.

 
 
Arrow
Bridge 2019

 
“Change the Story” of Human Trafficking
“Change the Story” of Human Trafficking

Experts, activists and representatives of 90 organisations met in Pescara (Italy) for the fifth European Freedom Network Bridge conference. The platform is led by Christians.

 
 
Arrow
Pentecost

 
More than 50,000 attended Pentecost gatherings throughout Germany
More than 50,000 attended Pentecost gatherings throughout Germany

At least 20 big events were held in open air locations, with music, preaching and food. 90 pastors baptised around 500 people in the Elb river.

 
Arrow
Mission

 
Belgian Evangelical Mission starts a new journey
Belgian Evangelical Mission starts a new journey

The Belgium Evangelical Mission (BEM) changed its name to ‘ViaNova’ (new way). ‘We dream to see a thriving movement of integrated Communities of disciples of Jesus throughout Belgium’.

 
 
Arrow
Eurpean Leadership Forum 2019

 
ELF 2019: “Persevering and reconciling leaders are needed to renew the Biblical church in Europe”
ELF 2019: “Persevering and reconciling leaders are needed to renew the Biblical church in Europe”

740 evangelical leaders connected for mission in Wisla (Poland). Ramez Atallah led the Bible expositions on 2 Corinthians. Seminars, thematic networks, and resources were available at the annual gathering.

 
 
Arrow
28 countries

 
Citizens vote in crucial European Parliament election
Citizens vote in crucial European Parliament election

Most countries vote on Sunday, but Britons, Dutch, Czech, Irish and Latvians did so earlier. Evangelicals called to “vote prayerfully and responsibly”.

 
 
Arrow
UK
1

 
Church of England upholds the seal of confession for now
Church of England upholds the seal of confession for now

The working party in charge of studying the implication of the seal in the context of protecting children from abuse did not reach a consensus. The Church of England has been criticised because of this decision.

 
 
Arrow
Statistics

 
Spain: 10 million live in towns without evangelical presence
Spain: 10 million live in towns without evangelical presence

There are 331 municipalities of more than 5,000 inhabitants with no evangelical church. Reaching them “continues to be one of the great shortcomings of the mission in Spain”.

 
 
Arrow
Rome

 
Italian evangelicals discussed their role in a “secularised and disoriented society”
Italian evangelicals discussed their role in a “secularised and disoriented society”

Human identity, the role of media, and the protection of family were some of the issues addressed during the annual general assembly of the Italian Evangelical Alliance.

 
 
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Arrow
Evert van de Poll

 
Eastern and Western differences
Eastern and Western differences

The peoples in the east have resisted militant atheism. We, the west, are under another form of atheism which is a sort of political agenda.

 
Arrow
Danny Webster

 
Walking with wisdom and seasoning our speech
Walking with wisdom and seasoning our speech

The three years since the vote to leave the EU have shown the heightened impact of speech on political culture and how that flows into society and community relations.

 
Arrow
Virpi Kurvinen

 
Church attacks increase in France, United Kingdom, and Germany
Church attacks increase in France, United Kingdom, and Germany

Throughout the summer, a number of attacks on graveyards, church buildings and other church properties have been reported in Europe.

 
Arrow
Germany

 
More than 8,000 march for life in Berlin
More than 8,000 march for life in Berlin

Catholics, evangelicals and members of other faiths attended the march. “Christians should stand up for those who are weakest and have no voice”. Police had to protect the event from a violent counter-demonstration.

 
Arrow
Media

 
German public television reports about the “booming” of free churches
German public television reports about the “booming” of free churches

A journalistic report of ARD-SWR concludes that evangelical churches grow because they offer “an old message” in “a new packaging”.

 
Arrow
Research

 
The church, key to the integration of migrants, research finds
The church, key to the integration of migrants, research finds

A study shows that evangelical churches give migrants “the opportunity to integrate into the community and establish relationships”. It calls the political authorities to use these opportunities better.

 
Arrow
Philip S. Powell

 
Living wisely in uncertain times
Living wisely in uncertain times

The temptation facing us is either to push the panic button, adding further confusion to the chaos, or to take flight and escape into denial about what’s going on in society. For Christians both of these options are simply unacceptable.

 
Arrow
Interview

 
“Young people yearn for a cause to give themselves to, but will not do that lightly”
“Young people yearn for a cause to give themselves to, but will not do that lightly”

Martin Durham is one of the leaders organising Behold Europe, a conference for evangelists aged 18-35. “Our vision is clear – an evangelist in every local church”.

 
Arrow
Faith and politics

 
British church leaders concerned about the Parliament’s prorogation
British church leaders concerned about the Parliament’s prorogation

“We should have faith that even through broken and imperfect systems God can work His will”, says the Evangelical Alliance UK. “This is not an act of good faith”, the Church of Scotland points out.

 
Arrow

 
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.

 
Arrow
UK

 
Street preacher awarded £2,500 for wrongful arrest
Street preacher awarded £2,500 for wrongful arrest

Pastor Oluwole Ilesanmi had his Bible taken away and was arrested. Over 45,000 have signed a petition, asking authorities to protect freedom of speech for preachers.

 
Arrow
Switzerland
2

 
Reformation Wall in Geneva vandalised
Reformation Wall in Geneva vandalised

The monument depicting Calvin, Farel, Bèze and Knox appeared covered in paint with the rainbow colours. The city files a complaint.

 
Arrow
Persecuted Christians

 
Official report urges UK government to become “global champion of religious freedom”
Official report urges UK government to become “global champion of religious freedom”

The Foreign Affairs Office releases the long-awaited Independent Review on Persecuted Christians. It was commissioned by Jeremy Hunt, who could become the next Prime Minister.

 
Arrow
Interview

 
Jesus for the Jews and for the Arabs
Jesus for the Jews and for the Arabs

Irina Volodrska (Jews For Jesus, Ukraine) and Elia Daoud (Evangelical Alliance of Arabic Speakers in Europe) speak about how they share the gospel with their own people.

 
Arrow
UK

 
Christian magistrate loses appeal over sharing views on family
Christian magistrate loses appeal over sharing views on family

Richard Page lost his post for publicly stating that it would be best for a child to be adopted by a man and a woman. “This shows that we are now living in a deeply intolerant society”, Page said.

 
Arrow
Italy

 
In Rome, evangelical leaders reflected on Catholicism
In Rome, evangelical leaders reflected on Catholicism

Participants from Europe, United States, Australia and Latin America attended the fourth edition of the Rome Scholars and Leaders Network. It  “equips evangelical leaders to understand Roman Catholic theology and practice”.

 
Arrow
Evangelical Alliances

 
EEA held General Assembly in Germany: “Safety is more than security”
EEA held General Assembly in Germany: “Safety is more than security”

The European Evangelical Alliance not only addressed the general human longing for safety but also the current concerns about the Europe in which we are living.

 
Arrow
Italy

 
Prayer and preaching to counter the impact of Mafia in Italy
Prayer and preaching to counter the impact of Mafia in Italy

Despite the decline of crimes, these organisations still are very influential in Southern Italy. Christians should “face Mafia with the Biblical responsibility that it deserves”, says Giuseppe Rizza of the Italian Evangelical Alliance.

 
Arrow
Interview

 
“God uses kids who do not speak to speak His Good News”
“God uses kids who do not speak to speak His Good News”

Jelena Sivulka, counsellor and founder of Hanina nada, talks about finding hope in Christ when dealing with disabilities. “God loves us for who we are. I share that with families of kids with special needs”, she says.

 
Arrow
Jeff Fountain

 
Jesus, the watermark of European history
Jesus, the watermark of European history

Transformation occurred when the story of Jesus changed the way people thought about God, the gods, and human life.

 
Arrow
History

 
Apostles of the Belgian trenches
Apostles of the Belgian trenches

The Belgian Evangelical Mission celebrates its 100th anniversary. The origins of the evangelical movement can be found on the battlefield of Western Flanders.

 
Arrow
Jeff Fountain

 
Much is at stake
Much is at stake

Let’s vote for those who value a Europe of partnership, respect, compassion, peace, equality and freedom.

 
Arrow
Religious freedom

 
Spain sees increase of attacks against worship places
Spain sees increase of attacks against worship places

According to the Observatory for Religious Freedom and Conscience, these incidents grew by 20% in 2018.

 
Arrow
European Parliament elections

 
Your vote matters: Questions for reflection
Your vote matters: Questions for reflection

What is the attitude of the parties / candidates towards freedom of religion for all, including in public? How will they make sure that people of all faiths and none can live together as good neighbours?

 
Arrow
EU Parliament election

 
Why voting in the European elections is important
Why voting in the European elections is important

A well-functioning Parliament is an important guarantor of a well-functioning European Union that knows its role and place.

 
Arrow
Football

 
Lucas Moura: “I want to be remembered as a man of God”
Lucas Moura: “I want to be remembered as a man of God”

“I have no doubt that with the presence of God in my life, He has helped me through a lot”, says the Tottenham Hotspur hero who scored the hat-trick to get the team in the Champions League final.

 
Arrow
Evi Rodemann

 
Camp Moria: When worlds collide
Camp Moria: When worlds collide

Anna from Afghanistan became a Christian in India. In the camp, she has started a WhatsApp group which gets 20+ women to do sports each morning at 6:30am.

 
Arrow
Central Europe

 
Czech Evangelical Forum focused on church revitalization
Czech Evangelical Forum focused on church revitalization

One hundred Czech Christian leaders worked in thematic networks. Seminars addressed issues like the generational divides, church finances, and the use of pornography among Christians.

 
Arrow
Philip S. Powell

 
Engaging in politics in times of crisis
Engaging in politics in times of crisis

The Brexit crisis has overwhelmed almost everyone who cares about the issue and the feelings of exhaustion and confusion seem unbearable. The temptation now is to switch off and go to sleep.

 
Arrow

 
Romania: God’s Word among Roma people
Romania: God’s Word among Roma people

Gypsies are one of the largest ethnic minority groups in Romania. According to 2013 estimates, the Roma groups make up 10% of the country's population, accounting for about 1.5 million people.

 
Arrow
Tragedy

 
German Protestant pastor died in Ethiopia crash
German Protestant pastor died in Ethiopia crash

Norman Tendis worked in Austria and was on the way to a UN conference in Nariobi as a representative of the World Council of Churches.

 
Arrow
Charlee New

 
School strikes, environmental theology and Psalm 8
School strikes, environmental theology and Psalm 8

Perhaps we are being offered a wake-up call and a hope. And perhaps we can bring a humble, rich theology of creation (one that spurs us into action) squarely into the debate.

 
 

 
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AUDIOS Audios
 
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.

 
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.

 
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.

 
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.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Porn exploits victims of human trafficking Porn exploits victims of human trafficking

The European Freedom Network launches a new anti-trafficking campaign: “You have no way of knowing if the porn you are looking at is from someone who chose to be there or not”.

 

 

 
What makes humans different to artificial intelligence machines? What makes humans different to artificial intelligence machines?

David Glass, Senior Lecturer in Computer Science at Ulster University (Northern Ireland) analyses whether a computer can have emotions or a conscious experience.

 
A tent of hope for Venezuelan refugees A tent of hope for Venezuelan refugees

Thousands still cross the border to Colombia every week, and many continue on foot into the interior. Christian young people have set up an aid station along the road.

 
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.

 
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”.

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