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Arrow
Brexit

 
The UK and the EU agree on a draft deal for Brexit
The UK and the EU agree on a draft deal for Brexit

The deal has not been published yet. Theresa May has summoned her cabinet to an emergency meeting this Wednesday to discuss it. One of the most contentious issues is the Northern Ireland “backstop”.

 
 
Arrow
Religious freedom

 
Bulgarian evangelicals alarm about religion law “threatening rights and freedoms of churches”
Bulgarian evangelicals alarm about religion law “threatening rights and freedoms of churches”

The European Evangelical Alliance and the World Evangelical Alliance issue statements calling to stop a legislation that would give “huge and unnecessary powers to the Bulgarian State to interfere with faith communities”.

 
 
Arrow
Pro-Russian areas

 
Churches in Eastern Ukraine become illegal after re-registrations denied
Churches in Eastern Ukraine become illegal after re-registrations denied

There have been repeated raids on churches by the Luhansk People's Republic. Authorities announced the ban of the “destructive activity of the extremist Ukrainian Union of Evangelical Churches”.

 
 
Arrow
Pakistan

 
European Union: “Asia Bibi is in prison only because she is a Christian”
European Union: “Asia Bibi is in prison only because she is a Christian”

During a plenary session, the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani called for her immediate release.

 
 
Arrow
Human Trafficking

 
“Slavery exists in our cities”
“Slavery exists in our cities”

Valencia, one of the 21 Spanish cities that joined the global #WalkForFreedom initiative. “The gospel is freedom”, said coordinator Sara Pérez.

 
 
Arrow
Hope for Europe

 
The beauty of God’s air under our wings
The beauty of God’s air under our wings

The European Disability Network (EDN) coordinated a series of workshops in Tallinn about how the Christian community can and should take into account people with disabilities.

 
 
Arrow
Turkey

 
Turkey releases pastor Andrew Brunson
Turkey releases pastor Andrew Brunson

The court sentenced Brunson to three years and one month in prison, but it chose to release him, based on his time already served. He and his wife havearrived this Saturday in United States.

 
 
Arrow
David Landrum

 
The secularisation of politics
The secularisation of politics

The influence of the Bible on political thought, speech and action is unparalleled, and has provided the foundations for modernity upon which has been built the liberal democracy that we enjoy in the West today.

 
 
Arrow
Church planting

 
Is the church in Europe hidden in a cave?
Is the church in Europe hidden in a cave?

“We will never reach Europe if we do not plant churches [...] It is necessary to impact our community”, said Øivind Augland in a M4 meeting held in Barcelona.

 
 
Arrow
Action

 
Theresa May praises work of Christian fostering and adoption charity
Theresa May praises work of Christian fostering and adoption charity

According to Home for Good, the number of children waiting for adoption in England currently outweighs the number of families waiting by almost 3 to 1.

 
 
Arrow
Television

 
United Kingdom TV channels fail to represent religious people, study says
United Kingdom TV channels fail to represent religious people, study says

“For many people, religion is a defining part of their life and should therefore be given greater focus”, Ofcom’s report on Equal Opportunities in Television says.

 
 
Arrow
Rik and Matched Lubbers

 
Mission from the margin in Kosovo
Mission from the margin in Kosovo

Christian alienation is not, by definition, a negative consequence of being Christian or an unintentional aspect of Christian life.

 
 
Arrow
Report

 
3,677 children abused by Catholic priests in Germany since the 1940s
3,677 children abused by Catholic priests in Germany since the 1940s

Three universities have researched the cases implicating 1,670 priests in sexual abuse. Most victims were male and 13 years old or younger.

 
 
Arrow
Marriage

 
Romania holds referendum to ban same-sex marriage
Romania holds referendum to ban same-sex marriage

Romania’s senators voted to change the country’s constitution so that it defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The national referendum will be held in October.

 
 
Arrow
General election

 
Leftists and Conservatives tied in Swedish election
Leftists and Conservatives tied in Swedish election

Anti-immigration Eurosceptics come third with 17.6% of the vote. Long negotiations to form a government ahead.

 
 
Arrow
Interview

 
Sweden decides about its generosity as Europe shuts the door to migrants
Sweden decides about its generosity as Europe shuts the door to migrants

“God is using these streams of immigrants to give us the opportunity to share the gospel with them”, says the new Swedish Evangelical Alliance Secretary General Olof Edsinger. “But our politicians were quite naïve”.

 
Arrow
Analysis

 
Franco’s exhumation and the problem of Spain’s collective memory
Franco’s exhumation and the problem of Spain’s collective memory

“Spain has a huge task ahead of generating a big social consensus” about recent history, evangelicals say.

 
 
Arrow
Laws

 
‘Diverse’: Germany creates 3rd gender identity for records
‘Diverse’: Germany creates 3rd gender identity for records

The minister for families said it is “an important step toward the legal recognition of people whose gender identity is neither male nor female”.

 
 
Arrow
Italian Evangelical Alliance

 
Catholic funeral in Genova reveals “blurred distinctions between state and church”
Catholic funeral in Genova reveals “blurred distinctions between state and church”

The evangelical family of one of the victims held their own funeral. Italian Evangelical Alliance: “The state assumes everyone is Catholic”.

 
 
Arrow
Italy

 
A motorway bridge in Genova collapses, many dead
A motorway bridge in Genova collapses, many dead

‘Dozens’ have been killed, the emergency services in Genova say. More than 30 vehicles fell from a height of 45 meters.

 
 
Arrow
Valencia

 
Spanish evangelicals react to arrest of German evangelists after subway panic scenes
Spanish evangelicals react to arrest of German evangelists after subway panic scenes

Chaos broke out in a metro train in Valencia when passengers confused a group of preachers with terrorists. The nine Germans have been released on bail.

 
Arrow
Greece wildfires

 
Greek Christians get involved in the recovery of the Mati region
Greek Christians get involved in the recovery of the Mati region

A team of young people from a local church clean burnt properties “removing items, carrying wood and offering a hope of restoration”.

 
 
Arrow
Religious freedom

 
Crosses removed in Scottish funerals to avoid offending non-Christians
Crosses removed in Scottish funerals to avoid offending non-Christians

“We want to get away from a default setting that just assumes everyone is Christian”, said opponents. “The importance of religious beliefs should not be underestimated”, the Church of Scotland pointed out.

 
 
Arrow
Environment

 
Thousands of British churches turn ‘green’
Thousands of British churches turn ‘green’

“Climate change is one of the great moral challenges of our time, it's fantastic to see churches doing their bit to ensure they reduce their impact on the environment”, Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, said.

 
 
Arrow
Germany

 
German Protestant and Catholic churches keep losing members
German Protestant and Catholic churches keep losing members

The EKD reports that it lost 390,000 members in 2017, more than the Catholic church, which lost around 268,000. Both blame the decrease on Germany’s demographics.

 
 
Arrow
Greeece wildfires

 
Christians in Rafina work with authorities after the “big disaster”
Christians in Rafina work with authorities after the “big disaster”

“A lot of people are blaming the State, blaming God”, says a Christian in the region. “Please pray for the country”.

 
 
Arrow
Heat wave

 
Wildfires in Greece kill at least 70
Wildfires in Greece kill at least 70

Many were trapped in zones of difficult access in East Attica, near Athens. Dozens went into the sea to escape the flames. Christian organisations in the region are offering help.

 
 
Arrow
Interview

 
“I am encouraging fellow Christians to stand up in political responsibilities”
“I am encouraging fellow Christians to stand up in political responsibilities”

Škripek is a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and a convinced Christian. To him, praying for a seemingly hopeless situation as there is in Syria is a logical thing to do.

 
 
Arrow
Analysis

 
An ‘other Syria’?
An ‘other Syria’?

Representatives of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria explained in Brussels their social model for a post-war Syria. The initiative for the cooperation was taken by the Christians, in collaboration with Muslims and other groups.

 
 
Arrow
Identity

 
Evangelical Christians should “encourage public debate” about a European refoundation
Evangelical Christians should “encourage public debate” about a European refoundation

The increase in diplomatic tensions between France and Italy reopen the debate about the future of the European Union. “Our ties are found in Christ and are so much stronger than these political games”, says the Italian Evangelical Alliance.

 
 
Arrow
Analysis

 
“We easily forget that 85% of all the refugees are not coming to Europe”
“We easily forget that 85% of all the refugees are not coming to Europe”

Arie de Pater, Brussels representative of the European Evangelical Alliance: “There is a tendency to call the migrant the problem, feeding a rhetoric in which we, Europeans, are the victims. But that is not the case”.

 
 
Arrow
Public arena

 
Evangelicals strengthen dialogue with the authorities in France
Evangelicals strengthen dialogue with the authorities in  France

The National Council of Evangelicals of France organised a training meeting under the theme “Dialoguing with the authorities, a necessity for building the future”, which included a visit to the National Assembly.

 
 
Arrow
Analysis

 
Bulgarian evangelicals worried about “restrictive and discriminative” bill on faith minorities
Bulgarian evangelicals worried about “restrictive and discriminative” bill on faith minorities

All ministers of faith minorities representing less than 1% of the population “would be required to be Bulgarian citizens, having graduated theology in this country”, explains Vlady Raichinov, Vice President of the Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance.

 
Arrow
France

 
French evangelicals proactive in recommendations for future Bioethics law
French evangelicals proactive in recommendations for future Bioethics law

The CNEF presented its positions on the Estates General of Bioethics in a public event. “The value and dignity that the Bible recognises for every human being invites respect for all”, they said in a statement.

 
 
Arrow
Sexual exploitation

 
Christians in Belgium seek real conversations about prostitution as ‘hangar d’amour’ is announced
Christians in Belgium seek real conversations about prostitution as ‘hangar d’amour’ is announced

The Belgian city of Ostend will convert an abandoned hangar into a brothel. “Many prostitutes think they are protected, but they are not”, says a Christian social worker in the region.

 
 
Arrow
16 years in power

 
Erdogan’s power challenged in snap election
Erdogan’s power challenged in snap election

The popularity of the powerful President is falling strongly. “None of the parties have mentioned religious freedom” in the campaign, says Turkish Protestant Pastor Ihsan Özbek.

 
 
Arrow
Religious liberties

 
Evangelicals in Geneva appeal against new laicism law
Evangelicals in Geneva appeal against new laicism law

The Swiss Evangelical Alliance praises many aspects of the law, but fears the religious freedom of civil servants will be restricted.

 
 
Arrow
Europe

 
“The Peace Between”
“The Peace Between”

The film tells the stories of three refugees and the friends they met in Hungary, France and Denmark. A set of materials are offered to start honest conversations about the challenges and opportunities of the refugee crisis.

 
 
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Arrow
Environment

 
Protecting the oceans: EU bans 10 single-use plastic items
Protecting the oceans: EU bans 10 single-use plastic items

The European Parliament voted to ban replaceable products such as plates, straws and cotton buds, by 2021.

 
Arrow
X. Manuel Suárez

 
Left-wing populism in Europe
Left-wing populism in Europe

Populism presents itself as the real, orthodox incarnation of popular will but makes itself unaccountable.

 
Arrow
Mission

 
“Surfers experience something of God’s creation and tend to be spiritual people”
“Surfers experience something of God’s creation and tend to be spiritual people”

Around 280 people attended the Christian Surfers International Gathering in France. Phil Williams: “At the heart of what we do is our relationship with God, and how we react in our community”.

 
Arrow
Rosemary Caudwell

 
Nationalism, populism, politics and identity
Nationalism, populism, politics and identity

We need to be discerning as to the aspects of our nation and culture that can be affirmed by us, and those that must be challenged in the light of the character of God.

 
Arrow
Helen Franklin

 
150 years of Beach Missions
150 years of Beach Missions

Out in the open, a beach mission is like a church without walls. Those who are unsure can sit at a distance, listening and looking. There is something too about the anonymity of being away on holiday that makes people more willing to try new things.

 
Arrow
Day two and three

 
God’s vision for Europe’s cultures and generations
God’s vision for Europe’s cultures and generations

Arts have been one of the threads of the first two days of the Hope for Europe conference, in Tallinn (Estonia).

 
Arrow
Julia Doxat-Purser

 
What has happened to Europe’s politics?
What has happened to Europe’s politics?

Four ideologies can become an intolerant and dangerous idol: secularisation, left-wing populism, nationalism and liberal values dogmatism.

 
Arrow

 
The Manzanas case
The Manzanas case

A short documentary about how retired pastors and widows of an evangelical denomination in Spain fight a legal battle for their pensions after the favourable ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.

 
Arrow
Interview

 
Cross-Current: Young professionals making the ‘faith-work connection’
Cross-Current: Young professionals making the ‘faith-work connection’

“We want people to remember their Creator during their youth, and then to run fast, shining brightly for His glory throughout their working lives”, says Graduate Impact coordinator Tim Vickers.

 
Arrow
Interview

 
What happens after Mission-Net?
What happens after Mission-Net?

“There is an inexhaustible marketplace until the church throughout Europe courageously takes up its responsibility to take missional risks for the kingdom”, says Andy Stevens.

 
Arrow
Conference

 
Mission-net closes
Mission-net closes

The pan-European mission initiative ceases its activities. In a farewell letter, the board “praises God for the many seeds that were sown through the Congress and through the Movement”.

 
Arrow
Alice Neffe

 
Is there hope for the unborn child with disability in Europe?
Is there hope for the unborn child with disability in Europe?

Abortion rates for prenatal diagnoses of Down syndrome, the most common chromosomal abnormality, are high: nearly 100 per cent in Iceland, 98 per cent in Denmark, and 90 per cent in the United Kingdom.

 
Arrow
Mission

 
The Fellowship of European Evangelical Theologians met in Prague
The Fellowship of European Evangelical Theologians met in Prague

Nearly 70 participants involved in theological research and training discussed the topic of “Christian identity and mission in a divided Europe”.

 
Arrow

 
Genova, Ireland and the spiritual landscape of Europe
Genova, Ireland and the spiritual landscape of Europe

Post-Christian Europe needs followers of Jesus who understand that the Gospel is powerful in itself. We should not hold onto the privileges of old religious structures.

 
Arrow
Ponte Morandi

 
Sister of an evangelical pastor died in Genova bridge collapse
Sister of an evangelical pastor died in Genova bridge collapse

Churches offer help to the local authorities. 600 people have been evacuated from their homes, including an evangelical family.

 
Arrow
Migration crisis

 
Spain receives 1,703 migrants only in the first eight days of August
Spain receives 1,703 migrants only in the first eight days of August

According to the IOM, 60,309 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea in 2018. “I think that Spain reacted in a very positive way. But it cannot go on this way”, the EU Immigration Commission said.

 
Arrow
EuroPride Stockholm 2018

 
“Even drugs and violence become something positive in the world of Pride”
“Even drugs and violence become something positive in the world of Pride”

A think tank analysed the programme of last year’s Swedish LGBT festival and found an alarming collision with public health policies. Per Ewert of the Clapham Institutet says the findings show the ‘colourful darkness’ of the movement.

 
Arrow
GDPR

 
EU Court: Jehovah’s Witnesses door-to-door preaching does not comply with data protection laws
EU Court: Jehovah’s Witnesses door-to-door preaching does not comply with data protection laws

The European Court of Justice sides with Finnish data protection authorities. Preachers will have to inform about the personal data collected during their campaigns.

 
Arrow
Fake news

 
Spanish Evangelical Federation sues ‘Telecinco’ television
Spanish Evangelical Federation sues ‘Telecinco’ television

The most viewed television broadcaster falsely accused an evangelical pastor of pederasty.

 
Arrow

 
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”.

 
Arrow
David Robertson
1

 
An Open Letter to the Evangelical Church about Vicky Beeching and ‘Gay Christianity’
An Open Letter to the Evangelical Church about Vicky Beeching and ‘Gay Christianity’

The narrative is straightforward. They are the victims. They have been damaged by ‘conservative theology’ and they are going to change us evangelicals so that we accept their position.

 
Arrow

 
Trailer: “The Peace Between”
Trailer: “The Peace Between”

A film about the experience of refugees in Europe. Churches, small groups and individuals are encouraged to use it during Refugee Week: 17-24 June.

 
Arrow
Newport

 
Historic Welsh church gutted by fire
Historic Welsh church gutted by fire

The blaze started in an old nightclub nearby. Around 40 people were evacuated.“Building or no building, the church will worship God and serve our community”, the pastor says.

 
Arrow
Doctrinal debate

 
Should the Church of Scotland keep the Westminster Confession of Faith?
Should the Church of Scotland keep the Westminster Confession of Faith?

The moves could see the Confession being removed, replaced or changed in as little as 5 years - a significant development for the minority group of evangelicals who remain in Scotland’s national Kirk.

 
Arrow

 
700 evangelical leaders connect for mission in Poland
700 evangelical leaders connect for mission in Poland

The annual gathering brought prople from across Europe to Wisla (Poland). To unite, equip and resource evangelicals is one of the aims of the European Leadership Forum conference.

 
Arrow
Nick Park

 
Referendum on 8th is about trusting politicians
Referendum on 8th is about trusting politicians

It would be naive in the extreme to remove the most important human right of all – the right to life – from the Constitution and to put it in the hands of career politicians.

 
Arrow

 
Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible
Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible

At the 2018 Apologetics Forum in Comarruga (Spain), Michael Ramsden, Pablo Martinez, Ruth Valerio and José de Segovia analysed how society and the Bible approach the issues of personal identity, integrity, sexuality, pop culture, and environmental care.

 
Arrow
Spain

 
“True reconciliation will not be seen in the media, but in schools and families”
“True reconciliation will not be seen in the media, but in schools and families”

Three Spanish pastors analyse the definitive disbandment of ETA. “We have to renounce the worldly discourse of epic revenge and sit down with people to rebuild relationships”.

 
Arrow
Politics and corruption

 
The ‘Cifuentes case’ and our personal responsibility
The ‘Cifuentes case’ and our personal responsibility

We live in a society in which admitting one’s own sins is seen as a sign of weakness.

 
Arrow
Guy Brandon

 
Windrush: The categorisation and treatment of migrants
Windrush: The categorisation and treatment of migrants

The biblical view of immigration does not only consider the migrant’s position but that of the host country.

 
Arrow
Peter Saunders

 
Alfie Evans’ parents should not be stopped from doing what they believe is best for him
Alfie Evans’ parents should not be stopped from doing what they believe is best for him

I think there are two key questions with this case: ‘What is the best way of managing Alfie?’ and ‘Who should ultimately decide what treatment he has?’

 
Arrow
Parties with a Christian worldview (2)

 
EVP: Human dignity and environmental care
EVP: Human dignity and environmental care

The Evangelical People’s Party in Switzerland will be 100 years old in 2019. Perceived as centrist, almost all of its membership comes from  the Protestant Church and free evangelical churches.

 
Arrow
People with disabilities

 
‘Inclusion makes an impact’
‘Inclusion makes an impact’

The European Disability Network will meet in Riga (Latvia), 27-30 April. “We need people who do not have a disability to work with us”, says coordinator Thérèse Swinters.

 
Arrow
Interview

 
“We do not tend to see Christians as victims”
“We do not tend to see Christians as victims”

Journalist Pilar Rahola publishes a book in which she collects her five-year work on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. “It was necessary to tell the world that there are people who die, not because of a random bullet, but because they are Christians”.

 
Arrow
Interview

 
Christians join movement “for a decent Slovakia”
Christians join movement “for a decent Slovakia”

“I believe that Christians have been called to shed light on what is wrong with the system”, says Slovak Christian worker Jaro Marcin.

 
Arrow
Tension

 
Western countries expel Russian diplomats to send a “coordinated message”
Western countries expel Russian diplomats to send a “coordinated message”

Several EU countries and the USA show their opposition to Vladimir Putin. “We will not tolerate Russia’s continued attempts to undermine our values”, says UK Prime Minister Theresa May.

 
 

 
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AUDIOS Audios
 
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church 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.

 
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.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!” Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!”

Bulgarian evangelicals protested peacefully on November 11 against a draft law which could severely restrict religious freedom of faith minorities. Churches rallied in Sofia and other cities after the Sunday worship services.

 
Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

 
Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

 
Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

 
VIDEO Video
 
Biotechnology: “There is a difference between restoration and enhancement” Biotechnology: “There is a difference between restoration and enhancement”

“We have to understand the times in which we live, and have discernment”, says Doctor Peter J. Saunders.

 
The Manzanas case The Manzanas case

A short documentary about how retired pastors and widows of an evangelical denomination in Spain fight a legal battle for their pensions after the favourable ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.

 
‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

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