ADVERTISING
 
Sunday, April 22   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
Easter
What we read in the Gospels about the life, death and ressurrection of Jesus Christ is...





SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Switzerland
 

More than 800 attended a refugee conference organised by evangelicals

Refugees, politicians, and members of churches listened to each other in Bern. Local projects were awarded for their pioneer work with migrants.

SOURCES SEA, Livenet.ch, Kath.ch AUTHOR Evangelical Focus BERN 23 NOVEMBER 2016 15:45 h GMT+1
stoparmut, schweiz More than 800 participants in the 2016 StopArmut refugee conference. / Simon Billeter

A one-day conference on refugees gathered more than 800 people in the Swiss capital city, Bern.



Politicians, church leaders, NGOs and refugees shared their views on how to help the 80,000 asylum seekers living in the country.



The gathering organised by StopArmut (Stop Poverty, a campaign of the Swiss Evangelical Alliance) on November 19th, showed the great interest many Christians – mostly members of free evangelical churches – have in actively engaging with refugees escaping war and violence.



A “World stage” was the place to listen to testimonies of some of the refugees that attended the event. Live Kurdish and Iranian music, as well as Arabic Christian worship songs, were also heard throughout the day.



 



The Village of Opportunities, ministries sharing their work. / Simon Billeter



Meanwhile, 36 ministries and organisations explained their work in the prevention, protection and integration of refugees in a space called “Village of possibilities”, while a fair-trade market offered products to encourage people to live a fair lifestyle.



 



Asylum seekers offered food to the participants. / Simon Billeter



 



POLITICAL, SOCIAL AND CHRISTIAN ANSWERS



Swiss Secretary of State for Migration Mario Gattiker was one of the speakers invited to the conference. He explained the situation from a political point of view and said the drama in the Mediterranean shows that the number of migrants arriving to Switzerland will continue to grow.



 



Anja Klug during his session. / Simon Billeter



Swiss Director of UNHCR Anja Klug made clear that Christian churches are active members of a civil society that needs to take a leading role at this point. The refugee crisis is actually a “solidarity crisis”, Klug said, and therefore it is necessary that Swiss citizens see asylum seekers as “neighbours”.



In front of a packed auditorium, the programme moved on to an open discussion with diverse points of view when the voices of Secretary General of the SEA Marc Jost and of national MP Eric von Siebenthal (right-wing party SVP) added their opinions to Gattiker and Klug.



Jost highlighted the efforts made by a small country like Switzerland and presented the task force “Helping Refugees” as an evangelical project that offers practical solutions.



 



REAL LIFE STORIES



In the afternoon, the 2016 “StopArmut Prize” was given to two local church projects which help with the integration of migrants in the towns of Winterthur-Seen and Uster.



 



The winners of the 2016 StopArmut prize. / StopArmut



Throughout the day, 19 practical workshops were offered, touching on themes like how to integrate children refugees or the best way to serve people coming from specific cultural contexts. Some of these sessions were translated into Arabic, Persian and Tigrinya.



 



MUCH INTEREST AMONG CHURCHES



The organisers of the conference said they were “overwhelmed” after seeing how 820 people participated in this year’s event.



“We expected 600 people. The great interest of participants amazed us”, StopArmut leader Peter Seeberger admitted.



 



MORE ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN



StopArmut is a campaign to promote a fairness and solidarity, promoted under the umbrella of “Interaktiv”, a platform of the Swiss Evangelical Alliance.



 



The director of StopArmut, Peter Seeberger. / Simon Billeter

Globally, StopArmut is also a member of the Micah Challenge, focusing on six of the seventeen 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals: End poverty in all its forms everywhere; achieve gender equality; promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth; ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns; provide access to justice for all; and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - More than 800 attended a refugee conference organised by evangelicals
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
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. 

 
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. 

 
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".

 
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.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Coexistence in the church - a model for society Coexistence in the church - a model for society

“Gospel, identity and coexistence” were the themes of the General Assembly of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance. Two days in Palma de Mallorca to reflect about the role of evangelical churches in society.

 
'Ungi kulimi changana' 'Ungi kulimi changana'

Educator and journalist Jordi Torrents shares images of the Sekeleka social centre in Mozambique. About 50 children live there, many with some kind of disability. All photos were taken with permission.

 
The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve

For the first time, the President of Portugal attended a worship service in an evangelical church. It was in Sintra, on Christmas Eve.

 
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.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Why are Christian leaders particularly vulnerable to sexual temptation? Why are Christian leaders particularly vulnerable to sexual temptation?

“The reasons why somebody might have sex with a prostitute are very different from the reasons why somebody might want to have an affair with a member of their congregation”. An analysis by John Stevens, National Director of FIEC (UK).

 
Be safe on social media Be safe on social media

A video about the way traffickers target teenage girls online, produced by anti-slavery gorup Abolishion.

 
In Mission In Mission

A 360º lyric video about how all followers of Jesus Christ are called to serve God. Duo in Spanish (Alex Sampedro) and Portuguese (Marcos Martins).

 
Heart Heart

A short animation film by Swiss cartoonist Alain Auderset tells the message of the Bible in four minutes.

 
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.

 
 
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.