ADVERTISING
 
Saturday, July 21   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
Migration
Do Christians in your country have a Bible-based understanding of how migrants should be treated?




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
 
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.

 
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".

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow

A team of Steiger mission is starting conversations about the gospel in the middst of the football celebration in Russia.

 
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.

 
European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga

The network of Christian ministries working for the inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrated its tenth continental meeting in Latvia with the participation of 12 countries.

 

 
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.

 
VIDEO Video
 
“No one should have to leave their values at the door” “No one should have to leave their values at the door”

Author Krish Kandiah talks with politician Tim Farron about the Christian faith, politics and secularism.

 
What are the essential characteristics of a godly leader? What are the essential characteristics of a godly leader?

Clinical Pastoral Counsellor Emoke Tapolyai reflect on three characteristics Christians who have been given leadership roles should develop.

 
Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’ Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’

How can we reach those who call themselves ‘Christians’ but have not experienced a conversion to Christ? Forty missiologists and mission practitioners came together for a Lausanne Movement global consultation in Rome.

 
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.

 
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.