ADVERTISING
 
Sunday, February 18   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
Is the sexual exploitation of women an issue in your city?




SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Switzerland
 

Trusted Christian youth organisations expelled from public programmes after decades of work

Swiss organisations serving 10,000 young people every year will no longer work alongside public youth agencies. The government’s decision is “degrading” for Christians workers, says expert Andi Bachmann.

AUTHOR Joel Forster , Evangelical Focus BERN 30 MARCH 2017 13:19 h GMT+1

Ten Swiss Christian youth federations working with 10,000 young people every year will no longer have the support of the public authorities. The decision of the federal government (“Bundesrat”) comes after decades of trusted work.



Many of these Christian organisations – which organise camps, free time activities, sport events – already lost public funding in 2014. Now they will also lose the posibility of receiving training and the quality label they received from “Youth + Sport”, a governmental programme.



The decision has caused many Swiss evangelical Christians to react. The Evangelical Alliance (SEA) issued a statement expressing their disapproval of the decision.



Meanwhile, an online petition asking to reverse the decision reached 11,500 signatories in two days.



Andi Bachmann-Roth leads the SEA Youth Alliance. He explained more details in the following interview with Evangelical Focus.



 



Andi Bachmann-Roth.

Question. Why is the decision of the “Bundesrat” (Swiss government) of excluding these Christian youth federations from “Youth + Sport” such bad news?



Answer. Three years ago (2014), another department of the government of Switzerland - the “Bundesamt für Sozialversicherung” (BSV) - cancelled the financial support for Christian youth movements. They said the main aim of these organisations was to “convert people into Christians” (mission), instead of the holistic encouragement of the youth. According to the law, this holistic encouragement has to be the aim of all youth organisations supported by the state.



These eighteen youth movements weren’t happy with the decision, and six of them filed a lawsuit, but all of them lost, in 2016. The Court said these organisations were only focused on mission, whereas all other activities (singing, sport, outdoor-programmes) were only a means to the missionary end.



We learned that our communication back then wasn’t helpful. The website and official documents were old and often focussed on the spiritual dimension of the faith. So, we created the “Charta Christlicher Kinder und Jugendarbeit”. In this document we clearly speak about our aims and how we work with young people. More than 300 groups and movements have signed this Charta.



 



Q. What happened after that?



A. Another public department, related to Sport (called “BASPO”) is financially related to the BSV. The BASPO used to accepted these Christian youth groups, but the BSV did not. So a question was sent to the “Bundesrat” to make a decision in this case. The Bundesrat decided to extend the basic normative of the BSV to the BASPO.



 



Q. Had the collaboration between “Youth + Sport” (Y+S) and evangelical youth organisations been fruitful so far?



A. Indeed. The cooperation with Y+S is very important, because it is more than financial support. In Switzerland, the Y+S is a very trusted label, high quality training and material support are offered. The label was very helpful for getting holidays for a youth camp, become a campsite, etc.



On the other hand, the Christian groups were an important part of the Y+S. They offered loads of contents and were involved in providing high level training.



 



Q. How will you respond to these situation?



We have launched an online petition, which had more than 10’000 signers in one day. It is addressed to the Minister Guy Parmelin, member of the "Bundesrat".



Leaders are called to make pictures of their work and send this pictures as an postcard to the government.



For a lot of people, this situation is very emotional. They had a lot of good experiences with Y+S. The commitment was very high. The exclusion is very degrading, because these Christian groups did a great work.



 



Q. In what ways will this decision affect these groups in the future? How will evangelical youth organisations continue their work in Switzerland?



A. We hope this decision is not the last word. But the Christian youth work would not collapse after the exclusion. As a reaction, I think the financial support from the churches would be even stronger.



One of the reactions is to stand together stronger, which is an effect that is very important right now. A negative consequence could be that a bad image is given to the Christian youth work.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Trusted Christian youth organisations expelled from public programmes after decades of work
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
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. 

 
Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation Gary Wilkerson: The Bible, the Holy Spirit and the Reformation

Pastor Gary Wilkerson talks about what all evangelical Christians can learn from the Protestant Reformation and underlines the need for more churches with both a sound doctrine and obedience to the Holy Spirit.

 
Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe Lindsay Brown: Islam and the Gospel in Europe

Is the arrival of thousands of Muslims to Europe a threat to Christianity? What is the growth of evangelical churches in Eastern and Southern Europe? An interview with theologian and Lausanne Movement representative Lindsay Brown.

 
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
 
'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.

 
Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest Lausanne younger leaders gathering in Budapest

About 70 people from European countries met at the Younger Leaders Gen gathering in Hungary (19-22 October) to discuss the challenges of the church in the continent and build partnerships. Photos: Evi Rodemann and Jari Sippola.

 
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
 
A marriage story A marriage story

The  great love story for everyone.

 
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.

 
Creation Care and the Gospel, in France Creation Care and the Gospel, in France

The conference drew about 90 delegates from across Europe. Scientists, theologians, activists reflected together on the theme “God’s Word and God’s World”.

 
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.