ADVERTISING
 
Tuesday, June 19   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
 

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
 
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
 
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.

 
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
 
How can churches better support singles? How can churches better support singles?

Tina Tschage, on some areas in which other Christians can encourage singles.

 
The Church of Scotland debates historic doctrines The Church of Scotland debates historic doctrines

The Kirk has begun official procedures to investigate the status and the role of the Westminster Confession of Faith within its denomination.

 
Why is it so difficult to get today’s young adults interested in the Bible? Why is it so difficult to get today’s young adults interested in the Bible?

The simple fact that people struggle to read books is the first factor, but there are some other hurdles, says Simon Lennox of Bible Study Fellowship.

 
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.