The reports about Andrew Brunson’s release are just another example of how little the media know about evangelical churches.
The political status quo has been broken with the victory of the 5 Star Movement, the Italian Evangelical Alliance says. The new political context could help to decrease corruption.
Prudence characterises the analysis of Italian evangelicals about the different scenarios that can be formed in the new political framework resulting from the general elections of March 4.
A certain optimism after the defeat of the convential parties contrasts with the fear for the risk that ‘the new policy’ will forget minorities and religious freedom - two elements that have not been a priority in the campaign.
THE VICTORY OF EUROSCEPTICISM
On the one hand, Italian evangelicals see in the victory of the Five Star Movement and the rise of the Legaue Party (Lega) an increase of tension towards the European Union. At the same time, they positively value the end of the hegemony of parties that have traditionally fought for the power in the country.
“The established political framework is shattered. On the one hand some instability and Euroscepticism are quite raising. On the other hand, if a government will be established, surely a huge natural spoil-system will happen and corruption could maybe decrease”, explains Vicepresident of the Italian Evangelical Alliance (AEI), Leonardo de Chirico.
“SOME POLITICAL MANOEUVRING IS NECESSARY”
The possibilities of governance in Italy are quite complex now. No party has obtained 40% of the votes, the minimum required to form a government.
Some have already thrown in the towel, such as former Prime Minister and candidate for the Democratic Party, Matteo Renzi, who has submitted his resignation after his PD party and allies only obtained 24% of the votes.
“I think there will not be new elections because, with our electoral law, the risk is to reproduce the same results”, Chirico says.
“There are two main poles now: the centre-right dominated by the rather nationalistic League, and the rather populist 5 Stars Movement. And none of them seems to have sufficient consensus to rule”, he adds.
That is why the AEI believes that “some political manoeuvring is necessary”.
“THE RESULTS ARE NOT GOOD FOR THE CHURCH”
Other voices from the evangelical community grant the anti-system representatives the power to create an alternative government to the nationalist right.
“The possibility of forming a new government will depend on the Five Star Movement”, Samuel Magnin, pastor of a church in Monza (Lombardy) points out.
All evangelicals coincide in the fact that these results will bring again a period of ignorance and oblivion by the public administration.
“The results are not good for the church. The League is a racist party and does not want evangelicals”, says Magnin. The AEI agrees: “The 5 Stars Movement and especially The League have shown little concern for religious freedom and minorities so far”.
“Usual reference points for evangelicals are no longer there and we have the responsibility to build new bridges. As usual, challenges can become opportunities”, De Chirico points out.