The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
Around 200,000 people gather each week in the 1,000 Church of Philadelphia temples throughout Spain. This Roma community has the recognition of the Spanish government for its social work.
April 8 was the International Romani Day.
The Church of Philadelphia is one of the evangelical communities with greater visibility and more members in Spain.
Approximately 200,000 people gather each week in the 1,000 temples throughout Spain, led by around 3,000 pastors and workers.
The Christian denomination takes its name from the community named like that in the book of Revelation.
The movement emerged in the 1950s in France, when ‘Brother Emiliano’ and other converted Roma Christians, such as Jaime Díaz Cortés, were instructed by a pastor of the Assemblies of God.
That group of pioneers later brought to Spain the teachings they had learned, and the community began to grow amid an atmosphere of lack of recognition and hostility from the dictatorial government of that time.
Today, the community is one of the evangelical families with greater social visibility, and it has the recognition of the Spanish government, especially because of its extraordinary work for the social integration and development of the Roma community in Spain.
"Philadelphia has been a blessing for the Romani people, since it has allowed them to really know the Gospel of Christ", said Rafael Maya, a representative of the Federation of Christian Cultural Associations of Andalusia.
SCHOOLING, SOCIAL INTEGRATION AND PREVENTION
The Church of Philadelphia has a broad international representation, not only in Spain, but also in France, Bulgaria or Romania.
Additionally, the community also focuses on schooling, social integration, prevention of marginalization, the fight against delinquency and drug addiction, promoting a responsible lifestyle which supports the dignity of women.