The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
The electoral campaign starts in 27 countries. “This is our opportunity to influence, through our prayers, questions and vote. Let’s not miss this chance”, says the European Evangelical Alliance.
More than 400 million people in 27 European countries are called to vote in the upcoming European Parliament election (23-26 May).
Voters will “help decide what Europe will look like in five years’ time”, the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA) said as the political campaign officially started.
Citizens will decide who will be the new 751 representatives (MEPs) which will discuss laws in the three cities that host the European Parliament: Brussels (Belgium), Luxembourg City (Luxembourg) and Strasbourg (France).
AN 'OPPORTUNITY TO INFLUENCE'
For Christians and for everyone else, active participation is a great opportunity, the EEA said.
The body representing 23 million evangelical Christians in the continent encouraged Christians across the European Union to vote in the elections in May “prayerfully, and thoughtfully”.
“The European Parliament can seem a long way away from our daily lives but it makes decisions that affect us all. So this is our opportunity to influence, through our prayers, questions and vote. Let’s not miss this chance”.
The biblical mandate to pray for “all those in authority” (1Timothy 2) includes “those who run the European Union (EU) as well”, the EEA said. “Whether you generally like or dislike the EU is irrelevant. The EU exists, and we are asked to pray for it”.
Today, the election campaign for the European Parliament starts. According to former French President Charles de Gaulle, politics is too important to be left to politicians. Therefore, we greatly encourage you to use your voting rights! https://t.co/GXscKrIC6u #EUelections2019
— EEA | Arie de Pater (@ariedep) 23 d’abril de 2019
THE CHRISTIAN ROOTS OF THE EU
Many believers may not be aware of the fact that the origins of the EU were shaped by Christian leaders. “The founders of what was to become the European Union, Robert Schuman, Konrad Adenauer and Alcide De Gasperi, were motivated by Christianity to create this political entity to strengthen peace and cooperation between nations. They even held a prayer retreat the evening before the Treaty signing to create the European Coal and Steel Community”.
Since then, “there have been moments where the Christian worldview has appeared to be more or less important within the EU institutions. The lowest point was perhaps when France vetoed the mentioning of God or Christianity in the preamble for a draft EU Constitution”.
But “there are of course many Christians working in the EU institutions, as well as others who have similar values and want to work for the common good. Let’s pray for them”, the Secretary General of the EEA Thomas Bucher and President Frank Hinkelman said.
“IDENTIFYING MEPS WITH A HEART FOR HUMAN DIGNITY”
“After the European election, we will work hard to identify the MEPs who have a heart for human dignity, human rights, and Freedom of Religion or Belief”, the officer of the EEA Brussels office, Arie de Pater, told Evangelical Focus.
The EEA has been present in the heart of the European Union for 25 years. Socio-political representative Julia Doxat-Purser said “Christians are now better at thinking biblically about politics than 25 years ago”.
In the run-up to the election, Evangelical Focus will publish a series of articles produced by EEA staff on issues like “Christian responsibility in Europe” and “Why voting in the European election is important”, among others.