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EEA held General Assembly in Germany: “Safety is more than security”

The European Evangelical Alliance not only addressed the general human longing for safety but also the current concerns about the Europe in which we are living.

SOURCES EEA BAD BLANKENBURG 19 JUNE 2019 14:19 h GMT+1
Group picture of the participants of the General Assembly 2019 of the European Evangelical Alliance. / Christoph Groetzinger, EEA

The European Evangelical Alliance (EEA) met for its annual General Assembly in Bad Blankenburg/Germany from 11 - 14 June 2019.



More than 70 participants from more than 20 countries gathered to consider how Evangelical Christians across Europe might reach out more with the message of hope and love to all who live on this continent in times of insecurity.



Dealing with the theme ‘On the road home: How to journey safely’, the EEA’s General Assembly not only addressed the general human longing for safety but also the current concerns about the Europe in which we are living.



The General Secretaries of National Evangelical Alliances, representatives of affiliate members and the chairs of Hope for Europe networks talked about the reasons (real or perceived) that cause Europeans to feel unsafe in their own countries and continent and wrestled with unmasking these concerns and challenge them in the light of the Bible.



The EEA intends to encourage the Church to look at its own fears and concerns, to overcome them with love and to find real refuge and safety in God.



 



THEMES AND SPEAKERS



“As we are all aware, the topic security is very high on the agenda in society in general and in legislation more specifically.” says Thomas Bucher, General Secretary of the European Evangelical Alliance. “We strongly believe, however, that there are other answers to this challenge than tightening up general security measures and confinements to the Freedom of Religion or Belief – which seem to be typical reactions that legislation often chooses these days.”



Frank Hinkelmann, the president of the EEA, looked at the thematic challenge from history’s viewpoint delivering a lecture on “Journeying safely – lessons from history”. Kosta Milkov, the director of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries Macedonia and founder and director of the Balkan Institute for Faith and Culture took this further by addressing two topics: “Journeying safely – contemporary issues and challenges” and “Journeying safely – into the future”. This was underpinned by bible studies and interactive breakout sessions helping the participants to transfer these ideas into their own working and living context.



 



HOPE AWARD AND GERMAN EA TRANSITION



As part of the weeklong programme, the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA) presented its annual HOPE Award to Thérèse Swinters, facilitator of the European Disability Network (EDN) on the eve of 12 June 2019. Against the background of her ground-breaking work over the past 15 years, Ms. Swinters was honoured for her “persistent building of the Disability Network and her gracious handling of the able people along the way”.



 



Thomas Bucher and Thérèse Swinters, during the Hope Award ceremony, in Bad Blankenburg. / Christoph Grötzinger, EEA



Furthermore, the participants of the General Assembly witnessed the celebration of the official handover of the General Secretary of the German Evangelical Alliance from Hartmut Steeb to Dr. Reinhardt Schink on Wednesday afternoon, 12 June 2019.



Bishop Efraim Tendero, the General Secretary of the World Evangelical Alliance, honoured the celebration with his presence and publicly thanked Hartmut Steeb for over 30 years of ministry leading and developing the German Evangelical Alliance.



The EEA, originally created in 1852, is a pan-European movement representing more than 50 national and international evangelical Protestant organizations in Europe, and 23 million citizens in the EU.


 

 


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