Monday, March 30   Sign in or Register
Evangelical Focus
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud

Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.

Which of these online initiatives should churches prioritise?



Christian doctrine

Swiss Protestant Church votes to allow same-sex marriages

The Swiss Evangelical Alliance and free evangelical churches say it is “a step in the wrong direction”.

SOURCES, SEA AUTHOR Evangelical Focus BERN 06 NOVEMBER 2019 16:06 h GMT+1
2019 Autumn assembly of the SEK, in Bern. / SEK, N. Rauscher

The historic Protestant Church of Switzerland has voted to allow same-sex marriages in its churches.

The Federation of Swiss Evangelical Churches (SEK) unites 26 regional Protestant churches in the central European country.

After what was described as a “lively” but respectful debate during the SEK autumn assembly, 45 delegates voted in favour, 10 against and 5 abstained.



According to Swiss news website, the majority of those who backed the new position referred to previously adopted positions by the SEK ‘church parliament’, which had stated that one does not choose his or her sexual orientation but it is determined by God’s creative will.

The vote came as the Swiss national parliament works to pass a new “Marriage for All” law that would equal the rights of same-sex marriages with those of heterosexual marriages.



The SEK now officially “endorses the opening to homosexual marriage” and “encourages all member churches to apply the expected new civil definition of marriage for the blessing of marriages”.

It also “encourages all member churches to respect the freedom of conscience of the priests”.

The regional SEK churches in every Swiss Canton will now have the last word on these new guidances.




Association of Free Churches.

Free evangelical Christians in Switzerland overwhelmingly disagree with the decision made by the Protestant Church.

Peter Schneeberger, President of the Association of Free Churches (VFG), reacted to the news saying that “the marriage between man and woman still has a special status for us, based on its distinctive potential and on God’s order of creation”. He added that the position of the Protestant Churhc is now opposed that of the “majority of the world churches”.

Meanwhile, the Swiss Evangelical Alliance (SEA), which has among its members both free evangelical churches and Protestant communities, also expressed its disappointment with the decision of the SEK, which it described as a “step in the wrong direction”.


Swiss Evangelical Alliance.

“The State is responsible for guaranteeing the protection and the rights of same-sex couples”, the SEA said in a statement, but “the Christian church has the task of orienting itself on the full witness of the Bible, and looking at the developments of society from this prism”.

The Alliance admits that there is a “theological discussion”, and adds that it will continue to take part in “forums” which reflect on “careful counselling” for same-sex attracted people both on a “theological and a praxis level”.

The SEA emphasised the need to protect the freedom of conscience and of speech of the ministers of the SEK who do not agree with the doctrinal changes and hold to a traditional biblical approach to marriage and sexuality.



With the decision of allowing same-sex marriages, the historic Protestant church of Switzerland follows the example of other Reformed churches in Europe which have introduced changes in its doctrine on marriage in the last few years. This has been the case in countries such as Austria, Germany, France, Belgium, Scotland, and Finland, among others.




    If you want to comment, or


YOUR ARE AT: - - Swiss Protestant Church votes to allow same-sex marriages
Jonathan Tame: Economy, looking back at the decade Jonathan Tame: Economy, looking back at the decade

The Director of the Jubilee Centre (Cambridge) analyses the impact of the financial crises on families, and the future of the workplace in a connected world, from a Christian perspective.

Jim Memory: Europe, looking back at the decade Jim Memory: Europe, looking back at the decade

Jim Memory analyses the main issues that have changed Europe in the 2010-2019 decade. How should Christians live in a continent that has lost its soul?

Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

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.

Photos: European Week of Prayer Photos: European Week of Prayer

Christians joined the Evangelical Alliance Week of Prayer in dozens of European cities as local churches came together to worship God. 

Photos: Students at ‘Revive Europe’ Photos: Students at ‘Revive Europe’

Photos of the student conference that brought together 3,000 European Christians in Germany. ‘Revive our hearts, revive our universities, revive Europe’.

How should Christ's love inform your parenting of teenagers? How should Christ's love inform your parenting of teenagers?

Dave Patty shares about the notion of parenting children on God’s behalf.

What is a prayer meeting? What is a prayer meeting?

“Prayer is like a fire. One spark that someone prays should ignite a passion in someone else”. Mike Betts leads the network of churches Relational Mission.

Video: Highlights of ‘Revive Europe’ Video: Highlights of ‘Revive Europe’

A video summary of the student conference that gathered 3,000 in Karlsruhe, Germany. 6 days in 6 minutes.

Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube

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.