Commercial and bureaucratic hindrances collided with an uncontrollable reality: the faith of many players.
The stamp will show the cover of the “Bear Bible”. The petition was first launched in early 2016 and denied, despite the support of many evangelical and secular organisations.
The State Philatelic Commission of Spain, has announced the issue of a commemorative stamp of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation for January 2019.
The project has received widespread support from the evangelical community and even from various secular entities.
“The ‘Spanish Brand’ is starting to have a position in a plural and open society such as the European”, says José Luis Fernández Carnicero, leader of the stamp petition project, in a letter sent to the entities and individuals who have supported the initiative.
Carnicero is grateful for “the literary sensibility that they have had with the motive of the stamp we proposed, the cover of the Bear Bible”.
It “is a source of joy for the dissemination of this jewel of Spanish literature, the Bible that millions of our Spanish-speaking brothers throughout the world have used for centuries, to recognise the ‘Sola Scriptura’ as the Word of God”, he adds.
BROADLY SUPPORTED, BUT DENIED
However, despite the project was broadly supported by 114 entities, such as the Federation of Evangelical Religious Entities of Spain, the Spanish Evangelical Alliance, the Bible Society, theological seminaries, city councils, philatelic societies, regional authorities, cultural associations, etc, it was finally denied, without giving any compelling reasons.
RECTIFICATION AFTER TWO YEARS
After the refusal, the coordinating team of the project re-submitted a petition in March 2017.
“We could not accept a ‘no’ to the commemorative stamp, so that we sent a new project, showing the importance of the Bear Bible through the relevance that it has had in the media”, explains Carnicero.
The news of the non-concession of the seal had a wide impact, even in international media.
“The State Philatelic Commission had the opportunity to rectify the supposed discrimination, since all the other religious confessions had been recognised with a postage stamp”, says the project director.
However, “we were very clear that the greatest contempt had been towards the Word of God”, Carnicero points out. Luckily, the result of this second request has been positive.
“On April 2, 2018, we received, with satisfaction and gratitude to all those who have supported us in this project, a letter in which they granted a commemorative stamp of the V Centenary of the Protestant Reformation, to be issued in January 2019”.
A HISTORICAL STAMP
Although the date of the stamp does not coincide with the majority of commemorations around the Reformation, the commission in charge of the the stamp petition believes that “it does not arrive late”.
“During 2018, Catalonia celebrates the year of the Protestant Reformation, and in 2019, it will be 450 years since the first edition of the Bear Bible. The issue of the commemorative stamp of the fifth centennial of the Protestant Reformation with the cover of the Bear Bible, will commemorate both ephemerides in a stamp”, Carcinero says.