Thursday, December 13   Sign in or Register
Evangelical Focus
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud

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

Do the media in your country usually portray evangelical Christians accurately?




Independent Van der Bellen wins Austrian presidential election

Far-right candidate Norbert Hofer has conceded defeat in the Austria's presidential election. He had led over former Green Alexander van der Bellen by a wider margin, before the counting of absentee ballots.

Alexander van der Bellen Alexander van der Bellen

Europe came within a hair of having its first far-right head of state in the post-war era, but Austria's Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka announced that right-wing Freedom Party candidate Norbert Hofer had lost the second round run-off election to Alexander van der Bellen after more than 700,000 absentee ballots were counted.

The margin of victory was 31,000 votes, out of more than 4.6 million ballots cast, with Van der Bellen winning 50.3 percent. Turnout was 72.7 percent.

But in conceding defeat, Hofer said Austria's far-right would live to fight another day.

Austria ahead of presidential election

"Of course I am sad," Hofer said on Facebook. "But please don't be disheartened. The effort in this election campaign is not wasted, but is an investment for the future."

Voting on Sunday ended with Hofer, 45, narrowly ahead of independent candidate Van der Bellen, 72, who was backed by the Green Party.

Both candidates left the public underwhelmed, with many voters citing Van der Bellen as the less objectionable one.

"He's the lesser evil of the two," was a commonly heard phrase at polling stations in Vienna, and Van der Bellen even used this pitch to undecided Austrians.

"I ask all those who don't like me but perhaps like Hofer even less to vote for me," he pleaded ahead of Sunday's runoff. "Otherwise we run the risk of not recognising Austria if Norbert Hofer becomes president."

Despite those pleas voters who cast their ballots in-person gave Hofer a 3.8 percent advantage: 51.9 - 48.1 percent.

In a low-key victory speech Van der Bellen said there are too many Asutrians who feel their government isn't listening to them.

"A lot of people in this country don't feel sufficiently represented, they don't feel heard," he said.

Van der Bellen said his aim is to have his countrymen feel better about their country and future by the time his term in office ends.

"My aim is to be a constructive partner of the federal government and the parliament," he said, "so that in six years people in Austria feel better and that people will be able to say,' my children have a good future' and 'I can look to the future with hope.' "

The mass migration of Muslim refugees from war-torn countries such as Syria and Iraq have stoked nationalist ferver, and fears, among the working class in the country of 8.6 milion.

While 86 percent of working class voters pulled the lever for Hofer, 81 percent with university degrees backed Van der Bellen.

Austria took in nearly 100,000 refugees last year.




    If you want to comment, or


YOUR ARE AT: - - Independent Van der Bellen wins Austrian presidential election
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

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.

Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

“We need prayers for Bulgaria” “We need prayers for Bulgaria”

An interview with Pastor Vlady Raichinov, Vice President of the Bulgarian Evangelical Alliance.

The Impact of the Reformation on the social  reforms The Impact of the Reformation on the social reforms

David Hilborn, Principal, St. John's College, explains how has the Reformation view of justification led to social and political reforms.

The Manzanas case The Manzanas case

A short documentary about how retired pastors and widows of an evangelical denomination in Spain fight a legal battle for their pensions after the favourable ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.

‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

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.