EEA and the EU: Looking Toward a Better Europe

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For Immediate Release

Evangelicals in Europe have traditionally veered away from political involvement, focusing instead on networking within churches and nurturing individual spiritual growth. However, with the establishment of a new European Evangelical Alliance office near the European Union Institutions in Brussels and the selection of a new EEA Brussels representative, Evangelicals are taking a step forward in their commitment to transform Europe through political, social, and economic means.

“We are here to win souls but we are also here to transform Europe with a holistic mission,” said Leonardo De Chirico, the Vice President of the Italian Evangelical Alliance, during the public policy session of the EEA’s 2005 assembly on Thursday. “There is a political dynamic attached to this holistic mission.”

The EEA Brussels office opened many years ago, but has been operating part-time until Tove Videbaek – a 20-year veteran in Christian media and 7-year parliamentarian from Denmark – was selected to take on the leadership role in June 2005.

Since her coming, Videbaek has met with members of the European Parliament and engaged in conversations to promote Christian values in television and to protect life.

“We will do everything we can to further Christian values,” said Videbaek. “In Brussels, we can have an impact on the politics of all of Europe because it goes from here to 25 countries.”

According to Videbaek, the Brussels office is neither for nor against the EU. Instead, the public policy office serves as an instrument to get information out – both about the EU to EEA members and about Evangelicals to the EU Institutions.

“There is no verse in the Bible that will tell you whether the EU is good or bad,” she said. “But I really love being a part of the EEA, and as evangelical churches in Europe, we can do so much in speaking the truth about biblical values.”

These values include the protection of life “at all stages,” upholding the sanctity of marriage, promoting religious freedom and human rights, and protecting the rights of pastors to freely preach.

“People in Brussels are starting to notice the EEA’s presence,” Videbaek added.

As of now, Videbaek said there is only one roadblock to expanding operations at the public policy office: people.

“I need more hands to share the work with,” said Videbaek, who is currently the only one at the Brussels office. “I need volunteers because even though I’m a Pentecostal, I can’t do everything at one time.”

Ultimately Videbaek said her vision is to “transform Europe.” However, she said, none of that is possible without prayers and the blessing of God.

“Pray as if everything depends on God,” she said. “We know without God’s blessings we can do nothing at all.”

The 2005 EEA Assembly follows the theme, “Gospel Relevance in Europe Today” and is being held in Tavira, Portugal. The annual assembly, which began on Wednesday, ends on Sunday, Oct. 23.

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