"Integration will take place with the help of Evangelical churches." This is what Italian Minister Cécile Kyenge said on 1st December in a public conference that was held in San Benedetto del Tronto on the Adriatic Sea. The conference was organized by the Italian Evangelical Alliance and Compassion and followed the meeting that Minister Kyenge had with an Evangelical delegation at the end of July.
Kyenge’s role in the Italian Government is to foster pluralism and integration of recent immigrants in society. She has been under severe attack for what she stands for. “Governments cannot work in isolation” – said Kyenge. “There is some resistance in marginal sectors of society but the real and true Italy is where integration takes place. Churches have an essential role to play”. Giacomo Ciccone, chairman of the Italian EA, expressed the view that integration is possible when religious freedom is recognized and promoted. There is a strong correlation between the two.
“Evangelicals are on the fore front in creating opportunities for integration – 10% of the immigrants are evangelicals – but are also outspoken in urging Parliament and the Government to pass a law that will introduce a higher degree of religious freedom”. The conference was also greeted by the Major of San Benedetto del Tronto and from the local representative of the central Italian Government. The director of Compassion and local pastors spoke of different ways in which integration takes place on both global and local levels.
The conference was a good opportunity to commend the Evangelical positive contribution to the welfare of society at large in a very crucial area like integration.
Visit www.alleanzaevangelica.org for more information about the Italian Evangelical Alliance.