Evangelical women took the streets in Spain on the Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
“By joining the demonstration, we bear witness that God is against violence and show support and love for those who suffer from it”, said Elisa Máñez in the city of Valencia. Since 2017, she and other Christian women have been attending the annual march of the 25 November.
“We believe Jesus would also be against the violence against women and this is why we go out”, Máñez told Evangelical Focus. “We are called to be sensitive to the problems happening in our context”.
Their placard read: “Do not love me so much, love me better. The Evangelical Church at the march against gender-based violence”.
Abigail Castillo, another of the women walking, said their presence as evangelicals always raises good conversations. “We want people to know that Christianity is not machoist; Jesus came to dignify the woman”.
Madrid: “Jesus, the defender of the dignity and rights of women”
Meanwhile, in Madrid, evangelical women organised their own “Evangelical women against violence towards women” event in the central Gran Vía avenue.
The Evangelical Council of Madrid and the Union of Evangelical Women of Spain started this initiative in 2016 “to raise awareness, take a position as evangelical women against gender-based violence and any other violence against women, and testify that Jesus is the first model and defender of the dignity and rights of women”, said Asun Quintana, chair of the Christian feminist group Seneca Falls and of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s Woman and Society Working Group.
She told Evangelical Focus that many other groups have joined the gathering in the last years. Among them, Youth With A Mission, who performed a short drama piece. Lorena Lombela sang a song she wrote for her grandmother who had suffered this kind of violence. And singer Jaz Jacobs alluded to Genesis 1:27-28 and Genesis 3:16 to underline that violence against women was never God’s plan but a consequence of the rebellion against the Creator.
“Our message is one of denunciation but also one of hope for all those women who are or have been victims of violence, because in Jesus there is restoration”, Quintana, who opened the event with a speech, told Evangelical Focus.
Around 300 people joined the gahtering, in which radio broadcaster Ester Burgués and social media influencer Marta Durán read the final manifesto. Nieves Carabaña, of the Madrid Evangelical Council closed the event with prayer.
- Spanish evangelicals engaged
- The engagement in the defense of women is not new among evangelical Christians in Spain. Several shelter homes led by evangelical organisations have been working for years to give a safe space to women trafficked into prostitution. Other groups offer support to women who denounce gender-based violence and help them in the legal battle against their aggressors. Freedom walks and workshops in secondary schools about the consequences of consuming pornography have also been organised over the years by evangelical groups.