Europe's Evangelicals Challenged to Be Good News People

EVIA, Greece – The European Evangelical Alliance's annual assembly ended Friday with a call to evangelicals in Europe to be "Good News people."

One hundred and twenty Christian leaders from across the EEA's 35 member countries gathered in Evia, Greece, for the four-day assembly to renew their vision for a Europe transformed by the love of the resurrected Jesus Christ.

At the assembly's end, EEA General Secretary Gordon Showell-Rogers charged the leaders to return to their countries more dedicated than ever to revealing and upholding the truth of Christ through their lives.

"Evangelicals in Europe face challenges from Islam, materialism and various radical secularist attempts to exclude people of faith from public life," the evangelical leader declared.

"Evangelicals in Europe need to remember that we are Good News people, boldly proclaiming and living the Good News of Jesus Christ in the early 21st century."

In an address earlier at the assembly, Showell-Rogers spoke of the urgent need for evangelicals to "rediscover our confidence in the radical and transforming power of the Good News of Jesus."

Group sessions running throughout the annual assembly addressed a number of issues including religious liberty, freedom of speech, justice and human trafficking.

At the religious liberty forum, Julia Doxat-Purser, the EEA's socio-political representative, stressed the need to love those deemed a threat to the freedom of religion for Christians, particularly Muslims and fanatical secularists.

"It doesn't matter how frustrated we are in the battle; we have to remember our foundational ethics of love and tolerance and doing what Jesus would do," she said. "We have to reach out and take seriously the idea that Jesus loves all people."

Meanwhile, EEA Associate Dr. Derek Copley, who led the afternoon forum for general secretaries from across Europe's national-level evangelical alliances, appealed to evangelicals to ensure that compassionate outreach remains centered on the proclamation of Jesus Christ.

"There really must be a passion for the gospel even when we are doing humanitarian and social works. The transforming power of Jesus Christ must be proclaimed as well as demonstrated," he said.

The assembly ended on Friday evening with stories of church growth in Central Asia and an appeal from the Turkish Evangelical Alliance representative to continue to follow Jesus.

Showell-Rogers concluded: "When Christians faithfully live out the mandate of Jesus Christ to be the salt and light of the earth, we can afford to rejoice in the knowledge that the Lord is at work through our lives, transforming our communities, and potentially our whole continent, according to His will."