World Evangelical Alliance Moves to Enhance Influence on UN Human Rights

The World Evangelical Alliance opened a new office in Geneva, Switzerland this week as part of long-term efforts to strengthen the voice of the Persecuted Church, as well as to influence world leaders in the neighboring United Nations.

The new office was opened by the network of evangelical bodies in partnership with the Swiss Evangelical Alliance (l'Alliance évangélique suisse).

“In a day of growing global complexities it is critical that WEA increases its impact on the global stage,” said Geoff Tunnicliffe, International Director of the World Evangelical Alliance." Opening an office in Geneva will provide another resource to more effectively influence world and thought leaders.

Also praising the Swiss Evangelical Alliance for its contributions, Tunnicliffe said, “The WEA community is deeply grateful to the Swiss brothers and sisters who generously provided the office space in demonstration of their support for the work of the WEA.”

Janet Epp Buckingham, Director of Law and Public Policy at the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada said that the new office has been set up in a strategic location, aiming to make the greatest impact on human rights advocacy.

“With the new Human Rights Council meeting three times a year, Geneva is clearly the meeting place for dealing with issues of human rights," she said. "This office will be the focal point for WEA’s advocacy for religious freedom around the world.”

The office looks to be crucial in enhancing the Evangelical participation within the United Nations, according to Johan Candelin, executive director of the WEA Religious Freedom Commission.

“As WEA is taking its work to a higher level at the United Nations in New York and in Geneva with the Human Rights Council, the new WEA UN office will play an important part in the work as a base for the Evangelical UN work,” Candelin said.

Meanwhile, Hansjörg Leutwyler, General Secretary of the Swiss Evangelical Alliance, applauded the new opening as a "testimony to all."

"The new office will give the persecuted church not only a voice at the United Nations but will also give the Evangelical Alliance a more visible face and profile in our nation," said Leutwyler. "This is a great opportunity to share offices, resources and knowledge, and to thereby become a testimony to all: "one face, one voice, one message."