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Everything changes, some things remain the same

Christians who trust in the lordship of Jesus Christ do not have a strong political influence. But what we do have, and probably underestimate, is a hope for the future of Europe.

EDITORIAL AUTOR 7/Joel_Forster 13 DE JUNIO DE 2024 09:49 h
Journalists report live from the European Parliament, on 9 June 2024, as the outcome of the European elections is announced. / Photo: CC-BY-4.0: European Union 2024 [link]Flickr EP[/link].

Europe has 5 “interesting” years ahead, to put it mildly.



There is not enough housing for everyone. We are dependent on third parties for energy. We don’t know if food prices will come down. There is a war going on near our borders. There are new ideologies clamouring for our attention. Thousands of people continue to arrive from countries where wars or failed states stifle the possibility of building a stable future.



To make matters worse, surveys are beginning to show that some young people in Europe are losing confidence in our democratic system.



All these underlying tensions were present during the June European Parliament elections. “#UseYourvote”, was the call from Brussels, trying to encourage young people, the Generation Z, to go to the polling stations. The result was the highest turnout in 30 years, with 51% of the 397 million citizens eligible to vote.



Ursula von der Leyen is set to continue as President of the European Commission. A German doctor and former defence minister, von der Leyen is a Lutheran, a mother of seven children, and the first woman to lead the ‘European government’, as we might call it. The victory of her centrist conservative group (the European People’s Party), combined with the dwindling support for progressive parties, pave the way for her to retain the EU ‘crown’ in the 27-nation bloc’s journey to 2030.



So, in a sense, much remains the same.



But a lot has also changed. Many have protested with their votes in cities and towns across the continent against what they see as “political elites” who offer no real solutions. New radical parties have emerged, offering populist solutions to problems that those in power have failed to address well.



[destacate]Many say they are not happy with the way things are going in Europe. They want change and they want it now. Do we have solutions?[/destacate]In France, the vote for “hard right” and nationalist options served to punished the (still) very powerful president Emmanuel Macron. The same happened in Germany, where Chancellor Olaf Scholz saw the feared nationalist and anti-establishment option overtake him on the right.



In Italy, the Netherlands, Austria (countries also known for their undoubted Europeanism) many say they are not happy with the way things are going in Europe. They want change and they want it now.


 


In places like Spain (where, incidentally, the moderate options won) it was those born after 1997 who voted most strongly for new disruptive parties calling for “jailing the president”.


 


So, there is frustration, there is uncertainty. And there is fear of the future.


 


Do Christians who trust in the lordship of Jesus Christ have easy solutions? Surely not. And neither do we have a strong political influence, as some believers before us might have had a few decades ago.



But what we do have, and probably underestimate, is a hope for the future.



The Bible, in Revelation, speaks of light and confidence in the midst of stormy times. This hopeful foundation, which even atheists and secularists admit has shaped Europe for the better, is still available.



The challenge for us is to live this gospel with humility and courage. Starting with our daily decisions and our personal relationships with others. From this hopeful perspective, let us offer a ‘down to earth’ way of living that makes a difference in our anxious societies.



Joel Forster, director of Evangelical Focus.



[analysis]



[title]One more year[/title]

[photo][/photo]

[text]At Evangelical Focus, we have a sustainability challenge ahead. We invite you to join those across Europe and beyond who are committed with our mission. Together, we will ensure the continuity of Evangelical Focus and Protestante Digital (Spanish) in 2024.





Learn all about our #OneMoreYearEF campaign here (English).



[/text][/analysis]



 


 

 


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