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Spain: 12 church denominations and the Evangelical Alliance express concern over threats to freedoms

Spanish evangelicals denounce that “fundamental freedoms are at risk”, due to “authoritarian” legislative initiatives and “demand for all the right to think differently and to freely express it”.

FUENTES Protestante Digital AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus BARCELONA 03 DE FEBRERO DE 2022 10:17 h
An event in front of the Spanish Parliament in Madrid to commemorate the anniversary of the Constitution, December 2021. ./ [link]Congreso de los Diputados[/link].

The Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE), along with twelve evangelical denominations and entities in Spain, has issued a statement denouncing “restrictions on freedom” by the Spanish authorities through various legislative initiatives that attack fundamental rights such as freedom of conscience or expression.

The statement comes from the initiative of the Forum of Elah, a platform created at the end of 2021 for joint action when events that threaten religious freedom and freedom of conscience take place.

After mentioning the historical position of Protestants in Spain as defenders of fundamental freedoms for all, the statement says that these freedoms “are once again at risk with legislative initiatives, including privileges for some groups, the reversal of the burden of proof, the imposition of an ideology in schools, anti-conversion regulations, etc”..

“During the dictatorship, we exercised civil resistance through objection of conscience against national-Roman Catholic indoctrination at school or at the military swearing of the flag, and now, in the midst of democracy, we are astonished that indoctrination is starting to be practised again, although the catechism imposed on our children is now different”, stresses the statement. The text denounces “an authoritarian mentality that denies freedoms to the so-called 'heretic', whatever the type may be".


Education, a controversial issue

Regarding education, it denounces the imposition of  “an ideology of mandatory compliance”, which, although in the past “was justified by alleged piety, and now by alleged tolerance, in both cases the imposition of a particular orthodoxy lies behind it”.

That is why the evangelica organisations representing hundreds of evangelical churches complain says “fundamental rights and freedoms - which do not belong to any ideology of the political spectrum but to the democratic system - are at stake”.


Pressure from the LGTBI lobby

They express their concern about the privileges that are being granted to the LGTBI community.

We reject the discrimination that the LGTBI community suffered in the past, but we strongly condemn any initiative that gives this or any other group privileges over the rest of society, as is happening with the successive laws that have been approved recently, supported by persistent social pressure from the lobbies”, adds the statement.

This pressure can be seen in several laws that advocate for “a new, unscientific dogma, such as queer ideology and gender fluidity. But such fluidity is only allowed in one sense; so that fundamental citizen freedoms are undermined when any same-sex attracted or transgender person who chooses to regain congruence with their biological identity, is banned from receiving the professional and pastoral care they voluntarily choose, and doctors, psychologists and pastors who offer to provide such care are threatened by anti-conversion regulations”.

The statement warns that these laws are “justified by the dissemination of terrifying stories that are the result of bad practice and show therapies to support these people as activities of manipulation and torture, despite professionals and pastors who provide this help follow academically recognised professional criteria and responsible conduct that respects the freedom of the person”.

According to the evangelical community in Spain, this pressure “leads to a marginalisation of scientific evidence that takes us further away from the foundations of democracy and closer to authoritarianism”.

“As some scientists have denounced, science is not being consulted when legislating, and is replaced by pre-scientific slogans that are imposed as canonical truths, such as 'There are boys who are born with vulva and girls who are born with penises', which the medical community listens to in amazement, although remaining silent out of fear”, they underline.


False progressivism

The statement wants to draw attention “to the manipulation of welcoming authoritarian measures as if they were 'progressive'”.

For the signatories, “there is nothing progressive in the current cutback of liberties, in the limitation of the self-determination of the individual, in the indoctrination, in the persecution of dissidents, in the successive threats of excommunication that now translate into the label of 'homophobia'”.

Therefore, “as Protestants we once again raise our voice in favour of freedom and denounce the authoritarian tendencies that once came from national-Roman Catholicism and now from dogmatic secularism, and which seem to be embedded in the depths of the Spanish soul and go beyond any ideological category”.

Spanish evangelicals “protest today as we have been doing for centuries, against the imposition of 'orthodoxy' and privileges, and we demand for all the right to think differently, to dissent and to freely express it”.

“We therefore call on Spanish society to recover the best of its democratic tradition by renouncing the imposition of dogmas and recovering respect for the fundamental rights of the people, freedom of conscience and freedom of expression”, concludes the statement.


12 denominations and the Evangelical Alliance

Besides the Spanish Evangelical Alliance, the statement was signed by de evangelical denominations Buenas Noticias (Good News), COMIMA, Cuerpo de Cristo-Remar (Body of Christ-REMAR), Assemblies of God Spain (FADE), Pentecostal and Charismatic Federation of Spain (FPCE), Federation of Churches of God of Spain (FIDE), Federation of Independent Evangelical Churches of Spain (FIEIDE), Iglesias Betania (Bethany Churches), Foursquare Church, Churches of Christ, Churches of Philadelphia (Romani churches), and the Evangelical Baptist Union of Spain (UEBE).

You can read the full statement here (in Spanish).




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