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‘Protestante Digital’ celebrated its 20th anniversary: ‘We did not know it was impossible, so we did it’

Its daily contents and the contribution of hundreds of authors since 2003, make it the largest evangelical news website in Spain. The celebration gathered friends and supporters.

FUENTES Protestante Digital AUTOR 5/Evangelical_Focus MADRID 22 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2023 10:27 h
Juan Antonio Monroy and Pedro Tarquis, at the event. / Photo: Marcos Sancio, [link]PD[/link].

On number 21 of Madrid's Recoletos Avenue is the legendary Café Gijón, a place for literary gatherings and a famous meeting point for prominent figures in the Spanish socio-cultural life of the last 130 years.



The cultural heart of the place is located in a reserved area: a completely wooded underground crypt, with a capacity for 50 people.



In that setting, Spanish news website Protestante Digital (PD) celebrated its 20th anniversary on 8 November, with an event attended by journalists, radio and tv broadcasters, institutional representatives and several contribturos of PD, all from the evangelical sphere.



“We were thinking of inviting public authorities and friends from outside our community, but in the end we chose to celebrate in an intimate event with you, our family of faith”, said Pedro Tarquis, founder of PD and currently director of Areópago Protestante, the media project of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE) that brings together Protestante Digital, Evangelical Focus and Evangélico Digital.



 



“We did not know it was impossible, so we did it”



Tarquis, who was overwhelmed by emotion at some points during the event, had words of recognition and gratitude for all the people who collaborated with the project in the past and up to today.



He paraphrased Jean Cocteau's famous phrase: “We did not know it was impossible, so we did it” to synthesise Protestante Digital's two decades so far.



Juan Antonio Monroy (honorary president of PD and Protestant journalist in the times of the Franco dictatorship) who at almost 94 still keeps his intellectual faculties and his characteristic sense of humour intact, gave a short speech in which he quoted tango singer Carlos Gardel. “I like tango, and although Gardel sang that twenty years is nothing, I have to say that for Protestante Digital twenty years has been a lot”, he said.



Other speakers at the ceremony included Amable Morales (from the Brethren Assemblies) with the opening prayer; the secretary general of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance, Manuel Suárez; José de Segovia (theologian and columnist of PD since the beginning); the director of PD, Daniel Hofkkamp; the director of Evangelical Focus, Joel Forster; the editor of EF, Belén Díaz; the executive secretary of  Federation of Evangelical Religious Entities of Spain (FEREDE), Carolina Bueno and the president of the AEE, Marcos Zapata, who closed the event with a prayer.





Dialogue between evangelicals and all of society



Tarquis started Protestante Digital in 2003 with the unconditional support of the veteran pastor and journalist Juan Antonio Monroy and the then president of the then Spanish Evangelical Alliance, Pablo Martínez Vila.



Born as a digital magazine of Protestant and evangelical information, which aims to foster dialogue between Protestantism and society, it became a daily news website in 2011, as it increased its content production and reach both inside and outside Spain.



In 2015, Evangelical Focus was created, a project for Europe and in English, “with the aim of giving a voice to evangelicals on the continent, building bridges with society and between Christians from different conutries”.



Finally, in 2018 Evangélico Digital was born, produced “from and for Latin America”.





[photo_footer] The director of Protestante Digital, Daniel Hofkamp. / Photo: Marcos Sancio, PD.  [/photo_footer] 


The Unamuno Prize



Furthermore, since 2006 PD awards the Unamuno, Friend of the Protestants Prize, to “honour a person or an institution in Spanish society that, not being Protestant, has done something in favour of plurality and the normal coexistence between Spaniards, defending freedom of religion and evangelical culture”.



Inspired by the Miguel de Unamuno's friendship with the Protestant pastor Atilano Coco (whom he unsuccessfully tried to save during the Civil War (1936-39) from being shot by the Francoists) it has been awarded to public figures such as the former mayor of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz Gallardón; the newspaper El País; the well-known author Antonio Muñoz Molina; and the professor of Philosophy at the Complutense University of Madrid, José Luis Villacañas.



 



The challenge of economic sustainability



Among the expressions of gratitude and positive evaluations of the progress made during the celebration, the economic challenge was present in many of the speeches, as a present and future challenge.



Protestante Digital is self-financed, with a strict policy of not depending on state subsidies. It has income through advertising, doantions of individuals and churches, and thourhg members of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (which is also self-financed).



That is why director Daniel Hofkamp stressed that “the economic challenge is still very important (...) We see that many online media already have paywalls which make it impossible to read most of their content. They following that strategy to preserve their media, but it is something that goes against our concept. We want a Protestante Digital that is free, open and easy to read. Is this possible? We think so, but we need to raise more resources”, added the PD director.



 



Among the most-read religious media in Spain



With 1,790,000 users, 3 million page views and around 200,000 sessions in 2022, Protestante Digital is currently the 6th largest media outlet among the religious media published in Spain, according to Google Analytics.



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AEE
PROTESTANTE DIGITAL FORMA PARTE DE LA: Alianza Evangélica Española
MIEMBRO DE: Evangelical European Alliance (EEA) y World Evangelical Alliance (WEA)
 

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