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Missionary Spotlight-Italian Switzerland

April 2003 | by Guiseppe Laiso

Italian Switzerland includes the canton of Ticino. The Protestant Reformed Church was established here in the nineteenth century and today has churches in towns like Muralto, Ascona, Locarno-Monti, Bellin-zona and Mesolcina.

This denomination is like Reformed Churches in other parts of Switzerland. It enjoys media slots and teaching opportunities on radio and television, as well as in schools, but is heavily influenced by theological modernism, and does not bring a sound gospel message.

Languages

There are true Evangelical churches, however, including the Federation of Free Evangelical Churches in Switzerland, a church group of which I am currently president. This has eleven congregations.

Gospel progress is slow in this Roman Catholic part of Switzerland. As well as obvious religious barriers, there are ethnic problems to cope with.

People speak Italian, German or French. Many churches hold different services for the three language groups – or provide language interpretation through headphones!

Although Evangelical Free churches do not have much access to the secular media, they are active in disseminating Christian literature through church bookstalls and at least three Christian bookshops.

Radio

There is a Christian radio station (Radio Uomini Nuovi) only 4 km from the Swiss border, at Marchirolo in Italy.

It has been transmitting for 30 years and brings helpful Bible teaching. One Saturday a month it has a special one-day ‘Bible School’.

Sometimes tensions arise and problems are caused between Evangelicals in our congregations when believers wander from one church to another without due reason. Such irresponsibility can create misunderstandings among church leaders.

We have an urgent need for true revival in Italian Switzerland among all the churches that profess the name of Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

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Switzerland