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All articles in category Switzerland

Switzerland – awakening interest in Apologetics and Reformed Theology
June 2005
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Switzerland – awakening interest in Apologetics and Reformed Theology

As pastor of the Action Biblique church in Basel, Switzerland, I was recently able to organise two seminars led by Dr Martin Erdmann – whose apologetics approach is founded on Reformed theology. I was grateful for this opportunity for several reasons.   Firstly, Christian apologetics is not talked about much in Evangelical churches these days. Even at the theological seminary in Switzerland that I attended, the apologetics course had regrettably been long since removed. Secondly, Dr Erdmann showed us that apologetics is a topic for every Christian, because we are all called to defend our faith (1 Peter 3:15). If we are to explain ‘the...

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Missionary Spotlight-Italian Switzerland
April 2003
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Missionary Spotlight-Italian Switzerland

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...

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Missionary Spotlight-God at work in French-speaking Switzerland
December 2002
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Missionary Spotlight-God at work in French-speaking Switzerland

Nearly 500 years ago, between 1528 and 1536, the Reformation took root in the French-speaking cantons of Neuchâtel, Vaud, Geneva and Bernese Jura. This occurred largely through the influence of William Farel, Pierre Viret and John Calvin. But during the eighteenth century, their biblical teaching was rapidly replaced by a heresy called Socianism, which denies the doctrine of the Trinity. So by the early nineteenth century most Swiss pastors doubted or rejected the truth of Christ’s deity. Revival But during that century the gospel flame was fanned into life by a number of local Christian awakenings (or revivals). The most noteworthy of these took place...

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Missionary Spotlight-Where could I find God?
December 2002
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Missionary Spotlight-Where could I find God?

I was born in Switzerland in December 1963. My parents, two sisters and I lived in a ski resort in the Valais areaof the Swiss Alps. In 1968 my father died suddenly of a brain embolism. His death, and the restless adolescence of my two sisters, upset me very much. I left home when I was 16 years old. Nightlife At that time, I lived without any fear of God or consciousness of my sin, persuading myself that I was a victim of life and circumstances. After a youth marked by sexual promiscuity and drug abuse, I settled down in a city about 80 miles...

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November 2002
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Missionary Spotlight – Facts

Area:15,940 square miles. Switzerland is landlocked.   Neighbouring countries: France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Austria and Italy. Environment: Switzerland is very mountainous. More than 70% is covered by the majestic Alps and their valleys. The Jura mountains are lower and popular with skiers. Between these two mountain systems there is a central plateau of hills, plains and large lakes. The climate is temperate, varying with altitude. Population: 7.3 million (about 20% non-indigenous). Capital: Bern (327,000). Other cities: Zürich (984,000), Basel (631,000), Geneva (515,000) and Lausanne (289,000). Geneva is a major world political and ecclesiastical centre, with centres for the UN, International Red Cross, World Council of Churches...

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Missionary Spotlight – Christianity in German Switzerland
November 2002
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Missionary Spotlight – Christianity in German Switzerland

Just five minutes’ drive from my apartment lies the village of Zollikon, well known for its early Anabaptist history. Further along Lake Zurich is the city of Zurich — today one of the economic lungs of the nation, but once a major centre for the Reformation.   The Zurich canton, like those of Basel, Bern and others, is regarded as Protestant, whereas Lucerne and the central cantons are seen as Roman Catholic. But these labels have little real significance now, since Protestant Christianity has long since lost its edge in Switzerland. Decline   The last referendum on abortion offers a telling example of the decline...

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Missionary Spotlight : German-speaking Switzerland
November 2002
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Missionary Spotlight : German-speaking Switzerland

Switzerland has had some bad headlines of late. Its ambivalent attitude towards Europe and, until recently, the United Nations, and its secretive banking system (not always funded by reputable sources), have attracted negative comment.   Then there was Swissair’s bankruptcy. Maybe it is not all chocolate, yodelling and Alpine mountain scenes! Spiritually, Switzerland’s past is well known, especially in the English-speaking world, where the Reformers Zwingli and Calvin are often referred to. But what impact does reformation teaching have in Switzerland today? History   Switzerland’s Reformation emanated mainly from the ministry of Zwingli in Zürich and Luther in Bern. Calvin’s influence in Geneva was confined...

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November 2002
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Missionary Spotlight – Signs of hope

Switzerland needs a new Reformation. Only 12% of its Protestant state church members attend even one church service a month. At the same time, there is great emptiness in the lives of most people. Switzerland has the highest suicide rate in the world.   Bible-believing Christians are viewed as cultic and dangerous. Videos from the Swiss-based Christian apologist Francis Schaeffer were taken from a city library and destroyed because they presented ‘a wrong world-view’. Schoolchildren receive ‘AIDS-education’ and are encouraged to experiment in homosexuality. This year the country voted in favour of legalising abortion. Darkness   Yet Switzerland is still remembered as the land of...

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