The evangelical galaxy represents a large part of Protestantism. Are the movements that accompany Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro representative of this Christianity? Who are the evangelicals of France?
“There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope by your calling” Ephesians 4:4
For Protestants at least, this program of Présence Protestante will be a milestone. For the first time will be gathered around the same fight, Christian Krieger, president of the Protestant Federation of France (FPF) and Erwan Cloarec, president of the National Council of Evangelicals of France (CNEF).
The FPF and the CNEF
In 1905 the Protestant Federation of France (FPF) was born. Its first president was an evangelical layman from the Free Churches, Edward Grüner. In 1905, the challenge was already to organize the separation of Church and State.
Today, the Protestant Federation is the interlocutor of the State of French Protestantism, in particular for military chaplaincies, hospitals and health centers and prisons. The FPF is also entrusted with the editorial coordination of the Public Service programs on France Culture and France 2: Solaé and Présence Protestante.
To date, the FPF brings together some thirty Churches or unions of Churches, as well as eighty-one associations, that is approximately five hundred communities, institutions, works and movements.
In 2010, the National Council of Evangelicals of France (CNEF) was born out of a dual concern to bring together and represent the Evangelicals of France. Today, the CNEF brings together around thirty evangelical denominations and around one hundred and seventy works and movements.
Some Protestant organizations are members only of the FPF or only of the CNEF, others are members of both and some are members of neither the FPF nor the CNEF.
What relationship, you will say, between these institutions and the program of Présence Protestante on Sunday?
A point of clarification: no, contrary to what we are led to believe, the evangelicals of the FPF and the CNEF, like a very large majority of evangelicals in the world, do not condone violence, political recoveries and blows. 'states.
The landscape of world Protestantism is in the image of French Protestantism. It is complex and protean. This is also the very essence of Protestantism based on the famous Solas: everyone has access to God through the Bible, without intermediary. Point.
Logically, a multitude of movements or denominations, currents of thought, nuances in interpretations have therefore appeared over the centuries. Among them, extremes, on the left, on the right, extremes of fundamentalism, literalism, pietism, but also of culturalism, historicism, liberalism, etc. And among these extremes have appeared in certain countries, in the United States, in Brazil or elsewhere, currents wanting to marry the throne and the altar, secular power and the Church.
Deliberate will or ignorance?
Unfortunately, it is often more of the extremes, more than of the silent majority, that the media talk about. Thus, there are countless articles on the invasion of the capitol in the United States in 2021 or on the riots which accompanied the end of Jair Bolsonaro's mandate in Brazil, at the beginning of 2023.
Thus by assimilation, mistrust vis-à-vis the misnamed "evangelists" (who are no more so than Catholics are Catholics), is maintained. Yes, we recognize that Protestantism is diverse. Yes, as in all families, Protestants do not always agree with each other.
But yet, recognizing their differences, they are united. Even if some blow on the embers of our divisions, we Protestants, we Christians, we have been called to a single hope by our vocation.
This is, in a few words, the testimony of the presidents of the FPF and the CNEF, together on screen for the first time this Sunday. A program directed by Emmanuel Duchemin and prepared by Claire Bernole
To see or review Ethical Variations – Who are the Evangelicals of France? To see or see again XXI centuries after Jesus Christ - Cross: France.tv or follow Presence Protestante on Facebook
Christopher Zimmerlin, for Protestant Presence