Unlikely friendships

The European Evangelical Alliance is not in the habit of getting involved in film projects. But it made an exception for “The Peace Between”, a short documentary, giving a glimpse of 3 genuine friendships between a European and a displaced person. We knew that it could powerfully open up non-political, honest and respectful discussion about how we all feel about foreigners moving into our neighbourhoods. This kind of dialogue space is desperately needed among Christians and among broader society.

So EEA embarked on a big collaborative effort to help the film be completed and to create discussion, church service and prayer materials to go with it.  We are hugely grateful for all who have given their creative talents, time and money and now we pray that many churches will choose to open up space for people to “meet” a displaced person through viewing the film.

We are immensely encouraged by the feedback we have received so far. Here are just two comments.

“I really think the film will help us to understand how good relationships can change bad habits and wrong expectations of refugees. This film gives me many good ideas and calls me into action,” wrote Vitaly Vlasenko, of both the Russian and European Evangelical Alliances.

They say a picture is a thousand words.  As I view the film, “The Peace Between” I see and hear people who capture my imagination.  When and where will their journey end?  If you want resources which silence your words from answers without insight view “The Peace Between.”  Portraits of story will have the film come alive as you advocate with the footprints of misplaced persons looking for home.”  Christine McMillan, World Evangelical Alliance Associate Secretary General.

You will have a chance to view the film and try out some of the discussion materials at the Hope for Europe Congress .  But you can also go to  www.peacebetweendialogue.com .  The discussion materials are available in multiple languages under “Event Materials”. Subtitles are available by clicking on “cc” once you register for the film and go to the Vimeo link you receive.

We hope that Evangelical Alliances, mission agencies and many others will encourage wide use of the film in order to enable the reflection and face to face discussion that is greatly needed across our continent.   You may want to mark Orphan Sunday on 11th November by promoting the film’s Hungarian story between Raza and Istvan. Raza was a child when he left Afghanistan.

 

The final word goes to Istvan Horvath, General Secretary of the Hungarian Evangelical Alliance and one of the film’s stars.

“I wanted to be part of this film because I would like to help churches and Christian believers to find real, good and balanced answers to this complex and difficult situation. Most of the people who I am connected to have never met any refugee or migrant. Starting from this point of view, I think that it is true of many people in churches as well. Because they don’t have any personal experience, they receive information from different media. I find that the media is biased (with rare exceptions). People are watching, listening and reading mainly that kind of media where the news is interpreted according to their worldview and political beliefs. The propaganda from both side is very determined and very shortsighted, overly simplified and they use just simple political messages. I saw a lot of arguing from both side but I rarely had experience when I heard a really balanced views (It is true worldwide include Europe and Hungary as well.). Moreover, I do not want to get into the political or economic aspects of this issue. I would like to encourage God’s people to find what is our/their responsibility and our/their possibilities in this hard situation – at this historic moment. The Gospel will never change.”   

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