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I’m currently at the Frizon (“Free Zone”) Festival, one of the biggest Christian youth events in Sweden. It’s actually a music festival with concerts and stuff, but it also includes services, Bible studies, seminars and everything else you’ll find at a Christian conference. And what I really love is that it both welcomes charismatic fire and radical activism. For example, you will find:
Daily testimony meetings where the youth share miracles they’ve experienced
Almost completely vegetarian food
Prophetic guidance where prophetic people pray for you
Seminars about migration policy, poverty reduction and the fight against trafficking
I was sitting together with around 3000 others in a big, old barn; listening to one of the best pacifist sermons I’ve ever heard. It was in August 2010, we were attending the Frizon festival – one of the biggest Christian youth event in Sweden (it doesn’t require much to be big in this country). The preacher, Jonas Eveborn, talked about how Jesus’ triumphal entrance to Jerusalem is a political contrast to how Pilate entered Jerusalem every Passover feast – while Pilate was riding a white war horse with armies and flags, Jesus rode a peaceful donkey with kids and palm leaves! Jonas went on contrasting the cross and the sword, and told us that he was convinced that Christians should not use violence.
After Jonas had given his message, the organisers of the meeting came forward and explained that the Evangelical Free Church – the church organising Frizon – had “a pacifist Baptist tradition” where “many had chosen not to do military service”. Then they invited those who wanted prayer to come forward – for salvation, for supernatural healing and for wisdom concerning Jesus’ peace message.