Reading the Bible, discussing, doing sports: In the coming days, around 13,000 young Christians will come together in Erfurt for the nationwide youth meeting "Christival".
Erfurt (dpa/th) - The organizers of the Christian youth meeting "Christival" in Erfurt on the Ascension Day weekend are happy about sold-out tickets. The capacity limit had already been reached before the registration deadline, said Chairman Karsten Hüttmann on Wednesday at a press conference on the occasion of the start in the evening. This shows how great the longing of the young people is for four days full of encounters and exchanges as well as community experiences after two years shaped by the corona pandemic.
Around 13,000 young people between the ages of 14 and 24 from Germany and abroad are expected to attend the "Christival", which runs until Sunday - including church services, discussion forums and concerts. The highlight should be a concert evening on Saturday with the comedian and musician Bülent Ceylan, among others. The evangelical youth congress is to end on Sunday with a public closing service.
Project manager Chris Pahl pointed out that many interested parties had received a refusal "since many of the planned accommodations for Ukraine refugees are needed". You have full understanding for that. In the course of the event, they want to "facilitate encounters where young Christians can show how relevant faith in God is, especially in times of crisis," said Pahl.
With Bible studies, seminars, actions under the motto "I believe. We celebrate. Life!" try to depict the entire spectrum of life, said Hüttmann. "As Christians, we believe that the world is full of hope because God sees people, even and especially in the current global crisis." This is also the biblical message of the letter to the Philippians, which should be discussed in particular.
The "Christival" is experiencing its seventh edition in Erfurt. The first event took place in Essen in 1976, the last in Karlsruhe in 2016. It is supported by a non-profit association. Its members are employees in Christian works, associations and Protestant state and free churches. The regional bishop of the Evangelical Church in Central Germany (EMK), Friedrich Kramer, praised the great diversity that would become visible on the Ascension Day weekend.