International Conference 2019-2021

Resident aliens
What can churches contribute to the wellbeing of their society?

International Conference 2019-2021
Motto What the soul is in the body, Christians are in the world – Epistula ad Diognetum


Christians have a dual citizenship: they are members of their society, but in the meantime their citizenship is in heaven (Phil.3:20). Does this celestial citizenship influence the way in which Christians are members of their earthly society? In which way does (or should) it affect their attitude? And what are ways to contribute to the wellbeing of society? How do Christians respond to God’s commission in Jeremiah 29: Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile.

Many Christian leaders ask themselves: in what way can I – or can my church – contribute to the common good in my country? This is a recurring theme in international contacts of DVN, Viaa and TUK. Though contexts can vary enormously (from post-christian secular west, post-communist Christian east, Christian minority in a hostile Hindu or Muslim context, to a Christian majority confronting extreme poverty and a failed state), the longing for a Christian presence in and contribution to society is there.

To make this contribution tangible it is fruitful to look to that areas where there is considerable tension in society, where the divides are. In this conference we will examine four of such divides (i.e. wealth and poverty, ethnic or racial division, religious opposition and gender inequality) and ask the question: what does the Gospel say to this issues? And what could and should a Christian attitude be regarding these divides full of tension?

With the insights of these four areas of interest we will ask the broader question: what is a Christian commitment to the city or the country where I live?


The International Conference is a cooperation of Verre Naasten, Viaa Christian University for applied sciences and Theological University Kampen. Conferences are held in 2019 and 2020. In 2021 we plan to organize a concluding event.

Hand-outs and other materials of the 2019 can be found below (especially for participants).