Parliamentarians visiting churches in Europe

A workshop-conference HELPING CHURCHES CONNECT with the leaders of the nation

This page presents a conference held on 9-10 April 2024 in Vienna, Austria. The conference is over, but the vision still moves on according to what is presented on this page. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you are interested in knowing more about this vision.

Hosted by the Austrian Evangelical Alliance, Austrian Fellowship of Pentecostal Churches, and the European Nehemiah Center

Parliamentarians visiting churches in Europe

How can we as churches have a real connection with and influence on the leaders of our nation?

This workshop-conference will present how a group of churches in Denmark succeeded in getting 50 parliamentarians from the national parliament (or almost every third member of the parliament) to come and visit 10 different churches each in their own constituency. This led to a connection with parliamentarians in an unprecedented way where the parliamentarians to a greater extend see the value of church in society, and the churches are now being listened to and are trusted by a large group of parliamentarians.

We hope to see something similar happen in many countries in Europe through this conference and its follow up.

What you can expect from the conference

Pictures of Danish parliamentarians visiting churches:

At this conference, you will…

  • Hear how we did it in Denmark – how a group of churches succeeded in getting 50 parliamentarians from the national parliament to come and visit 10 different churches.
  • Know the steps of each part of this process: Before connecting, arranging the church visits, and follow up on the connection.
    1. How to connect with the parliamentarians starting from scratch.
    2. How to invite parliamentarians to a local church and how to set up a meeting.
    3. How to stay in touch and build even closer relationships with parliamentarians and how to grow your influence at a national level.
  • Have time to consider and even start planning (if you are ready), how something similar might happen in your country.



Sign up for the conference

We wish to see church leaders with a motivation to make a positive change in the way parliamentarians see the value of the church in their own country. You can sign up alone on this page, but we recommend a group of 3-4 people from each country when possible.


Learn how a step-by-step approach has worked in one specific setting

This workshop-conference will be a step-by-step presentation of how one church network in Denmark succeeded in contacting parliamentarians, inviting them to their churches, and following up afterwards with significant results.


Start strategizing how something similar might look like in your context

This is a workshop-conference. We don’t just want to inspire you. After each presentation there will be time for you and people from your country to discuss how the content presented could be implemented in your country. (People without a team, will be grouped together.)


Work together with the European Nehemiah Center (ENC) to succeed

  • Begin to take steps to reach out to parliamentarians.
  • ENC will support you e.g. by sharing templates for emails, schedules, and other resources, and with regular contact to follow up.
  • Connect with the network of other active countries, to share best practices, and inspire eachother.

Video presentation: What the Danish parliamentarians said after visiting different churches in Denmark

Note: The visits in Denmark were done to a network of free churches. Therefore, the parliamentarians constantly refer to “the free churches”. In other countries, it could be any denomination or group of churches. The important thing is that parliamentarians see the value of church in society… that will benefit all churches and denominations in any country.

Below you can read a few of the statements the parliamentarians made after their visit.

So, we need here in Denmark to get a much higher degree of knowledge about the free churches, what they can do and the significance they have for so many people.

Karen Ellemann

The Liberal Party of Denmark

It has been a bit of an eye-opener in relation to which religious communities we have outside the State Church (The Lutheran Church).

Mogens Jensen

The Social Democratic Party

For the first time in a very long time, I want to go to church and that is really something!

Karina Due

Danish People's Party

It has been an eye-opener, at least for me, to see how much the free churches are rooted in basic, humanitarian values that make a difference in Hillerød today. 

Nick Hækkerup

The Social Democratic Party

Thank you for the invitation! When the need is there for Christmas aid, then I must say that I am pleased that the free churches contribute and make a social effort.

Jakob Sølvhøj

The Red-Green Alliance

I think it is really great to hear about the commitment of Roskilde Baptist Church, and all of the free churches. That is an expression we can be really proud of in Denmark.

Jacob Jensen

The Liberal Party of Denmark

Many Positive results from the church visits

The positive results from the church visits have been numerous. Please, find three key results below. In addition to the effect on parliamentarians, church leaders and the Christians were very much encouraged, seeing the responses by the politicians.  

Better understanding of the value of the church in society

The Danish parliamentarians heard the stories of churches helping individuals and communities in the society. The church is now recognised as a force for good in society in a very practical way.


Better connections with parliamentarian and influence in the legislative process

Since the visits to the churches, better connections exist between Frikirkenet and parliamentarians. A key point of the visits was to connect with parliamentarians as human beings, and not just as a means of influence. Meanwhile, these connects have led to real influence for issues that are of interest to the church. 

There was an unreasonable critical documentary in three parts about the Free Church network coming up on national tv. But because Mikael Wandt Laursen had developed a positive relationship with several MPs, he could send them an email ahead of time telling, what was coming and how the Free Churches had made changes to deal with what was critizised. Out of 50 parliamentarians receiving the email, 31 responded back, quite a few thanked Mikael for telling them ahead of time, so they knew what to answer, if they were asked by the media.

At another time, a proposal was coming up in the parliament, saying that undemocratic religious organisations could not receive money from foreign countries (aimed at Muslim extremists). One party suggested that being against gay marriages and abortion was undemocratic… meaning that churches with those views could not receive financial support from other countries. However, the viewpoint of the churches could be explained to parliamentarians with which good relationships had been built, and therefore, it was written in a footnote: “It is not considered undemocratic to be against gay marriages and abortion.”

There are plenty of specific examples of influence on a parliamentarian level following the church visits.

Significant decrease in the number of negative statements about churches

There has been a significant decrease in negative statements about the church since parliamentarians saw with their own eyes the positive role of the church in society. Furthermore, parliamentarians who were quite sceptical beforehand are now quite eager to connect with churches.

What is this conference all about?

How it happened in Denmark

At this conference, we will present how a group of churches in Denmark managed to get 50 parliamentarians from the national parliament to come and visit 10 different churches and how that led to a connection with parliamentarians in an unprecedented way. These churches now have real connection and real influence on leaders of the nation.

You will hear how a church network in Denmark, Frikirkenet/Free Church Network, did this. It was a process from start to finish of over 2,5 years. Mikael Wandt Laursen, the General Secretary of Frikirkenet, will share what steps they took in Denmark to connect with the highest leaders of the country. We will start from scratch when there was no connection with parliamentarians, how to invite them to your churches, and how to set up meetings in the local church, sharing about the positive impact of the church on society. Further, you will also learn how we used these connections made in Denmark after that and how that has led to real, close relationships, but also to influence on national issues.


How to adjust this to your country

Each country is different, so there might be many different ways of connecting to parliamentarians in the country. Therefore, we are organising a workshop-conference where there will be a presentation of what was done in three different steps: 1) Before connecting with parliamentarians, 2) Making a visit to local churches work, and 3) How to follow up after that. After each presentation there will be ample time to talk and reflect on how the Danish approach could be copied in your own country. We don’t always have to reinvent the wheel.


Why a WORKSHOP-conference?

We call it a workshop-conference to make it clear, that this is not only a conference, where you come to get inspired. After each presentation, there will be workshop time for you and other people from your country to consider how to apply the teaching in your own country. If you come alone, you will be in a group with people from other countries.


What we hope to achieve

We hope that this conference will help churches and church leaders to make a real impact on society in many countries in Europe, that this conference will set something in motion in your context. After the conference, the European Nehemiah Center will assist where needed, in the best way possible.

Before, during and after inviting parliamentarians to your church

In the presentations, Mikael Wandt Laursen will share in detail how churches in Denmark invited and connected with parliamentarians in the country. The presentations are divided in three different steps: 1) Before connecting, 2) making a visit to churches, 3) and follow up after that.

Workshop: Time to talk and plan how you can apply this in your context

To get the most out of the conference, we want you to have the chance to talk to some of the other church leaders from your country. This is where you can share thoughts on how to bring this initiative to your country and to discuss what it takes to actually make it happen.

Food and fellowship: Lots of time to interact with national church leaders from other countries in Europe

Connections are important. We hope that you will get to talk to some of the church leaders in your country that you can work alongside, as well as meet leaders from other countries that bring you different perspectives. There will be plenty of time for this during meals and other breaks.


Tuesday 9 April 2024

12:00 Welcoming lunch
13:00 Part 1: Having a mindset and motivation that open doors

Part 1-4 by Mikael Wandt Laursen, FrikirkeNet, Denmark
Presentation and workshop-time

14:30 Break

Part 2: How to get the MP’s to come

Presentation and workshop-time

16:00 Break

Part 3: Make sure the visits have a lasting impact

Presentation and workshop-time

18:00 Part 3 workshop ends
19:00 Dinner and networking at restaurant (until 21:30 – 22:00)

Wednesday 10 April 2024


Where do we go from here?

Team Europe

10:00 Break

Part 4: Keep and strengthen the connection afterwards

Presentation and workshop-time

12:00 Lunch
13:00 End of conference
13:00 -14:00 Network meeting for participants from Austria.
Others are also welcome to use the location afterwards.

Keynote speaker and hosts of the conference

Keynote speaker: Mikael Wandt Laursen

General Secretary,
FrikirkeNet (Free Church Network), Denmark

After being a pastor for several years, Mikael Wandt Laursen is now the General Secretary of FrikirkeNet (Free Church Network) in Denmark; a network of more than 120 churches.

A key focus for FrikirkeNet is to create better conditions for free churches in Denmark and for the free preaching of the gospel. Influencing the political processes that affect free churches and freedom of belief is an essential part of the work.

Mikael Wandt Laursen, together with church leaders in Frikirkenet, took the initiative of inviting all 179 members of the parliament in Denmark to “come and see” what a free church is all about. 50 parliamentarians responded, and today much fruit has come from this. Mikael’s story and the lessons learned from the initiative is the central theme for this conference.

Host: Oliver Stozek

General Secretary,
Austrian Evangelical Alliance

The Austrian Evangelical Alliance (AEA) is a co-host of the conference. They aims to be a kind of platform for all Christians with a living faith. In addition to groups from the mainstream churches and the free churches, around 130 other Christian organizations in Austria are partners of the AEA and work together on its basis of faith.

Oliver Stozek has been the General Secretary of the AEA since September 2022. Previously, he was the managing director of a prayer network in Germany for social and political issues. He has also been involved in youth work and organized Christian conferences for many years.

Host: Edwin Jung

President, Austrian Fellowship of Pentecostal Churches

The Austrian Fellowship of Pentecostal Churches is a co-host of the conference. Edwin Jung has been their President since 2011. He has been a pastor for many years, and traveled to more than 60 countries and ministered with the gospel in 40 countries. He also served more than 10 years on the board of PEF and some years on the board of PEM.

“It is a burden on my heart, that our churches are “missional Churches“ in our society and bring the love of God everywhere, also to the national and European parliaments. Everyone shall hear the gospel of Christ. We, as leaders and Churches has a huge task before us, let’s work together, to fulfill the mission of our God and Jesus Christ.”

Host: Jørn Braüner

European Nehemiah Center

The European Nehemiah Center (ENC) is a Danish initiative with a focus on society. Nehemiah in the Bible built the wall around Jerusalem to protect the city. Likewise, the European Nehemiah Center focus on building Christian faith and values in the society in Europe for the protection of the people of Europe.

Jørn Braüner, who is the director of ENC has more than 20 years experience as a pastor. He has written six books (five of them with his wife), and administrates a Facebook page with more than 30.000 followers.

The Austrian Evangelical Alliance and Austrian Fellowship of Pentecostal Churches both have a vision for inviting parliamentarians to visit churches in Austria, and together they have started the proces of inviting parliamentarians in Austria.

The European Evangelical Alliance was the co-host of the former conference in Brussels.


The conference will be held at novum Wien Hauptbahnhof, located only a 5 min. walk from the main railway station in Vienna.

From Vienna International Airport it takes 15-20 min. to get to the city by bus or train.

This location – novum – hosts three churches and several Christian organizations (Free churches in Austria, AVC Mission, Open Doors, and others).

We will be in their hall, with a capacity for 190 persons, so we expect everyone interested can come.


The ticket does not include accommodation. There are many options for hotels of all price ranges within walking distance of the venue. 

Here are some options:

Motel One Wien Hauptbahnhof
Leonardo Hotel Vienna Hauptbahnhof
a&o Hostel Wien Hauptbahnhof
ibis Wien Hauptbahnhof
Novotel Wien Hauptbahnhof
Hotel Schani Wien am Hauptbahnhof

If you want to read about the Conference 2023 in Brussels, Belgium, you can do it here.