- A Cultural Festival for a Common God

A Cultural Festival for a Common God

Colors of Worship was the motto under which around 350 immigrants and Swiss Christians met for a colorful festival last Saturday in Zurich.

"Although we come from so many different nations, we have one thing in common: our God!" The singer of the Latino praise group couldn't have stated the theme of the event better. The AGiK Celebration has one main purpose: To let others experience what it's like when Christians from all over the world, with very different characters and backgrounds, celebrate their faith together. Or to put it in the words of AGiK Co-Leader Carl Hardmeier: "The Celebration – that's singing, dancing, praising God and fellowship."

Center for Migration Churches

That's an issue for which you naturally need an appropriate location, which was found in the main hall of the Reformed Church of Wipkingen, with its colorful windows. The huge structure was designed by the church in the 1930's as a "House for the People" and for seven years now has housed the so-called Center for Migration Churches (Zentrum für Migrationskirchen). The Reformed parish offers eight of the over 30 migration churches in Zurich a roof over their heads. Esther Imhof, manager of the center, welcomed the visitors on Saturday with the following words: "The Bible says: 'You shall  not make graven images.' When we celebrate together, the preconceived images we have of one another and also of God dissolve."

Differences and Unity

A glance at the rows of seats was enough to determine that migrants from all corners of the globe had accepted the AGiK invitation. However, the first presentation couldn't have been more Swiss. Three Alphorn musicians stepped up onto the stage and filled the hall with sounds from the Alpine realm. This was followed by a colorful mix of worship, testimonies and multicultural contributions which lasted until the late afternoon. South American, Tamil and African worship teams as well as a Korean church choir provided a wide variety of music. The joyful gathering reminded everyone of how varied and culturally different faith is lived and understood all over the world. The extended periods of joint prayer and intercession showed impressively how united the faith in Jesus Christ is, despite all of the differences. Or as Carl Hardmeier, himself a Swiss-Peruvian dual national, put it: "We do it so that people know that the Gospel has no limits - neither due to skin color nor because of someone's nationality."