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The Lausanne movement's third global gathering will feature a younger, more ethnically diverse, and more geographically varied consortium of evangelical leaders than ever before.

The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, known as Cape Town 2010, will take place next month, October 16β5, with 4,000 leaders from 200 countries. Planners have made sure that 55 percent of participants are under age 50.

Billy Graham convened the first International Congress on World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland, in July 1974, drawing 2,700 evangelicals from 150 nations. The parley comprised mostly white Western leaders at a time when the massive growth of Christianity in the developing world had just begun. British pastor-theologian John Stott served as chief architect of the Lausanne Covenant, which resulted in multiple alliances and spawned many other conferences. The second gathering, held in Manila in 1989, drew an influx of attendees from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, and also incorporated Pentecostals and charismatics.

This time around, Americans aren't dominating the behind-the-scenes preparation or the on-stage program. Only 5 of the 25 members of the congress's Advisory Council, which has developed a theological foundation and strategic vision for the event, are from the U.S.

Two-Thirds World Showcased

Program Committee Chair Ramez Atallah, general secretary of the Bible Society of Egypt, pushed for a discussion format of seating six attendees per table, discussing speeches that will be shorter than those from years past.

"We don't want people to come because of big names," Atallah says. "We're not choosing the stars of the evangelical world to speak. People coming to be entertained by great speakers and ...

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The Most Diverse Gathering Ever
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September 2010

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