Gathering 350 pastors and workers from Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, an epochal World Vision conference May 9–13 prodded evangelical forces to a deeper sense of their spiritual task in a time of unrest in Latin America. In the newly completed auditorium of the Interamerican Mission Seminary campus in Medellín (second in size to Colombia’s capital city in Bogotá), delegates heard Dr. Bob Pierce, Dr. Paul Rees, Dr. Kyung Chik Han of Korea, and Editor Carl F. H. Henry of CHRISTIANITY TODAY press the burning relevance of the Gospel to the plight of modern man and contemporary culture.
Colombia has been a center of Romanist repression, and not infrequently of persecution, of Protestant missionary effort.
Chafing under press reports of Romanist intolerance, spokesmen for the U. S. Catholic church, steadily expanding a drive for political power, have commented ambivalently. Some have waved aside the accounts as “mere propaganda”; others have deplored the tendency of Protestants to identify Romanism with “Spanish Christianity” (without themselves repudiating it); others have spoken of religious liberty as a proper expectation by non-Romanists.
Evangelical workers in Latin America have steadily sharpened their evangelistic focus, aware that Roman strategy changes frequently. Colombia today has the fastest growing evangelical population in the world. In Medellín the 350 delegates included 30 from Western Venezuela and 30 from Ecuador; the others were from Colombia (50 missionaries, 240 nationals). This was more than four times the number of full-time Protestant workers ever gathered in assembly in Colombia. Roman Catholic persecution has purified the Church and stimulated growth. Baptized church members increased 51 per cent during ...1
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