A wave of accusations against evangelical Christians has broken out in Peru. In the last few months several articles in newspapers of fairly wide circulation have had the obvious intention of discrediting evangelical churches and institutions in the eyes of the public by making them appear to be spearheads of American imperialism.

An initial article in the Correo of Arequipa categorically stated that certain missionary agencies of American origin are being used by the Central Intelligence Agency to undermine the Peruvian government’s revolutionary program. That article was followed by a series of diatribes published in different papers. The picture of evangelical missionaries and pastors that emerged was that of people at the service of foreign interests, whose main activities are financed either directly by the U. S. government or by groups representing U. S. economic power. Evangelical believers were said to be “useful fools” innocently adhering to an imperialistic religion that prevents them from helping to build a new Peru.

Wycliffe Bible Translators was the target of the most virulent attack, in two articles published in the Expreso of Lima. The articles claimed that WBT was created as a means of imperialistic penetration under the cloak of a purely scientific institution. (The fact is that WBT has for many years had government recognition as an institution pursuing anth opological and linguistic purposes in Peru and has consequently enjoyed a number of benefits.) Both the Jungle Aviation and Radio Service (JAARS) and the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL), the first article claimed, are but ghost “cultural organizations”—the Peruvian base of an American missionary institution (WBT) ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.