The East African church newspaper Target recently carried an article entitled “Moratorium, A Bitter Pill to Swallow” (issue of October 12, 1975). Christian Council secretaries of Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, and Sudan have categorically rejected the idea of a “moratorium” on missions. The term has, they say, “created unnecessary confusion and misunderstanding both in Africa and abroad, and should therefore be dropped and substituted with the more direct term ‘self-reliance.’ ” When about 1,000 evangelical church delegates met at the Congress on Evangelization in Nigeria last August, they flatly rejected moratorium.

Western Christians should not use moratorium as a cover-up for spiritual inertia. Encouragingly, at the 1970 Urbana missionary convention 884 students signed up for missionary service if God so led, and in 1973 there were 5,585.

The concept of a moratorium on missions as proposed at the Lusaka Assembly of the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) means the unconditional withdrawal of all missionaries and financial resources from overseas for five years. This has not been followed through even by the advocates of moratorium. The Chicago Daily News for two successive days in January, 1975, reported two pleas by Canon Burgess Carr. In one report the headline was, “Keep Missionaries Home.” But the next day another read, “Financial Help Still Is Being Requested.”

In its July 26, 1975, press release, the AACC announced the following concerning the financing of its new $1 million Nairobi headquarters: “The Committee authorized the raising of grants and loans from mission boards in the U.S.A. to a total of $500,000.”

In the April, 1975, International Review of Mission, Professor Peter Wagner outlined ...

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