In October of 2012 the heads of state from every Middle Eastern country came to meet with the heads of state of every Latin American country in Lima, Peru. They brought with them thousands of business leaders who pledged to invest billions of dollars into Latin America. In addition to this display of investment power, they also brought their Islamic faith, making a point in the middle of meetings to stop and pray, while cameras broadcasted their piety throughout the continent.
It is self-evident that with this financial investment will follow both political and religious influence, as this has been the case wherever Islam has been attached with business ventures. The organizers of Lima-Peru 2014 believe this historic moment was and is a prophetic call to the church to embrace God's missional purpose for Latin America. The intent of Lima-Peru 2014 is to bring together 3,000 church and mission leaders from all over the Latin world to hear from God and unite behind a concerted response to this emerging reality. The event will culminate in a rally of 100,000 young people who will be challenged to give their lives to reaching the Muslim world. Theme and Background
The theme of Lima-Peru 2014 will be "Latin America and the Islamic Religion: Great Challenges and Great Opportunities." Previous continental events to equip the Latin church in outreach to Muslims were held in 1996 and 2002, organized by the Third World Mission Association. Both of these events were timely and prophetic, and in many ways predicted what has now come about with regard to the missional and commercial connection between Latin America and the Middle East. Twelve years later, Latin American believers are now poised to make a significant impact on the Muslim world through the dramatic increase of these political and commercial ties between the two regions. Herein lay the great opportunity, but it also presents a challenge. The Latin Church is not equipped to engage Islam on its own shores. We are unprepared. A recent report in the Latin Times revealed that an estimated 200,000 Hispanics in the United States have converted to Islam over the last decade. Nominalism and undiscipled believers have left the Latin Church incredibly vulnerable. It is thus imperative that we educate our leaders who in turn can educate the church. For this reason, the purpose of Lima-Peru 2014 is to listen to the best experts from around the world and then begin the work of uniting together for concerted action. Invitations will be sent to every denominational and mission agency leader throughout Latin America to participate or send a representative. Key government leaders from Peru will also be invited and prayed over so they can understand the spiritual implications of what is happening in their nation and beyond.
Lima-Peru 2014 will bring missiologists from every part of the Muslim world including Africa, Middle East, and Asia, as well as Western countries where Islam is gaining inroads. The combination of plenary sessions and comprehensive workshops will give participants the best possible understanding of the present strategies of Islamic evangelization efforts to convert Christians, the best approaches to reach Muslims with the gospel, and the tools to enable believers to answer questions Muslim's ask. All of this teaching and awareness training will culminate in a united and public response and action plan for the entire church in Latin America to rally behind for the next decade ahead of us.
The meeting is being organized by a coalition of national, regional and global mission networks connected with the Tokyo 2010 Global Mission Consultation, including the Asia Missions Association, Africa Missions Association, Worldlink Mission Association, and US Center for World Mission. The local host committee is the Thanksgiving Ministry of Peru, an umbrella group which unites all the evangelical denominations of the country.