A Call to Prayer
The Challenge and Opportunity of Lima 2014
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 increasing presence of Islam in Latin America has caught the church off-guard. 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. Many of these are women who convert through marriage to Muslim men. Since Islam allows men to marry multiple wives, international Muslim businessmen and traders throughout the centuries have used this tradition to spread the faith around the world.
How should the Latin church respond to this challenge? Many leaders are seeing the growing alliance between Latin America and the Middle East as an opportunity for reaching the Muslim world. The economic highway being built between the regions will enable traffic going both directions. This means increased opportunity for Latino believers to take the love of Jesus into the Muslim heartland through business and professional jobs. Unfortunately, there is very little training available for the church to equip them for Muslim outreach.
For this reason, the church in Peru will be hosting a three-day “global mission council” for 3,000 leaders from all over Latin America this October 22-25. The gathering will culminate with a rally of 100,000 young people. Over the course of these three days, leaders will be enrolled in a credit-bearing course from World Link University on global Muslim outreach. This course will be made available online in Spanish and Portuguese following the event and can be taken by anyone. The live three-day training will also be duplicated in other countries throughout Latin America which desire to bring together pastors and national leaders for prayer and training. The ultimate goal is to see the course taken by 1 million Latinos in the next five years. More information can be found at http://www.limaperu2014.org or by, writing to [email protected]. Observers and participants from non-Latin countries are welcome to join.
A sampling of topics which will be covered:
- The State and Islam
- Muhammad and the Origin of Islam
- History of Islam
- Overview of the Quran
- Islamic Eschatology
- Shariah Law
- Jihad in Islam
- Human Rights in Islam
- Islam and Woman
- Islam and Finance
- Treatment of Christian Minorities
- Muslim conversions to Christianity
- Discipling New Muslim Converts
- Reaching Children in Islam