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Brazil: an "evangelized" giant calling for liberating evangelism.

Brazil, the fifth largest country in the world, covering half of South America, is home to a very religious people. More than 90 percent of the 170 million Brazilians publicly identify themselves as Christians of one kind or another. The Roman Catholic Church arrived in Brazil in 1500 with Pedro Alvares Cabral, the Portuguese explorer. Protestantism entered Brazil to stay only in the middle of the nineteenth century, and Pentecostalism came in the twentieth century. The growth, contextual developments, mutual influences, and global impact of these three expressions of Christianity are highly significant. In the image supplied by Zwinglio Dias and Joyce Hill, the three streams merge into a "rich Christian brew that shapes religious life in Brazil." (1)

Brazil, according to British sociologist David Martin, "is simultaneously the world's largest Catholic country, the scene of the largest spiritist movements--and the home of maybe half the evangelical [Protestant] believers in Latin America." (2) Brazilian Catholicism includes conservatives aligned closely with the Vatican, progressives in solidarity with popular movements, charismatics using mass media, and practitioners of folk religiosity centered on legendary figures such as Padre Cicero. Spiritist movements include Kardecist spiritism from France and numerous Afro-Brazilian religions such as Umbanda, Candomble, and Macumba. Protestants come in even more varieties, with 75 percent belonging to Pentecostal groups, on which much research has been focused because of their explosive growth and pervasive presence. (3)

This article, recalling the arrival of Catholicism five centuries ago and the later introduction of Protestantism and Pentecostalism, presents new developments and emphases over the last half of the twentieth century that have resulted in mutual exchanges between the three expressions of Christian faith, with implications for a new kind of representative world Christianity.

Catholic Culture and Hegemony

More than a millennium after the Gospel of Jesus Christ reached Asia, Europe, and Africa, the church arrived in what we call the Americas with cross and sword in hand. Luis N. Rivera's Violent Evangelism describes the expropriation of land, holocaust of natives, and black slavery that were a part of the evangelization. In less than a century Spain and Portugal conquered, dominated, and Christianized the peoples of Latin America. This conquest marked "the genesis of modern Christianity as a world phenomenon." (4) It also inaugurated a new mission paradigm in which colonialism and mission were ambivalently interdependent.

Catholic symbols and influence, imported from the Iberian Peninsula, have become an integral part of Brazilian culture and public space. (5) The doors of churches throughout the country are constantly open to receive the faithful; infant baptism is normative; the raised Host is part of the collective consciousness; crucifixes and genuflection abound; processionals on Passion Friday and pilgrimages to shrines are covered by network news; and holy days and festivals are part of Brazilian folklore.

During the nineteenth century, independence from Portugal, abolition of slavery, separation of church and state, and the rooting of Protestant mission had little effect on the hegemony of the Roman Catholic Church. Throughout the twentieth century, however, Catholic Christendom's power, influence, and privilege slowly ebbed, leading the Vatican to call for a "new evangelization." The present crisis is more than a shortage of priests and reduced attendance at masses. (Although nearly 80 percent of Latin Americans have been baptized in the Roman Catholic Church, some observers claim that on a typical Sunday in Brazil more people attend Protestant than Catholic services.) Pablo Richard has gone so far as to declare the end of Catholic Christendom. (6) Rene Padilla asserts, "This continent is no longer, if it ever was, a Roman Catholic continent." (7) And David Stoll asks, "Is Latin America turning Protestant?" (8)

Protestants: Preaching the Word

Because Latin American governments would not permit Protestant evangelization and building of churches, the nineteenth century began with almost no Protestant presence. How, then, did Protestants gain a foothold in this Catholic continent? Kenneth Goodpasture states, "The Protestant pattern of growth was first a Bible, then a Protestant immigrant, then a church." (9) After earlier aborted mission projects of French and Dutch Protestants, in the opening decades of the nineteenth century Anglicans were allowed to erect a church building in Rio de Janeiro for Britons, and a community of almost 5,000 German Lutherans settled in southern Brazil. In 1859 Ashbel Green Simonton, a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, arrived in Brazil as a Presbyterian missionary. He died at the age of 36, seven years later, but not before he had ordained Jose Manoel da Conceicao, a former Roman Catholic priest, as the first Brazilian Presbyterian minister and had witnessed the establishment of the first presbytery and seminar y of the Brazilian Presbyterian Church. By the end of the century, Baptists, Methodists, and Episcopalians had followed suit.

Nevertheless, Latin America continued to be identified as a Catholic continent. This perception prevailed at the 1910 World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh, where it was agreed not to include Latin America on the agenda. It was argued that Latin America was already evangelized and therefore not to be seen as a mission field. In reaction, a group of Protestant mission leaders organized the 1916 Congress on Christian Work, held in Panama, which highlighted the need for evangelization. Noting new religious freedoms that were developing in several countries, the congress helped legitimize Protestant mission endeavors in Latin America.

The floodgates opened, and missionaries streamed into Latin America. Initially, however, growth was slow. In 1930 Protestants amounted to less than 2 percent of the population of Latin America, and foreign missionaries exerted control over many of the national churches that had been founded. However, the systematic expansion of Protestantism "sharply accelerated in the 1930s and reached hurricane force in the 1960s." (10) National Protestant churches increasingly claimed their cultural identity and asserted their autonomy. In contrast to the Roman Catholic emphasis on sacramental rituals, Latin Protestants emphasized the centrality of the Bible, evangelistic preaching, and planting new churches. Many Protestant churches in Brazil feel no need to have an evangelism committee because members of the congregation actively practice evangelism with relatives, neighbors, friends, and strangers. Congregations believe that their churches exist for mission. Many congregations can point to three or more churches that h ave been established under their responsibility. At one point, according to Roberto Inacio, director of an Assemblies of God Bible institute, forty new churches were opening in Rio de Janeiro every week. (11) As a result of Protestant, and especially Pentecostal growth, nearly 20 percent of the population of Brazil is Protestant, giving Brazil one of the three largest Protestant communities in the world. (12)

Such dynamic growth is producing what Martin calls "the Latin Americanization of Protestantism." (13) It is yielding, among other things, fresh biblical interpretations, profound spiritual renewal, invigorating worship practices, and prophetic stances on issues of social justice. Christians in other regions of the world could well pay attention.

Pentecostal Explosion

Paul Freston has delineated three waves of Pentecostalism in Brazil. In 1911 two Swedish immigrants to the United States traveled to northern Brazil to work with a Baptist congregation in Belem. Emphasizing the baptism of the Spirit, they sparked the founding of the largest Pentecostal movement in Brazil, the Assemblies of God, which today numbers more than fourteen million adult members. (14) Concurrently, the (Pentecostal) Christian Congregation of Brazil was founded in Sao Paulo and Parana among Italian immigrants and now counts more than a million and a half adult members. The fledgling movement quickly accommodated itself to Brazilian culture and leadership. Jose Miguez Bonino contends that the outside missionary "triggers" awakened a kind of "religious experience already latent in Latin American popular sectors." (15)

The second wave was composed of indigenous Pentecostal movements and churches and coincided with urbanization in the 1950s. One example is the Brazil for Christ Church, founded in 1956 by Manoel de Mello and reporting a million adult members by 1995. De Mello claimed there are in Brazil "three places where the people could unburden themselves freely, without fear of reprisals: at the soccer stadiums, in carnival, and in the Pentecostal churches." (16)

In the 1970s the third wave started among the most densely populated urban areas, which were suffering from increasing violence and economic inequalities. In 1977 Edir Macedo founded the Universal Church of the Reign of God in Rio de Janeiro, one of the most noteworthy churches of the third wave. Writing in the mid-1990s, Freston described it as "the fastest-growing, most politically powerful, and most controversial Protestant church in the country." (17) It presently has two million adult members in every part of Brazil and has spread to seventy countries, including the United States.

Pointing to the overwhelming importance of the Pentecost event recorded in Acts 2, Pentecostal churches stress the role of the Holy Spirit in conversion, healing, exorcism, evangelism, and all of daily life. Indeed, the Pentecostal Christianity that has exploded among the poor and disenfranchised, not only in Latin America but in Asia and Africa as well, is fast becoming the new representative face of world Christianity.

Despite the mutual antagonism that often has marked relations between Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Pentecostal communities, the sense of relationality that characterizes Latin culture has resulted in considerable religious cross-fertilization. Leonildo Silveira Compos, for example, points to "Pentecostalized Protestantism" and "Protestantized Pentecostalism." (18) Given their enormous numbers--some 70 to 80 percent of the Protestant community in Latin America is Pentecostal--Pentecostals also have had a significant influence on the Roman Catholic community. Focusing particularly on the situation in northeast Brazil, where Pentecostal growth is "as overwhelming as a tidal wave that nothing can stop," Jose Comblin asks: "Do the pentecostal churches have something to teach us?" (19) Comblin then points to the personal caring, the sense of personal worth, the spontaneous manifestations of joy in worship, and the missionary outreach that empowers Pentecostal believers to share their faith openly. In their turn , Pentecostals are learning both from non-Pentecostal Protestants and from Catholics to value formal theological education and to develop a more systematic theology. Dialogue with Pentecostals has resulted in more authentic contextualization in worship for Protestants and Catholics, and Protestants have emulated Catholic base ecclesial communities. (20)

Roman Catholic Base Ecclesial Communities

The Second General Assembly of Latin American Bishops (CELAM II), held in Medellin, Colombia, in 1968, advocated the "preferential option for the poor" and favorably recognized the Base Ecclesial Communities (BECs)--small groups for grassroots, or "popular," Bible study, prayer, consciousness-raising, and political mobilization. During the 1970s and 1980s thousands of BECs sprang up throughout Brazil, largely among the rural poor. Advocates characterized the BEC movement as a "new way of being church." Local BECs joined ranks with Bible study groups and activists involved in pastoral outreach to become what Manuel Vasquez calls the popular church. In 1998 Vasquez reported that there were approximately 100,000 communities. (21)

It is not altogether clear whether they will continue to thrive and contribute to renewal within the Roman Catholic community. Padilla writes, "The greatest crisis of Catholicism in our continent today is the crisis posed by the alternative between accepting the BECs as the means through which God wants to renew the church or expelling them as counterproductive to its ecclesiastical project." (22) Contradictory positions in relation to liberation theology, the distance between educated theologians (often trained in foreign countries) and the poor masses, a lack of institutional definition and structural support for BECs, and many conservative appointments in Brazil by the Vatican have contributed to a crisis of participation and mobilization of the popular church within progressive Catholicism. The Vatican's silencing of Leonardo Boff signals the fears of church authorities when confronted with radically new biblical interpretations seen through the lens of the poor.

Like the BECs, Pentecostalism appeals to the poor; it is impacting Catholicism internally through the Catholic charismatic renewal. Phillip Berryman estimates that no more than 10 percent of parishes in Latin America utilize the base-community model, while more than 180 of Brazil's 230 dioceses have charismatic renewal teams involving between 3.5 and 5 million Catholics in this "Church within the Church." (23)

Evangelism and Social Awareness

During the 1960s Protestant student and ecumenical movements articulated commitment to social responsibility, condemned proselytizing of practicing Catholics, and spoke out against political repression. Most Protestant churches, however, acquiesced to the harsh measures of military regimes, which resulted in polarization between conservative churches and ecumenical bodies.

In 1969, thinking to counteract what they considered to be inappropriate social involvement on the part of the ecumenical movement, evangelical agencies from the United States sponsored the First Latin American Conference on Evangelism (Conferencia Latino Americana de Evangelismo--CLADE I). As David Stoll commented, "CLADE I was not a complete success for its Ncrth American organizers." Latins "discovered that they were all tired of North Americans telling them how to think," so they issued "a call for evangelicals to meet their social responsibilities, by contextualizing their faith in the Latin American context of oppression." (24)

In 1970 Latin American evangelical theologians founded the Latin American Theological Fraternity (Fm). Committed to being both biblical and distinctively Latin American, they dedared their intention "to pursue social issues without abandoning evangelism, deal with oppressive structures without endorsing violence, and bring left- and right-wing Protestants back together again." (25) While embracing much from liberation theology and historical Protestantism, they were critical of both and opted for a paradigm of contextualization.

The late Orlando Costas, a founding member of FTL, criticized conservative theologies produced in the North (especially the church growth movement). Viewing the United States as a new Macedonian mission field to be evangelized by Third World Christians, Costas promoted a theology of contextual evangelization. (26) FTL leaders Rene Padilla and Samuel Escobar were instrumental in the inclusion of social responsibility and contextualization issues in the program of the 1974 Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization.

FTL convoked CLADE II (1979), III (1992), and IV (2000). More than 1,300 Christians from Protestant and Pentecostal churches in every Latin American country attended CLADE IV, held September 3--8, 2000, at the South American Biblical Seminary near Quito, Ecuador. The emphasis was on theological reflection and holistic mission of evangelization and social action, especially with the unreached and the disenfranchised. Jose Miguez-Bonino (who claims to have been tagged over the years a conservative, a revolutionary, a Barthian, a liberal, a catholic, a moderate, and a liberationist" but prefers to call himself an evangelico) (27) and David Ramfrez, a Church of God (Pentecostal) theologian, were two of the plenary speakers. Ramirez said, "If the Word represents the historic evangelical churches and the Spirit the Pentecostal / charismatic churches, then this is the hour to join them to permit the power generated in the encounter of the Word and Spirit to bring life to the church."28

FTL demonstrates that even though Protestantism in Latin America is diverse and divided into many groups, it supports a holistic mission that avoids polarization between evangelization and social action. Taking the message of the reign of God seriously demands sharing of an evangelistic faith, while taking the context of poverty and injustice seriously demands social action. This is the message of Latin American Christians to the global church, a message, incidentally, that is echoed by African Christians, who insist on the holism of mission and life.

Response to Personal and Social Evil

Stoll suggests that after years of otherworldly escapist spirituality and a "mystical accommodation to the status quo" that alienated them from political involvement, today's Pentecostals could well provide the basis for social reform. Stoll notes that Catholic liberation theology originated with "religious professionals with professional interests." Liberation theologians sometimes succumbed to "the risk of failing to speak to the actual needs of the poor, as opposed to idealized versions of those needs." (29)

In order to understand the growth and enormous appeal of Pentecostalism, it is necessary to examine more closely the precarious life conditions of the urban poor. On one hand, development, modernization, privatization, and neoliberal capitalism have placed Brazil on the cutting edge of telecommunications and digital technology. On the other hand, as Vasquez observes, "Poor people have had to contend with worsening life conditions and the deepening of social inequalities." (30) Modernity's rational understanding of history and human agency provides a framework for liberation and Reformed theology, but it has little to offer the powerless.

In a research project in Brazil focused on the question, What is the response, or responses, of Pentecostalism to the suffering of the poor? Richard Shaull and Waldo Cesar discovered "a new interpretive paradigm of Christianity and its emergence among the poor of the Third World." After conducting a lengthy series of interviews, they became convinced that Pentecostalism provides specific blessings and daily solutions to concrete problems related to health, food, money, and family relationships. Salvation is a miraculous solution. It is "in the experience of merging in one gesture the transcendent with the immanent" that "perhaps the greatest miracle of the Pentecostal proposal of faith is engraved: survival in the midst of the marginality of life." (31) The gifts of the Spirit provide a democratic leveling, a sense of dignity, and empowerment. Personal evangelism propels Pentecostals into the world, where they occupy a new public political space as they engage those suffering social and economic problems.

The Pentecostal worldview is more closely related to that of he biblical writers (and to almost all of the world's cultures) than it is to the worldview of Western culture. Shaull summarizes: Pentecostals "see the world and human life infested with demons. At the same time, they firmly believe that their lives and their world are in the hands of God, who acts to overcome these demonic forces... . With all the threats of demonic forces around them, they experience something even greater: the presence and power of the Spirit." (32) Pentecostal Christians live every moment of their daily lives in the realm of the Spirit, in constant dependence on God to "give us this day our daily bread" and to "deliver us from evil." In their worship they experience the powerful reality of God's presence; it fills them with joy and hope.

New Global Mission Base and Theology

Latin American Protestant and Pentecostal enthusiasm is crossing new frontiers. In 1987 the first Ibero-American Missionary Congress (COMIBAM I) was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This watershed gathering of 3,000 Christians from Latin America and other Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking countries (1,000 from Brazil) perhaps surpassed Edinburgh 1910 in energy. When Luis Bush declared in the opening plenary address, "Today Latin America will leave the ranks of the mission field, to become a 'salt shaker' of missionaries," a new reality was recognized. Latin America has become part of the global non-Western mission-sending base.

At the Frontier 2000 Mission Conference of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in San Diego in September 2000, Oswaldo Prado, a prominent Brazilian pastor and missiologist, delivered a plenary address, "Is the Third World First?" (33) In his introduction he quoted Samuel Escobar from the recent CLADE IV in Ecuador: "The Holy Spirit has raised up in Latin America a new missionary awakening. Missionary practice of the past has been augmented by a growing readiness of Latin American Christians to assume the responsibility of the Church, in obedience to the Word of God. In recent years, the number of opportunities for the training and sending of missionaries to other continents and contexts has increased." Prado then affirmed: "This statement sums up, in a few brief words, that which we are experiencing on our Latin American continent, especially since the decade of the 1980s: A missionary awakening never before seen in the history of the Reformed Church in Latin America, resulting in hundreds and hundreds of young pe ople and couples offering themselves for the mission fields of those peoples unreached by the Gospel."

Prado reported that more than 2,000 Brazilian missionaries have been sent to other countries and that the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil has established three centers for missionary training. In addition, he noted that two centers for scholarly mission studies are being inaugurated, where students will engage in reflection, preparation, and research for mission. Prado declared that what was once a missionary-receiving church has been replaced by a continent of Latin missionaries "sent to the mission fields, not only in Brazil, but to other cultures around the world."

The transformation of base and direction in global mission today is also bringing about a transformation of mission theology. The final chapter of Jose Miguez Bonino's Faces of Latin American Protestantism is entitled "In Search of Unity: Mission as the Material Principle of a Latin American Protestant Theology." By "material principle" Miguez means "a theological orientation which.. . will give coherence and consistency to the understanding of the gospel and become a point of reference for the theological building of the community." (34)

If "mission-evangelization" is "the principle which defines Latin American Protestantism," today's task is to articulate a "new mission theology" elaborated from a Trinitarian perspective, reflecting the fact that the self-giving and other-receiving God acts relationally "in the totality of creation" through the sending of the Son and the Spirit. God includes humankind as coactors and partners in the "missionary dialogue" of the Trinity, in which "the evangelizing mission is not an external act carried out by the church but is 'the visible face' of the mission of the triune God." (35)

This "material principle" can be taken one step further to expand the dialogue beyond Protestants and Pentecostals to include also Roman Catholics, who are doing much creative missiology in Latin America. (36) In New Evangelization: Perspective of the Oppressed, Leonardo Boff insists on moving from a theology of "colonial evangelization" to one of "liberative evangelization" in which God "always arrives before the missionary." The radical relationality of the Trinity is paradigmatic of the way cultures should relate to one another in mission as the Gospel is assimilated and the church is evangelized through interaction with Christians from other cultures. (37)

Examples of how the latter happens include the dialectical mutual listening, learning, and evangelization that is taking place in Latin America. Boff contends, "The Roman Catholic Church has much to learn from the Protestant churches where love of the word of God is concerned. It has much to learn from the Orthodox churches where attention to the liturgy and the symbolic life of faith is concerned. From the Pentecostal churches it can learn inculturation in popular culture, and creativity in the organization of its various services and ministries." (38)

In a similar vein Reformed theologian Richard Shaull writes, "If the movement of the Spirit in our time calls for a new theological paradigm, then the development of it becomes the responsibility and calling of all of us. No religious community, Pentecostal, traditional Protestant, or Roman Catholic, can claim ownership of it.... Each of these communities will be able to make its own unique contribution, but only as it learns from and is changed by the others. I would wager that those of us who are not Pentecostal will be prepared to make our contribution to this end as we are transformed through our interaction with them." (39)

The movement of the Spirit through a liberating contextual evangelization among Pentecostals, Protestants, and Roman Catholics in Brazil is similar to what is happening in other countries of Latin America, and in Africa and Asia as well. Because of the impressive growth resulting from this evangelization, the demographic center of the church has shifted to the Southern Hemisphere. Together with this shift, a new "representative" global Christianity is being defined and articulated by non-Western Christians, most of whom are poor and Pentecostal. This different perspective will surely bring many unexpected consequences for those of the old representative Western Christianity, including upside-down scriptural interpretations, radical unlearning, self-emptying, disturbing challenges, surprising partnerships, mission-in-reverse, renewal, new evangelization, continuing conversion, mutual transformation, and hope. It is the beginning of a new era of global Christianity, the post-Western post-Christendom era, where the universal Gospel of the kingdom of God finds expression in each particular context as God's redemptive mission goes forth.

Notes

(1.) Zwinglio M. Dias and Joyce Hill, Brazil: A Gracious People in a Heartless System (New York: Friendship Press, 1997), P. 45.

(2.) David Martin, Tongues of Fire: The Explosion of Protestantism in Latin America (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990), p. 72.

(3.) A decade ago Martin saw Catholic base communities and Umbanda as the only serious rivals of Pentecostalism. He suggested that Pentecostalism is "a form of base community plus the therapeutic recourse to the Spirit found in Umbanda" (ibid., p. 60).

(4.) Luis N. Rivera, A Violent Evangelism: The Political and Religious Conquest of the Americas (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1990), p.21.

(5.) Adrian Hastings has written, "The Christianity of South America was, primarily, a precise transportation of the Catholicism of the Iberian Peninsula." A World History of Christianity (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), p. 328.

(6.) Pablo Richard, Death of Christendoms, Birth of the Church: Historical Analysis and Theological Interpretation of the Church in Latin America (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1987).

(7.) C. Rene Padilla, "The Future of Christianity in Latin America: Missiological Perspectives and Challenges," International Bulletin of Missionary Research 23, no. 3 (July 1999): 106.

(8.) David Stoll, Is Latin America Turning Protestant? (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 1990).

(9.) H. McKennie Goodpasture, Cross and Sword: An Eyewitness History of Christianity in Latin America (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1989), p. 183.

(10.) Martin, Tongues of Fire, p. 49.

(11.) Ken MacHarg, "Brazil's Surging Spirituality," Christianity Today, December 4, 2000, p. 70.

(12.) The World Christian Encyclopedia, 2d ed., gives figures of 64.5 million for the United States, 30.4 million for Germany, and 30.2 million for Brazil.

(13.) Martin, Tongues of Fire, p. 282.

(14.) Membership statistics in this section are taken from World Christian Encyclopedia, 2d ed.

(15.) Jose Miguez Bonino, Faces of Latin American Protestantism (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997), p. 56.

(16.) Benjamin F. Gutierrez, "The Pentecostal Challenge to Historic Churches in Latin America," in In the Power of the Spirit: The Pentecostal Challenge to Historic Churches in Latin America, ed. Benjamin F. Gutierrez and Dennis A. Smith (Drexel Hill, Pa.: Skipjack Press, 1996) (hereafter Power of the Spirit), p. 9.

(17.) Paul Freston, "Between Pentecostalism and the Crisis of Denominationalism," in Power of the Spirit, p. 197.

(18.) Leonildo Silveira Campos, "Why Historic Churches Are Declining and Pentecostal Churches Are Growing in Brazil," in Power of the Spirit, p. 92.

(19.) Jose Comblin, "Brazil: Base Communities in the Northeast," in New Face of the Church in Latin America, ed. Guillermo Cook (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1994), p. 217.

(20.) Guillermo Cook, The Expectation of the Poor: Latin American Base Ecclesial Communities in Protestant Perspective (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1985).

(21.) Manuel A. Vasquez, The Brazilian Popular Church and the Crisis of Modernity (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1998), pp. 46, 58.

(22.) Padilla, "The Future of Christianity in Latin America," p. 110.

(23.) Phillip Berryman, Religion in the Megacity: Catholic and Protestant Portraits from Latin America (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1996), pp. 63, 82.

(24.) Stoll, Is Latin America Turning Protestant? p. 131.

(25.) Ibid.

(26.) Orlando Costas, The Church and Its Mission: A Shattering Critique from the Third World (Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House, 1974). Also see Christ Outside the Gate: Mission Beyond Christendom (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1982) and Liberating News: A Theology of Contextual Evangelization (Grand Rapid: Eerdmans, 1989).

(27.) Miguez Bonino, Faces of Latin American Protestantism, pp. vii, viii.

(28.) Latin America Mission News Service, "A Milestone in Latin American Evangelism and Cooperation: Fourth Congress on Evangelism," LAMNewsService@LAM.org, September 12, 2000.

(29.) Stoll, Is Latin America Turning Protestant? p. 312.

(30.) Vasquez, Brazilian Popular Church, p. 231.

(31.) Richard Shaull and Waldo Cesar, Pentecostalism and the Future of the Christian Churches (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000), pp. 14, xiii, 36.

(32.) Ibid., p. 162.

(33.) Oswaldo Prado, "Is The Third World First?" (unpublished paper presented in SanDiego, California, September 16, 2000). The following quotations are from this paper.

(34.) Miguez Bonino, Faces of Latin American Protestantism, p. 131.

(35.) Ibid., pp. 132-41.

(36.) Jose Comblin, Segundo Galilea, et al., A missao a partir da America Latina (Mission from Latin America) (Sao Paulo: Paulinas, 1983).

(37.) Leonardo Boff, New Evangelization: Good News to the Poor (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books, 1991), p. 37. It is interesting that the subtitle in Portuguese, Perspectiva dos oprimidos, literally means "Perspective of the oppressed." For Boff, the oppressed are the subjects of their own liberation, and their perspective provides a key for the transformation of oppressors.

(38.) Ibid., p. 47.

(39.) Shaull and Cesar, Pentecostalism and the Future of the Christian Churches, p. 120.

Sherron K. George is Theological Education Consultant for South America, Worldwide Ministries, Presbyterian Church (USA). She was a missionary for twenty-three years in Brazil and more recently served as professor of mission and evangelism at Austin (Texas) Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Her article "Liberation, Contextualization, Solution, and Mission-Evangelization: New Latin American Hermeneutical Keys" appeared in the October 2001 issue of Interpretation.
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