Author: Daniel Kirk, South American Missionary Society, Chile
This article has a different focus to the others in this edition of Encounters, taking a historical rather than a missiological approach. It looks specifically at a historical event in just one Latin American country with the hope that we can deepen our understanding of Protestant missions there and across Latin America by examining one of the multiple ways that God works in different circumstances, all with the purpose of drawing people to himself.1
In a continent where the Roman Catholic Church (hereafter RCC) has traditionally maintained religious hegemony across all sectors of society there has been a long held suspicion that Protestant groups were alien invaders. Their presence in Latin America was often seen as an expression of one wing of North American foreign policy, whose aim was to destabilise the status quo in the region, rather than an expression of genuine spiritual development aided by overseas missionary activities.
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