By Editorial Staff
Published September 1, 1990
The Evangelical Church in Peru, which accounts for only 5% of the population, recently organized a strong push to successfully elect Alberto Fujimori, a dark horse candidate for President.
The explosion of evangelical churches in Peru (a term which, in Latin America, denotes active Protestants, Pentecostals, and Charismatic Catholics) is credited with fueling Fujimori’s successful bid. While novelist Mario Vargas Llosa made appeals to intellectuals and relied heavily on his television campaign, Fujimori made use of an army of evangelical volunteers who quietly went from house to house among the villages and towns of the Peruvian hills.
Amidst a worsening economy, the mood of the electorate began to change as the people of Peru found in Fujimori the honesty and simplicity they were looking for in a candidate. Fujimori was able to finish a close second to Vargas Llosa in a first round balloting in April and then gained the momentum to win in the runoff election.
When Fujimori founded his maverick Cambio 90 (Change 90) political party last year, he was able, as a reform-minded and moderate Catholic, to enlist the aid of many evangelicals. Technical workers, who were disgusted with Vargas Llosa’s urbane deflationary economic policies, also joined the party in a well planned thrust to enlist the discipline and organization of the evangelical churches.
As a result of Cambio 90’s successful strategy, four senators, 13 deputies, and the second vice president, all identified as evangelicals, were swept into office. About one-third of Cambio 90’s congressional candidates are evangelicals. With only 5% of Peru’s population of 20 million, the quick advance of the evangelical presence in politics is seen by some as a “miracle from God.”
It is suspected by some that the number of evangelical Christians in Peru may actually be larger than 5%. It is reported by Christian and Missionary Alliance sources that church builders in Lima, Peru have trouble keeping up with the explosive growth. In addition to this phenomenon, growing numbers of professionals and upper class technocrats, a group that is rarely affected by missionary presence, are showing up in these churches.
This change in the Peruvian government is characteristic of an evangelical movement that is beginning to gain momentum in all of Latin America. For a good overview of the move of God in Latin America, the editors of The Forerunner recommend David Martin’s book, Tongues of Fire, The Explosion of Protestantism in Latin America.
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“When the lives of the unborn are snuffed out, they often feel pain, pain that is long and agonizing.” – President Ronald Reagan to National Religious Broadcasters Convention, January 1981
Ronald Reagan became convinced of this as a result of watching The Silent Scream – a movie he considered so powerful and convicting that he screened it at the White House.
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“Give me liberty or give me death!”
Patrick Henry’s famous declaration not only helped launch the War for Independence, it also perfectly summarized the mindset that gave birth to, and sustained, the unprecedented experiment in Christian liberty that was America.
The freedom our Founders envisioned was not freedom from suffering, want, or hard work. Nor was it freedom to indulge every appetite or whim without restraint—that would merely be servitude to a different master. No, the Founders’ passion was to live free before God, unfettered by the chains of autocracy, shackles that slowly but inexorably bind men when the governments they fashion fail to recognize and uphold freedom’s singular, foundational truth: that all men are created in the image of God, and are thereby co-equally endowed with the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This presentation is a similar call, not to one but many. By reintroducing the principles of freedom that gave birth to America, it is our prayer that Jesus, the true and only ruler over the nations, will once again be our acknowledged Sovereign, that we may again know and exult in the great truth that “where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is liberty” (2 Cor. 3:17).
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“Here I stand … I can do no other!”
With these immortal words, an unknown German monk sparked a spiritual revolution that changed the world.
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Foundations in Biblical Eschatology
By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.
All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?
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