Can you imagine a conference of Christian congressmen, senators and parliamentarians from all the nations of the western hemisphere, coming together on a regular basis, to pray and discuss issues from a biblical perspective?
This is exactly what Pedro Moreno, President of the Rutherford Institute in Bolivia, has in mind. The brainchild of some young South American visionaries, the First Inter-American Congress of Christian Parliamentarians will most likely be held sometime in 1992 in the Dominican Republic.
The goal of this conference is to bring together senior government officials from both South and North American nations to discuss a whole agenda of hemispheric problems – and to propose hemispheric solutions to these problems from a uniquely Christian platform.
Pedro Moreno has an emphatic interest in seeing political change in Bolivia and a unique testimony to tell as well. As an international student studying government at Tufts University, Pedro was a leftist. Through the study of Marxism, Pedro believed that a violent, leftist revolution was the only answer to his country’s problems. That is, until someone shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him.
“I was invited to a dinner for international students,” Pedro recollects. “I saw some love and care and some happy families. I realized that they had something that I did not have. Then one night after talking with a minister from a church in Boston, I told him that I had been looking for the Truth my whole life. That night we prayed at a subway station and from then on I realized that Jesus was real.”
Now Pedro has another vision. Still bent on revolutionary reform, Pedro believes that the radical message of the Gospel – not socialism – is the force that is destined to conquer the earth. This sense of destiny is the impetus that is fueling the vision for the Inter-American Congress.
“I now realize that it is not a question of changing the structures, but changing the men. Men can only be changed through Jesus,” says Pedro and he hopes that this can translate into social change.
“We have three objectives: one is to glorify God with all the nations getting together with Christ as the center; second, to train all the new Christian Parliamentarians that have been elected, because most of them, even though they are Christians, do not have a Christian worldview – a Christian perspective of politics, economics, education, etc. The third purpose is to encourage all Christians to participate more actively in government, to vote, be elected and be heard.”
The Congress will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the Gospel in the western hemisphere. The leaders of many nations will be trained in biblical principles of law, politics, economics, education, science and technology.
The leaders will discuss the problems their nations share and propose answers from a biblical perspective. Their goal will be to encourage more Christians to get involved in politics, business, the arts, science and all areas of life.
Pedro is sponsoring the planning of the congress in cooperation with four evangelical Christian groups this coming March, in La Paz, Bolivia. The groundswell of Christian activity in Bolivia is similar to what has been happening in other Latin American countries, such as Peru, where Alberto Fujimori was elected President earlier this year because of strong evangelical support.
In addition to Fujimori, 15 Christian congressmen were recently elected in Peru. An Evangelical Political Action group has recently been formed in Brazil and there was a strong evangelical showing in the recent election in Guatemala. There is also a growing movement in Bolivia to promote more active Christian participation in the political process.
As these ideas begin to permeate other countries in Latin America, Pedro and his contingent of lawyers, congressmen, and other political allies are busy planning to consolidate a recognizable force and help the Christian communities of all the nations of the West gain momentum.
Some of the Christian ideas that make up their agenda will include:
- Implementing Christian approaches to politics, economics, education, scientific investigation and technological innovation.
- Solving the problems of drug trafficking and terrorism.
- Understanding the integrated potential of the nations of the West, in light of the unlimited power of God, when the hearts of the people are turned toward Him.
- Analyzing ways in which religious liberty can be expanded and established so that the propagation of the Gospel can occur without hindrance.
- Establishing an effective strategy to defend human life, effected through a strong rejection of abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and killing of the “undesirable.”
- Discovering a Christian response to the needs and problems of ethnic minorities.
- Working toward the redefinition, in light of Scripture, of such concepts as “Third World,” “Underdeveloped Countries,” “Industrialized Societies,” “Non-Aligned Countries,” and “Rich/Poor or North/South Countries.”
“I know that the Christian ideas that we support will be ultimate winners,” says Pedro, “because God is the ultimate winner!”
The inclusion of an emphasis on prayer at the Congress will make the outcome of these ideas even more powerful. Consider the power of prayer and its potential to affect the destiny of Latin America. Think of the effect that a regular meeting of Christian statesmen coming together to pray on a consistent basis could have on world events!
The impact of the Congress of Christian Parliamentarians will continue to be felt, since it has been conceived as an ongoing event. If all goes as planned, it could be one of the most significant events of the decade.
Pedro Moreno is the President of the Rutherford Institute in Bolivia and the representative for all of South America. He is presently organizing chapters in all the Latin American countries.