Reaching Latin America

The term “Latin America” was first used in a conference called “Initiative of America: Idea for a Federal Congress of the Republics” in 1856. It refers to nations in the Americas that were ruled by the Spanish, Portuguese, and French empires. Generally, it is applied to the nations of South America, Central America, Mexico, and the islands of the Caribbean. The region it represents is vast, encompassing roughly 13% of the worlds land mass. In 2020 the population was estimated at more than 652 million souls. For comparison, that is roughly double the population of the United States. Currently (in 2023), 40 of the world’s 50 most dangerous cities of the world were in various countries of Latin America. Economically, it is estimated that fully 1/3 of the people in the region live in poverty.

But the word poverty does not only apply to one’s economic condition. It can also be applied to spirituality. Various missionary organizations estimate that less than 10% of the total population of Latin America is “unreached” with the Gospel. In all probability that number vastly underestimates the reality of the true spiritual condition of the people who live in these nations. The reason for this is the wide definition and application of the meaning of the words “reached” or “Christian” that some of these agencies use. For example, The Joshua Project uses the term “Christian” in what some might consider a very loose fashion. On their website they indicate a Christian is anyone who professes to be Christian. The term embraces all traditions and confessions of Christianity. It is not an indicator of the degree of commitment or theological orthodoxy. Thus, any person or group who consider themselves Christian; fits into that category regardless of their actual understanding of the Gospel. Therein lies the problem in Latin America and the rest of the world when trying to analyze whether an area is reached for Christ or not. The numbers are in essence a hopeful guess.

Here is a plea from us. Christians need to follow the leading of God in their lives rather than statistics or the wisdom and advice of men. Would you be willing to make reaching the people of Latin America a matter of prayer in your life? Further, would you be open and willing to go and reach them? The truth is that we really do not have an accurate understanding of the true state of the Gospel among the precious people that reside in this large portion of the world. Would you consider asking us to pray with you about a specific group or nation in this region? Better yet, would you allow us to help you or someone you know take the Gospel to these dear people?

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