South Africa (MNN) — 4,500 delegates from around the world gathered Sunday evening for the opening session of the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization.
President of HCJB Global Wayne Pederson is there. He says, "The sad part of the gathering: some 230 delegates from China were not allowed to leave China when they came to the airport to leave for the Lausanne conference. They were denied exit. Their passports and luggage were confiscated. Another group of house church leaders were also blocked from leaving from Shanghai."
Pederson says, "It's interesting that this is happening because the conference is focusing on evangelism in the developing world, such as China, India, and Bangladesh, and some of the least-reached areas of the world. "
Lausanne will also focus on poverty, HIV/AIDS, and other faiths throughout the week.
Pederson says everyone's anticipating today's activity. "Monday's focus is on Asia. And Monday's focus is also on apologetics — making the case for truth in a pluralistic society. Monday evening, we'll be focusing on the suffering church and religious freedom around the world."
Mission Network News will have coverage on Lausanne all week long.