The Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the International Congress on World Evangelization (ICOWE) held July 1974 in Lausanne, Switzerland. To mark the anniversary, the Billy Graham Center Archives (Wheaton, IL, USA) has placed a number of items on its web site - including photos, audio files and notes from the 1974 Congress and subsequent meetings.
It was thirty years ago that the ICOWE, better known as the Lausanne Congress, brought Christian leaders from around the world to discuss and plan worldwide efforts to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Representatives came mostly but not exclusively from the Protestant Evangelical tradition.
One outcome of the the Congress was the Lausanne Covenant, a statement of Christian belief and lifestyle that became a touchstone for Evangelicals and has been adopted by many groups as their statement of faith. Another result, slightly later, was the formation of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization (LCWE). The Committee grew out of a continuation committee that had surveyed the attendees of the the congress to discover if a continuing organization was desired and if so, what it should do. The continuation committee met in Mexico City in January 1975 and formed the LCWE.
According to the Billy Graham Center, the Congress, the Covenant, and the LCWE were all part of a world wide movement of Evangelicals. The effort involved "presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the modern world, developing an international Christian fellowship, and struggling with how to be true to Jesus as individual Christians and as a church."
The latest meeting of the Lausanne movement is this year's 2004 Forum for World Evangelization, to be attended by almost 2,000 Christian leaders.