Original Research

Missão Integral [holistic mission or the ‘whole Gospel’] applied: Brazilian evangelical models of holistic mission in the Arab-Muslim world

Edward L. Smither
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 32, No 1 | a483 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v32i1.483 | © 2011 Edward L. Smither | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 November 2010 | Published: 30 September 2011

About the author(s)

Edward L. Smither, Liberty University; University of Pretoria, South Africa, United States


In this article, I will first show the historical development of this theological approach within the Brazilian and Latin American evangelical spheres through the work of the Latin American Theological Fraternity – a movement founded in 1970 that maintained historic evangelical values (i.e. a high view of Scripture, the necessity of conversion) whilst also taking Latin America’s great social needs into account. Nurtured by thinkers such as René Padilla (Ecuador), Orlando Costas (Puerto Rico), Samuel Escobar (Peru), and later Valdir Steuernagel (Brazil), the movement has not only responded to the concerns raised by Liberation theologians, but it has also influenced the direction of the Lausanne Movement – an expression of global evangelicalism. Secondly, I will discuss how missão integral has found its way into the missional ‘bloodstream’ and become a central value for some Brazilian and Latin American missions organisations, including Missão Antioquia (1975) and PM International (1984). Finally, based on 55 interviews conducted in 2009–2010 with Brazilian workers and mission leaders focusing on the Arab world, I will show how Brazilian workers are demonstrating missão integral through their ministries and also why this approach is relevant in the Arab-Muslim world.


missão integral; the whole Gospel; holistic mission; majority world missions; Brazilian evangelical missions


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