Heidi Baker, Lou Engle, Pope Francis: Evangelicals, Catholics Unite in Portugal for World Youth Day

Catholics and evangelical Christians are holding major events Friday in Lisbon, Portugal to rally the world’s youth to serve Christ.

Pope Francis is on a five-day visit to Portugal to celebrate World Youth Day. The global event, which is held every three years, was started by Pope John Paul II in 1986. 

World Youth Day is open to all young people in what the Catholic Church calls a “festive encounter, centered on Jesus Christ.” 

Pope Francis kicked off this year’s event by telling young people, “You’re not here by mistake”, adding that “all of us we’re all called by our names.”

Meanwhile, The Change Lisbon is happening at the same time in Portugal as evangelical Christians hold a big stadium event on Aug. 4.

Coincidentally, the stadium’s name in Portuguese “Estada du Luz” translates into English as “Stadium of Light.”

On Friday, just hours before the kickoff of the event, organizers announced on Facebook that The Change was “officially sold out.”

According to the event’s website, believers of all denominations will assemble together to fulfill Jesus’ Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) by:

  • Worshipping Jesus together
  • Preaching the good news of salvation to a new generation
  • Praying for the filling of the Holy Spirit
  • Focusing the next generation on the largest demographic in the world – millions of children at risk (Mal. 4:6)
  • Launching a decade of evangelism by ‘missionary disciples’ committed to obeying the Great Commission.

Here is a small sampling of committed leaders working together to see this event happen:


  • Pope Francis
  • Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa 
  • Pino Scafuro, general moderator of Charis, has listed The Change event on the Charis website
  • Jonathan Roumie, the actor who portrays Jesus in The Chosen, and Lonnie Frisbee in the movie Jesus Revolution is confirmed to be speaking. 
  • Patrick Reis, co-founder of Encounter School of Ministry is planning to attend. 
  • Henry Cappello. founder of Global 2033 
  • Matteo Calisi and Bruno Ierullo of United in Christ Global
  • Anton Tompolski, Charis International


  • Stacey Campbell founder of Shiloh Global, who has ministered to Catholics and evangelicals alike for two decades has been helping to organize and mobilize leaders 
  • Rodrigues Pereira – Rodrigues Pereira Association, promoter of The Change
  • Nicky Gumble (developer of the Alpha course) developer of the You Version Bible App 
  • Bill Johnson and Kris Vallatton from Bethel Church in Redding, CA
  • Mike Bickle founder of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City
  • Pedro Adao, 100X Founder and The Challenge Guy
  • Tony Kim of HIM Harvest International Ministries
  • Lou Engel, an intercessor for revival, and the visionary co-founder of The Call, a prayer and fasting movement responsible for gathering hundreds of thousands worldwide.
  • Heidi Baker of Iris Ministries
  • Patricia King

Worship leaders announced for The Change include Matt Maher, Ana Paula Valadão, Israel Houghton, Allesandro Vilas Boas, Taya, and Laura Souguellis. 

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