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The third mission conference (the second so-called "enlarged meeting" of the IMC) took place in 1938 in Tambaram, near Madras, India. In a world context where peace was increasingly threatened by fascist-type regimes (Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Japan), the discussions focused on the importance and centrality of the church (in particular the local church) in mission. Representatives from the so-called "younger" churches were in the majority in Tambaram. Tambaram also defended the ultimate truth of the Christian message vis-à-vis other religions, while advising missionaries to a listening and dialoguing approach in practice.

International Missionary Council Conference in Madras, India, 1938