November 14, 2014

Why has Pentecostalism grown so dramatically in Latin America?

Tens of millions of Latin Americans have left the Roman Catholic Church in recent decades and embraced Pentecostal Christianity.
(Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images)

Tens of millions of Latin Americans have left the Roman Catholic Church in recent decades and embraced Pentecostal Christianity, according to a new Pew Research Center survey on religion in 18 Latin American countries and Puerto Rico. Indeed, nearly one-in-five Latin Americans now describe themselves as Protestant, and across the countries surveyed majorities of them self-identify as Pentecostal or belong to a Pentecostal denomination. Pentecostals share many beliefs with other evangelical Protestants, but they put more emphasis on the “gifts of the Holy Spirit,” such as speaking in tongues, faith healing and prophesying.

With nearly 300 million followers worldwide, including many in Africa and Latin America, Pentecostalism is now a global phenomenon. But present day Pentecostalism traces its origins to a religious revival movement that began in the early 20th century.

We asked Andrew Chesnut, professor of religious studies at Virginia Commonwealth University, to discuss how and why Pentecostalism has grown so dramatically in Latin America in recent years. The interview has been edited for clarity and condensed.

Why have we seen this shift in Latin America in recent decades away from Roman Catholicism and toward Pentecostal Protestantism?

Andrew Chesnut, professor of religious studies at Virginia Commonwealth University

Andrew Chesnut: One reason is that Pentecostalism has very successfully absorbed Latin American culture. So, for example, the music that you hear in Pentecostal churches has the same rhythms that people enjoy outside of church. In fact, in only a century, Pentecostalism has become indigenous, or “Latin Americanized,” to a greater extent than Roman Catholicism has in its four centuries in Latin America.

There are other  factors. For instance, some Latin Americans who grow up Catholic convert to Pentecostalism at a time of a health crisis, because Pentecostalism puts such a great emphasis on faith healing. This healing ministry is one of the propelling motors of the Pentecostal boom.

And the Pentecostal preachers tend to sound more like their congregants. They are often unlettered and they speak to their flock in the same way that people in Latin American speak to each other. They also tend to look like their congregants. So in Guatemala, many preachers are Mayan, and in Brazil they are Afro-Brazilian. By contrast, in the Catholic Church, most priests are part of the elite. They are either white or mestizo and many are actually from Europe.

Are there particular groups or types of people in Latin America who are especially drawn to Pentecostalism?

Chesnut: Historically, Pentecostalism has appealed to the poor and to outsiders. But more recently, it has begun to appeal to middle-class professionals, such as doctors and lawyers, who have formed their own denominations in Brazil and Guatemala, among other countries. The emphases on “inner healing,” individual responsibility and prosperity theology are especially appealing to these more affluent Pentecostals.

In the case of the poor, they are especially attracted to prosperity theology, also known as the health and wealth gospel. It gives people hope that they can move up regardless of their station. People are told that, with sufficient faith and active petition of God, eventually the things that you want in life will be yours. That’s a very powerful message to someone who has very little.

Some people, particularly men, are attracted to Pentecostalism because they are struggling with substance abuse or other problems. Pentecostalism promotes healthy lifestyles and serves as the largest detox center for Latin American men. Men who join these churches often stop hard drinking … or gambling or womanizing.

How did Pentecostalism begin in Latin America?

Chesnut: For the most part, it was imported from the United States. In the early 20th century, Pentecostal missionaries began arriving in South America and they start doing well almost immediately. One reason was the emphasis on gifts of the Holy Spirit, such as faith healing, which resonated with many people.

The earliest converts were Amazonian lepers, who for obvious reasons flocked to Pentecostal faith healers. More broadly, many early converts were poor, like indigenous people and former slaves. During this time, elites in Latin America remained Catholic because Catholicism was part of their cultural and national identity.

Unlike earlier American missionaries, Pentecostals also were quick to train Latin American pastors and nationalize their denominations. For example, the Assemblies of God in Brazil [the country’s largest Pentecostal denomination] was fully under Brazilian control by 1930, just two decades after the first American evangelists arrived.

Is there a deep connection today between American Pentecostal churches and those in Latin America?

Chesnut: There is a connection, but today, things are reversed. Pentecostalism is now overwhelmingly anchored in Latin America, rather than the United States. In Brazil, for example, the Assemblies of God has 10 million to 12 million members, while the American Assemblies of God church has 2 million to 3 million. So now, the Brazilian church is the big brother and the United States is seen as mission territory.

Many [Latin American] churches are now sending out missionaries to the United States, as well as to Europe and Africa and even Asia. In the U.S., these missionaries have tried to attract Euro-Americans and African Americans. But so far, they’ve had little success. Instead, they’ve attracted Latin American immigrants living in the U.S.

How has the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America responded to this shift away from Catholicism and toward Protestant churches?

Chesnut: Starting in the late ’60s … the Catholic Church embraced charismatic Christianity. That has been the church’s primary response to Pentecostal inroads. The Catholic Charismatic Renewal offers the same ecstatic spirituality, the same healing, but people get to keep the Virgin Mary, and saints as well. So on paper, the Charismatic Renewal offers the best of both worlds.

This strategy has been somewhat successful. It hasn’t stopped losses to the Pentecostal churches, but those losses would have been much more acute if it hadn’t been for this renewal movement in the Latin American Catholic Church.

Do you think that the increased religious competition from Pentecostalism has made Latin America more religious?

Chesnut: Yes. I think competition from Pentecostal churches has definitely made the Latin American religious landscape more robust. In addition to contributing to a certain renewal of the Catholic Church, it’s impacted mainline Protestant churches – like the Presbyterian and Methodist churches – which, like the Catholics, now also offer their own version of Pentecostalism. We’re talking here about a religious free market, and in such a market you have to offer people attractive options if you want to succeed. So these religious groups are offering up their own version of Pentecostalism because that’s what people want. If Pentecostalism had never come to Latin America, I think the religious landscape… would not be nearly as vibrant as it is today.

Topics: Latin America, Religion and Society, Religious Affiliation, Religious Beliefs and Practices, Religiously Unaffiliated

  1. Photo of David Masci

    is a senior writer/editor focusing on religion at Pew Research Center.


  1. Timothy2 years ago

    My name is Tim and I am writing a paper +-about end times prophecies in Revelation and Daniel, which I believe has been revealed to me by the Holy Spirit which God will give you anyone who asks and he is no respecter of persons. I have been seeking truth for a long time and I’ve searched in many different areas I I have listened to the koran on audiobook and I have listened to the book of Mormon on audiobook I have studied different religions and none have the answers and the literal proof that God is who he says he is as
    In the holy Bible. I have been looking in this world for what can be believed and what is just a smokescreen that Satan has put up to blind us to mislead us. I’m writing this out of what I have read in the Old Testament Jewish Bible and the Christian Bible, the New Testament not to be looked at as separate but actually that the New Testament is a continuation of the Old Testament. The Old Testament flows into the New Testament and they complement each other they do not contradict each other Jesus came to fulfill the Old Testament he says in the Bible in the volume of the book it is spoken of me. The Old Testament was written through centuries before Christ was born. the Dead Sea Scrolls which were found which were dated about 300 to 400 before Christ was born. They contain all of the books of the Old Testament except for the book of Esther. All the prophecies in the Old Testament which foretold of Jesus is coming cannot be an accident/ they were written before he was ever born and there were literally hundreds of prophecies that he fulfilled. He couldn’t say well,I am going to fulfill all these prophecies because I want to be the Christ. he was born in Bethlehem ,was called a Nazarene, came out of Galilee. all this was written in the Old Testament and he couldn’t possibly have set this up. He was of the house and lineage of David which was foretold in the Old Testament. It is written that he also came to save the Gentiles because he is God of all people, not just the Jewish people.He does not gives wisdom and understanding of the Scriptures only to certain people,it is written in the Bible that He will give all people who ask, the wisdom to understand his word. He does not love you any more or less than the CEO of General Motors. God says that if you ask you will be given the very mind of Christ. God created you and he treats all people the same. He doesn’t love anyone more or less than another. God uses the lowly people of this world because people who have high positions get into pride and God has trouble using them because they think in their flesh they know more or they have the answers when God is trying to reveal to them his truth. They don’t give God his glory ,God is a jealous God does not share his glory with anyone because that would be a lie and it is not his nature to lie, He cannot lie. In the New Testament the apostle Paul writes “no ye not that we shall judge angels?” He lets you know that because the least esteemed among you can be your judges and it will be true and righteous in God’s eyes. God gives you wisdom and with that wisdom you are quite capable of judging all things. In Isaiah 7- 14 said that Jesus will be born of a virgin, Micah 5- 2 says he will be born in Bethlehem. Psalm 41 -9 says says he’ll be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver which is exact amount that Judas betrayed him for. Isaiah 53 speaks of his death and that he sacrificed Himself that all might live. Psalm 109- 5 says he will be mocked by those who crucified him. Psalm 34- 20 says none of his bones will be broken in his death. Psalm 22- 18 says that those who put him on the cross would gamble for his clothing. Psalms 31-5 talks about his dying prayer his spirit might be committed to his father in heaven. Isaiah 53-12 says he would ask for forgiveness for those who killed him because we didn’t know that we were killing God’s son. All these prophecies were written before Jesus birth and were fufilled exactly as they were prophesied. If you read the four Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke and John which were written in the first century A.D. after Christ’s death, you’ll see that all these prophecies were fulfilled and the book of Revelation or Apocalypse as the Catholics call it, has prophecy that is being fulfilled even now. I want to point these out to you, because it is written”My people perish for lack of knowledge”They are unaware of these prophecies coming true and might be caught in the lies of the evil one. the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered between 1946 in 1956. They are believed to be created before 408 BC to 308 BC. Biblical scholars agree that the Old Testament texts were written tween 300 BC and 500 BC before Christ was even born. Now why am I telling you all this? This is so you can see that the Old Testament is credible. The prophecy about Jesus did come true! Therefore you might think ,how to does this stuff come true, was just just a man writing down some stuff? know this was God talking through man, only God can do this.
    God’s spirit flows through the Old Testament and the New Testament.The Holy Bible says God had wisdom before He ever started creating the world.He didn’t do it by trial and error, evolution is a lie. It also says that God’s ways are so far above us as a heavens are above the earth but that doesn’t mean that he can’t relate to us and call us his sons and daughters as the Bible reveals to us. God is not a creature,He is and always was. We can’t understand that He existed when there was no time. Physics teaches us that time slows down around massive objects. Before the universe was created there was no time. But yet God existed. He knew that Satan was going to fall and do wicked things to destroy his creation. He knew the end from the beginning in his infinite wisdom. This is revealed to us in the prophecies of the Old Testament. Hinduism and Buddhism do not have prophecies that are fulfilled that I know of. The book of revelations or Apocalypse as the Catholics call it reveals things that I believe will come shortly. In revelations 3- 10, Jesus said to a church called Philadelphia, that he will keep them from the hour of temptation that will come upon the whole world, to try them. The Bible also says, that Satan is more subtle than any other creature, I take this to mean that he splits hairs, that we don’t always catch his subtlety, and we are deceived by him. By ourselves can’t stand against him but by trusting in Jesus,who defeated Satan on the cross, we can learn when we are in the wrong. I trust in Jesus and God the Father and the Holy Spirit. It is revealed to us that they are three persons in the Godhead. In revelations 2-12, Jesus talks to another church, saying” I know your works where Satan’s seat is ,and you have not denied my name, even in those days when antipas. My martyr, was slain among you where Satan lives”. Revelations 2-14 says” I hold this against you, because you have those their that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans and to eat things sacrificed to idols. And commit fornication”. I believe this is spiritual fornication going after strange gods as I said before, God is a jealous God. Revelations 2-15 says that God hates the doctrine of the nicolaitans, which I have studied to find means “to subdue the laity”. The church doesn’t teach the Bible but thinks only the priesthood can understand the Scriptures. The common people or the laity are not given access to the Bible and its teachings and God hates this. You pray to God and ask for wisdom He will give it to you. He is no respecter of persons, there is no priest or pastor can understand the Bible better than anyone else. As I said God is no respecter of persons. By the power of the Holy Spirit, God says he will teach you all things. God says to repent of all of their sins or He will destroy them with the sword of his mouth. He actually threatens to destroy two of his churches if they don’t repent from their sins. In revelations chapter 17 it says” there is a woman drunk with the blood of the saints sitting on a beast with seven heads. The seven heads are seven hills on which the city sitteth”. It is well-known that Rome is the great city that sits on seven hills. The woman “The great whore” is called the great city that rules over the kings of the earth. Even to this day Catholics will obey the Pope over the laws of their land. People will obey the Pope, and what he has decreed to be given him from heaven, over the laws of the their land. You may think this is insane accusing the pope of this great sin, but the Pope is just a man, not God on earth as the Catholics believe. He is elected by voting of the bishops, and they believe once he is voted in, anything he said on behalf of the Catholic Church is straight from God. I don’t believe anyone should have that kind of power, any sinful man. He is a flesh and blood man just like us, and he makes mistakes just like you and I. Revelation 19 says the beast and the false prophet that wrought miracles, which deceived those who took the mark of the beast and them that worship it’s image, which is the image of the great whore, which I believe to be the image or statute of a woman. If the woman is first beast, and the image of the beast would be, as I said, the statue of a woman or the image of a woman. Now let me make this clear, I am not saying that Mary, blessed mother of Christ is a whore, she is a queen in heaven, not the queen of heaven. The Catholic Church has lifted Mary to God status. I don’t believe Mary answers prayers, or visits Earth, or has the kind of power the Catholic Church grants her. The infrastructure for Mary worship and Saint worship was put in place over the centuries by various popes. In revelations 22-8 says and “I, John saw these things and heard them and I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel”. Revelations 22 -9, the angel says, “see that you do not do that, I’m a fellow worshiper of Jesus Christ and of thy brother the prophets, worship God”. If we can’t worship angels how can we worship men or women who have died. The Muslim religion was established about 600 years after Christ’s birth. And they do not believe that Jesus was God. They believe he was created. They believe He was created and not begotten. However they do believe Mary was a virgin. I’m thinking this would tie and or connect worship of a statue of Mary in the end times. Because they believe she was a virgin they might worship the image of the beast, or a statue. And take a mark in their hand or forehead.
    I believe that a World government will be established as predicted in the Bible, because of very, very hard times that will come on all the earth. I believe nations will become bankrupt, you’ll run out of energy. The weather is getting worse and worse we have had a major storm with over 200 mile an hour winds. We will have problems with insects and disease and other bad things. People are going to try to turn to God, that they will be directed to the wrong way by a one world government controlled by the church. They’re going to be told to pray to Mary, and not give God’s glory by praising and worshiping and praying to him. We are to give God His praise he does not share his glory because that would be a lie, and he cannot lie. You worship God, you don’t pray to men and you don’t pray to dead people. This is a trap that Satan has been setting up over the centuries. If you follow the Catholic Church and the Mary cult, you will see if this is been coming on for a long time. Revelations 13 -11 says “and I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth and he had two horns like a lamb but spake as a dragon. causing the image of the beast to speak and the whole earth to worship the image of the first beast, and he will do with great wonders and signs and even makes fire come down from heaven in the sight of men and deceives those That live on earth”. It says in Revelation that all people free and bond slaves will be forced to take the mark on their right hand or forehead. That no one might buy or sell unless they take the mark. They will take the name of the beast, the number of his name ,or a mark. It says in revelations “let him that has understanding count the numbers of the beast,it is the number of a man” and equals 666. In roman numerals. The Pope has a title,” vicarious fillii dei” which means to act in the place of the Son of the Deity.This adds up to 666 in roman numerals{count a U for a V} The Catholics believe the Pope acts as Jesus Christ on earth, and he alone has this power. It is believed by the Catholics that anything he says on behalf of the church is God speaking. I think this is way too much power from one fallible man to have. He has sin is life just like everybody else. The Bible says all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. So this image that he is going to make is the image of the great whore or a statue or picture of a woman. And it says he’ll have power to make the image speak. This Mary cult has been slowly put in place over the centuries. You might wonder why I have something against the Catholic Church, I don’t really. I was once Catholic, even went so far as to wear a scapula around my neck which the Catholic Church taught if you wear that when you die, Mary will take you straight to heaven. Nowhere does the Bible say anything to the effect that this might possibly be true, it was proclaimed by a pope and the Catholics believe it is a fact. I was worshiping Mary I was holding her above Jesus. Not good! When I learned about these teachings I’m telling you about that I learned in revelations, I denounced my believe in Catholicism in turn to Jesus, His father and the Holy Spirit. God delivered me from worshiping dead people and Mary and now I give my glory to the Father and Jesus who is God also and the Holy Spirit, the third part of the Godhead. When the disciples of Jesus asked when he would return after ascending to heaven he said this, there will be wars and rumors of wars, and all kinds of bad things will be going on in the world. I believe the hard times are getting worse and Jesus says that the times will be shortened for the sake of the elect. The elect are the people who accept Christ as their Savior and worship God in spirit and truth. Nations are on the verge of bankruptcy, people are fighting with each other, killing each other, terrorism is getting worse and worse. New diseases are spreading and killing many people. We could have a pandemic at any time. One example of the hard times is Haiti, where the entire country was devastated by an earthquake, they practiced a lot of voo doo and other devil worship. In the Philippines they had winds of over 200 miles an hour. It says that the water all over the world will become polluted and many will die because of that. it also says that, that is in revelations that a third of the fish in the oceans will die. I believe when times get so hard people will turn to God finally for help, that they will be deceived by the world religion set in place by Satan. The church is corrupt in idolatry, and that’s what they will teach the people to worship a statue of Mary. it is not really Mary but demonic forces. They will be led astray because I don’t know what’s in the book the Bible, the Catholic Church doesn’t encourage you to read the Bible and in their services you get very little actual teaching. I am saying to you, don’t take my word for this, read it for yourself. Turn your life over to Jesus who is true God. The first commandment God gave us was to love the Lord thy God with all my heart and all thy soul and serve him only. He gave this as the first commandment because it’s the most important one ,as I said before, God is a jealous God he doesn’t share his glory. If you read the Old Testament all through it, God shows he hates idolatry. He wants to be worshiped in spirit and truth. It also says that thousands times thousands and hundred of thousands times thousands will wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb and be saved. In conclusion, I would like to say there is hope, if you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and worship Him in spirit and truth, you will be saved. I pray that you pray this simple prayer, because the minute you do your life will change!!! God Bless You

  2. Jim Tapp2 years ago

    I think it is particularly telling that, as Dr. Chesnut diplomatically points out, most of the Pentecostal preachers are either “unlettered”, or are educated doctors and lawyers eager to start up their own “inner healing” or “prosperity theology” congregations.

    This backward, superstitious belief system has always appealed most strongly to the desperate and the ignorant, and to those who make their living by exploiting them.

  3. Bigspin2 years ago

    The supposed Gentile audience of your Mission are not Gentile at all. But are mostly Northern Kingdom-Israel decendents and Southern Kingdom-Judah decendents
    The Lord is awakening them to who they are (Ezekiel 37). And there not Catholic/Penecostal/baptist or any other Religeous Title. But They are the dispersed,scattered,conquered, children of the captivity. The elect true bloodline tribes of Israel. Let them know who they are and for whom Christ came. That is the gospel to be preached in all the Nations. Shalome.

    And the LORD shall scatter you among the nations, and ye shall be left few in number among the heathen, whither the LORD shall lead you.

    Deuteronomy 30:3
    That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee.

    Deuteronomy 32:26
    I said, I would scatter them into corners, I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men:

    Hosea 8:8
    Israel is swallowed up: now shall they be among the Gentiles as a vessel wherein is no pleasure.

    2 Esdras 23:40-45
    Those are the ten tribes, which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea the king, whom Salmanasar the king of Assyria led away captive, and he carried them over the waters, and so came they into another land.41But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt,42That they might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their own land.43And they entered into Euphrates by the narrow places of the river.44For the most High then shewed signs for them, and held still the flood, till they were passed over.45For through that country there was a great way to go, namely, of a year and a half: and the same region is called Arsareth.

  4. pastor julius maranga2 years ago

    i saw your inspiring messages in the net and was so interested to know how pentecostal in Latin America is growing. We in Kenya having been working in slum area where there is social injustices such as; drug abuse, rape, prostitution and other more challenges, we need your partnership so that you can share with us more how your churches grow in Latin America. we are ready to work with you. thank you Pastor Julius Maranga of full redemption christian ministry.

  5. Carlos L2 years ago

    Unfortunately , this movement is growing in Brazil. The mainline Protestants are repressed by the pentecostal domination. There is a huge aversion to the Roman Catholic Church .
    I as Lutheran, only listen absurd and very pietism , in my own church .
    This movement is full of artists disguised as shepherds , singers, ” prophets ” and other positions that are invented to sustain their personal needs .
    I wish the americans mainline churches , PCUSA , ECUSA , ELCA , etc. , had missions in Brazil , to try to reduce the Pentecostal influences.
    May God so wills .

    1. Aldair2 years ago

      I am a former Catholic as my mom is. My Dad is a former Evangelical Methodist Lutheran. The Mainline Churches and Catholic Church have only showed us how desperate they are in willing to Liberalize to attract more people. In our opinions those churches are just putting themselves more into a deeper hole. I couldn’t be happier to be a Pentecostal Christian and so do my parents.

  6. Edwin Guerra3 years ago

    I couldn´t agree more with prof. Chesnut. I´m a born again christian from latin america, who have lived in the US. Unfortunately it is as he put it: there is a religion “free market” where churches are more concern of “loosing congregants” than being faithful to God and His Gospel of repentance and asking his forgiveness, believing His love made possible thru Christ´s holy blood in the cross. Ergo, like when Crist fed thousands with bread and fishes, many “today churches” put emphasis is “on miracles”, rather than righteousness; for the lather doesn´t gain them “worldly popularity”. With sadness we see the same with “mega churches” in the US and around the world, were many charlatans prey on the weak od spirit, selling the wealth & health (corrupt) Gospel, telling “poor people” just what they “want to hear”. It has happen before and will continue to happen until He comes again in His Glory. Fortunately, God have always kept (by His Grace alone) a faithful remnant for Himself, that keep the Church Alive. Those who pursue this miracle workers, quickly run away when affliction strikes and their “faith” is trial with the fire of tribulations. In the meantime, true christian are mistaken with this “fake ones”, and the later frequent character flaws are frequently generalized with evangelical Christians (as many prefer to call non catholic christian)

  7. aslex3 years ago

    A recent BBC portrayal of Latin America, Venezuela and Argentina, so far, with no doubt Brazil just the same, it would seem that young Latin Americans are sex mad, and have no time for anything else. It was attributed to relief from dictatorships, but they seem to have abandoned religion in any form.

  8. Stephen Swain3 years ago

    I wish it were as seamless as the professor makes it sound, with due respect. It’s complicated, considering the cultural elements in Central and South American countries that are built on indigenous beliefs, traditions, and folkways. These people face hardships that would probably daunt first-world Christians. This brand of faith experience encompasses the whole life of a person and/or family, and the commitments required of the believer are not easy.

  9. Chuck Patterson3 years ago

    Could the answer to why Pentecostalism has grown in South America be that it is a move of God to bring many people into life changing faith in Jesus Christ. Could it be that everything else (music styles, etc.) is secondary to this primary fact: God is moving in the lives of the people of South America in a powerful way. People are responding to the gospel of Jesus Christ and being wonderfully transformed by His love, forgiveness and power. This is something that all Christians should be celebrating and joyously thanking God for regardless of denomination.

    1. Lydia2 years ago

      I absolutely agree with you. We should be rejoicing that the word of God is reaching so many people, especially in impoverished and more affluent areas of Latin America and that these people are actually responding to the word of God and are being saved. I thank God for everything that has been happening in all of our Spanish-speaking countries. The second coming of Jesus Christ is coming soon and we shall be spreading his word as fast as we can. God bless you

  10. David MacGregor3 years ago

    This is a somewhat academic response. The key to the Pentecostal revival has been the centrality of the Gospel of Jesus, fidelity to the Holy Scriptures and clear confession of faith. In South America so called ‘liberation’ theology drove many to churches faithful to the Bible. The ‘catchup’ charismatic renewal was due to a discovery of the power of Pentecost and a better understanding of St Paul’s teaching in 1 Corinthians 12-14 Most Institutional Christianity leaders do not handle the freedom of NT worship, never mind the reality of the charisms of the Holy Spirit.

  11. cken3 years ago

    I think the author made two really great points; the music and commonality of their preachers. Let’s face it the reasons for the Pentecostal growth is: It’s more fun, it’s more entertaining, and it provides a venue for an emotional release. I think it’s great the growth this denomination is having. However we need not over think this and look for any more reasons than I stated above.

    1. Fred Jones2 years ago

      Pentecostalism “more fun”…?????

      You’re hilarious… Actually, it’s Catholicism that’s all fun. It basically goes like this:

      Summer “parish” festivals at the local Catholic “church”. Each Roman Catholic “parish” taking a different weekend to hold a “festival” on their grounds.

      Typically consisting of:
      – A Miller Lite keg truck with tappers parked next to a “beer tent”.
      – A Top 40 band playing current secular Top 40 hits, usually with song themes around PARTYING, PREMARITAL SEX, WEALTH, etc…
      – A “gambling tent”, Bingo, 50/50 raffles, etc. Just an opportunity to poorly steward your families’ money in the search of quick wealth. (see Proverbs)
      – People getting drunk, both Catholic “church members”, and members of the local community. It is usually WIDELY KNOWN as a “hot spot” to pick up girls.

  12. Frank Flinn3 years ago

    I think that the Pentecostal roots go deeper than the early 20th century and reach back to the perfectionist tendencies of the Methodist Holiness movements that took the first steps beyond beyond the simul justus et peccator (at once justified and a sinner) position of classical Lutheran Evangelicalism. Also the Pentecostal movement has deeply shaped by the dispensational strands of 19th-century Fundamentalism.

  13. Catherine3 years ago

    This is a fascinating topic, I am going to be looking at this for my PhD. Specifically at Latin American evangelical and Pentecostal denominations whom are planting churches in the US.

  14. David Lloyd-Jones3 years ago

    In the US a lot of right-wing “churches” identify themselves as “Evangelical.” This lets them hide behind the image of Chattaquas, tent-meetings of neighbors, and even nice warm Apostolic times images: the Sermon on the Mount, and such like.

    In fact they are often high powered sales organizations, not at all neighborly, but run instead for the benefit of their well-paid staffs and media operations.

    Their theology is very often quite specifically neo-Calvinist, though they are usually at pains to hide this fact.

    People in the media should identify these frauds carefully. Neo-Calvinists should be identified as such. Book sales and holy-water pushers should not be allowed to pass themselves off as religious organizations.

  15. Juliet Begley3 years ago

    I believe that it would be of great interest to track the advent of Pentecostalism in South America and the rise of conservatism in numerous South and Central American political landscapes and their feedback into the United States. In Hawaii the dominionist group Transformation Hawaii, and their associates in Argentina have been actively participating in the politics here. They even had a governor candidate (so to speak). Here is a link to their convention:…

  16. Bradlee Sargent3 years ago

    Why are the Pentecostals so busy stealing sheep from the Catholics instead of reaching unbelievers…I converted to Catholicism because the only thing Jesus said 5 times in a row non stop was to eat his flesh and drink his blood. Also the Unity Pentecostals deny the divinity of Christ

    1. EBEN3 years ago

      It actually surprised me how ignorant you are. I am a Pentecostal Christian and we believe in Trinity. We believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ. We are not Mary worshippers like you. We don’t pray to dead saints and we feel the Holy Spirit moving in us. Most of the catholics are embracing Pentecostalism because they are feeling the HS. Catholic church is a spiritually dead cult .

      1. MarianKnight3 years ago

        Eben , I am a Roman Catholic and I strive to do the complete public Ministry of Jesus Christ . I preach to the Non Christians, heal the sick , cast out demons . One day I will raise the dead to life . This too has happened in India. We catholic DO NOT worship Mary . That is what people like you who are very shallow in your thought and knowledge believe we do . We request her to pray for us . We pray to Saints who are physically dead , but who are Spiritually alive .We request them to pray for us . Since you are ignorant of the Facts , and agree that you are and I believe that you are then please visit and also and you will find all the answers to your questions . Please check out this link and educate yourself ,,… . Please educate yourself and then speak .

        1. Lorraine3 years ago

          Yes, that is the truth. I am Roman Catholic too and I not going to change my Faith, for music and novelties that take me away from Jesus teachings and traditions of the true Church.

        2. EBEN2 years ago

          Psalm 115:17 – “The dead praise not the LORD, neither any that go down into silence. ”

          Mary or any other dead saints CANNOT hear your request my friend. Scripture plainly demolishes such pagan practices. PRAY TO GOD instead. If you want to know how Catholics perverted god’s Holy TEN COMMANDMENTS, Just read your Bible with Hebrew one. You guys are deluded. God’s Sabbath day according to Bible is Saturday. But Catholic Bible says its on Sunday. That’s enough for me. blessings !

      2. Ike3 years ago

        Look at you talking about ignorance. we (Catholics) don’t worship the Virgin Mary or to the Saints we ask them to intercede for us just like your pastor intercedes for you guys or prays for you guys. you should read a little more on Catholicism and you will be a convert too.
        God Bless you.

        1. EBEN2 years ago

          ‘You shall not make any idols for you”. Can you tell me that you Catholics do not make idols? I am an Indian and I can assure you that Catholicism is nothing different form Hinduism here in India. Wherever Catholics went, they adopted pagan rituals and practices into the Christian faith. I have many friends as Catholics. They pray to dead Mary and saints. They believe that these dead ones can intercede for them before Holy God when scripture plainly describes that there is ONE MEDIATOR between Humans and God, Jesus Christ. Catholics have even corrupted TEN COMMANDMENTS. You go and check Ten commandments with your Catholic Bible and Hebrew Bible. You guys think that Sabbath is on Sunday when Bible without a hint declares that Sabbath is Saturday. So People will move from idols to Holy Spirit and NO ONE can stop his power. Blessings !

    2. Lorraine3 years ago