December 20, 2013

PEOPLE WOULD RATHER THEIR FAITH BE EXCITING THAN WATERED DOWN: Is charismatic Christianity coming to Europe? Up until now, it didn’t seem likely. But events in the UK perhaps suggest otherwise. “Pentecostalism is probably the fastest growing religious movement in history. From humble American beginnings early in the twentieth century the movement truly exploded after World War II, now numbering at least 600 million adherents worldwide. Pentecostals are a significant presence in the United States, but most of the growth has been in the Global South—in Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia. Originally a movement within Evangelical Protestantism, Pentecostalism has spilled over into virtually all Christian denominations. . . . The phenomenon must be seen in the context of a huge demographic shift: There now are more Christians in the Global South than in the “home territories” of Europe and North America. And most of this ‘New Christendom’ (a term coined by the historian Philip Jenkins) tends toward charismatic forms of the faith.”

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