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Spirit and PowerThe Growth and Global Impact of Pentecostalism$
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Donald E. Miller, Kimon H. Sargeant, and Richard Flory

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199920570

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199920570.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 July 2021

Pentecostals and Politics in Latin America

Pentecostals and Politics in Latin America

Compromise or Prophetic Witness?

(p.101) 5Pentecostals and Politics in Latin America
Spirit and Power

Paul Freston

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the contours of Pentecostalism in Latin America today, and then investigates its social impact and its political involvement, especially regarding its effect on democratic strengthening. Using recent survey data on global Pentecostalism gathered by the Pew Research Center in 2006 (Spirit and Power, 2006), the social and political impacts of Latin American Pentecostalism are compared to two other major religio-political actors in the contemporary world: militant Islam and the American religious right. Freston argues that Latin American Pentecostalism should not be interpreted through the lens of contemporary Islamic politics, or through the lens of the American religious right. They do not fit the negative stereotypes often disseminated about them (e.g. dangerous to democracy, potentially violent, or subordinate to American right-wing geopolitical worldviews). Nor do they live up to their own optimistic self-image as incorruptible purveyors of political blessings. They are basically pro-democratic political novices in their own countries.

Keywords:   Pentecostalism (and): democracy, corruption, social impact, reformers, Latin America

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