As Bible Girl has pointed out once or twice, Pentecostalism, the much maligned and misunderstood branch of Christianity, is growing at a phenomenal rate around the globe. A recent survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life found that Pentecostals and Charismatics, or Renewalists as they are sometimes called, constitute 23 percent of the people in the United States. The survey, which is noted in this month's Atlantic, surveyed Pentecostals and Charismatics in 10 countries on four continents. In Kenya, these Renewalists account for 56 percent of the population. They constitute 60 percent of the population in Guatemala, and in Brazil, which has long been a stronghold for Catholicism, they already represent 49 percent of the population.
For those who haven't been reading Bible Girl, Pentecostals or Charismatics are more likely than other Christians to have reported witnessing exorcisms and miraculous healings, to speak in tongues and to consider the Bible the literal and final word of God. The Pew survey, for those interested, is called Spirit and Power: A 10-Country Survey of Pentecostals. --Jesse Hyde