Last week, The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life released an intriguing ten-nation survey of Pentecostals and charismatics. Though I don’t like those labels (as I believe that the spiritual distinctive of those two groups, their belief in the continuation of the charismata, should be normative in all of Christendom), I think what the survey tells us about Pentecostals and charismatics worldwide is fascinating.
Rather than try to encapsulate everything in a post, I’ll just send you to the best links:
A sampling of survey results:
- 78% of all Protestants in Brazil self-identify as Pentecostal or charismatic, while 73% of Kenyans do. As wholes, both South America and Africa are hotbeds of growth by both groups.
- From a low of 56% in South Korea to a high of 87% in Kenya, people within Pentecostal and charismatic churches report witnessing or personally experiencing divine healing.
- Of all Protestant groups, Pentecostals and charismatics show the highest percentages of belief in the inerrancy and literal interpretation of the Scriptures.
- American Pentecostals believe that the government of the United States should take steps to make this country a Christian nation by almost 52%, far higher than the 22% of other Christian groups.
I hope to wade through the entire 233-page report some day, but the summaries alone are mesmerizing.
Readers, what are your thoughts?