Chapter

“Christian, Not Catholic”

Robert Brenneman

in Homies and Hermanos

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199753840
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918836 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199753840.003.0002
“Christian, Not Catholic”

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This chapter examines Central American evangelical churches and how they emerged in the region. The chapter emphasizes the fact that Central American evangelicals see themselves as religious “outsiders” even though their numbers have grown considerably in recent years. According to the most recent polling data, nearly a third of Central Americans now self-identify as Protestant and most of these individuals belong to evangelical or Pentecostal congregations. The chapter also examines the different streams of evangelical Christianity in the region, paying particular attention to what the author calls “barrio evangelicalism”—the small, local, Pentecostalized congregations that abound in the poor and working-class neighborhoods (barrios). These congregations emphasize strict personal piety, evangelization, and physical and psychological healing.

Keywords: Evangelicals; Pentecostal; Barrio evangelicalism; piety; healing; Central America; Honduras; Guatemala; El Salvador

Chapter.  4973 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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