Evangelical Christian Community in North and South America

Randall Balmer

in The Oxford Handbook of Global Religions

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780195137989
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Evangelical Christian Community in North and South America

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Through missionaries and the communications media, evangelical Protestant Christianity has spread its tentacles around the world. A recent estimate put the number of evangelicals worldwide at 200 million. Its roots, however, are in the European Protestant Reformation and in a kind of primitivist yearning for New Testament purity. Evangelicalism has also been the most influential social and religious movement in American history. The term “evangelicalism” refers to an internally diverse religious movement, which includes fundamentalists, neo-evangelicals, charismatics, and pentecostals. Evangelicals inhabit a variety of denominations as well as churches with no denominational affiliation, and many evangelicals do not recognize themselves by that label, preferring to call themselves simply Christian or Bible-believing Christians. Evangelicalism, in the United States and elsewhere, has endured and flourished because of its entrepreneurial nature. This article looks at the evangelical Christian community in North and South America, the history of evangelicalism, evangelicalism in a global perspective, and evangelical attitudes toward society.

Keywords: North America; South America; evangelicalism; United States; Protestant Christianity; pentecostals; fundamentalists; New Testament; religious movement; entrepreneurship

Article.  2658 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Interfaith Relations ; Christianity

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