By all accounts, pentecostalism and related charismatic movements represent one of the fastest-growing segments of global Christianity. At least a quarter of the world's 2 billion Christians are thought to be members of these lively, highly personal faiths, which emphasize such spiritually renewing "gifts of the Holy Spirit" as speaking in tongues, divine healing and prophesying. Even more than other Christians, pentecostals and other renewalists believe that God, acting through the Holy Spirit, continues to play a direct, active role in everyday life.
Despite the rapid growth of the renewalist movement in the last few decades, relatively little is known about the religious, political and civic views of individuals involved in these groups. To address this shortcoming, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life recently conducted surveys in 10 countries with sizeable renewalist populations: the United States; Brazil, Chile and Guatemala in Latin America; Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa in Africa; and India, the Philippines and South Korea in Asia. In each country, surveys were conducted among a random sample of the public at large, as well as among oversamples of pentecostals and charismatics.
This survey provides a wealth of information on charismatic and pentecostal Christianity worldwide. It also unfolds the direction of global Christianity as a whole as we continue into the 21st century.