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Pentecostalism is a movement within Evangelical Christianity that places special emphasis on the direct personal experience of God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38), as shown in the Biblical account of the Day of Pentecost. Pentecostalism is similar to the Charismatic movement, but developed earlier and separated from the mainstream church. Charismatic Christians, at least in the early days of the movement, tended to remain in their respective denominations.

Beliefs[change | change source]

There are three basic streams of Pentecostal churches. The majority believe that one must be saved by believing in Jesus as Lord and Savior for the forgiveness of sins and to be made acceptable to God. Pentecostals also typically believe, like most other evangelicals, that the Bible has definitive authority in matters of faith. To this first group, speaking in tongues is the sign of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and is not related to a person's salvation. This majority group believes that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a supernatural empowerment for ministry that only comes upon someone after they have become a Christian. The other two groups fall under an "Acts 2:38" based salvation message which says that a person needs to repent and be baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus, and then receive the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost). In that understanding receiving the Holy Spirit is necessary for salvation and includes speaking in tongues. Of the Acts 2:38 based churches, they fall into four categories of "Jesus Name", "First", "United" or "Oneness." Pentecostals which baptize in Jesus name only, and those that baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

Because many Pentecostal denominations come from Methodism and the Methodist Holiness Movement, Pentecostal soteriology is generally Arminian rather than Calvinist, believing that the ability to believe in Jesus is a power of the human free will.

Statistics[change | change source]

See also: List of Christian denominations by number of members
This list indicates that there may be 150 million Pentecostals. The largest Pentecostal denominations are:

Denomination Statistics[change | change source]

While not as large as some of the above organizations the following have made quite an impact on Pentecostalism:

Geographical distribution[change | change source]


Operation World by Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandryk, 2000, unless otherwise indicated.

Leaders[change | change source]

Precursors[change | change source]

Early history[change | change source]

Other pages[change | change source]

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Studies[change | change source]

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