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Pentecostalism

The Christian Protestant religion of Pentecostalism has an estimated 3,500,000 to 20,000,000 followers or Pentecostalists. (NOTE: There are some ridiculously high estimates of over 400,000,000, but that could be the case only if every potential member of Evangelicalism and the Charismatic Christian movements were included.)

Although most Pentecostal denominations share the same theology as Evangelicalism, they are not the same. Also, although the Pentecostal and Charismatic Christian movements are similar, they are not the same. The Charismatic movement started in the late 1960's involving members of other Protestant and Roman Catholic churches.

Pentecostal churches grew out of the "Holiness Movement", developed by Methodists and other Protestants. Modern Pentecostalism was founded by Charles Fox Parham (1873-1929) at his Bethel Bible College in Topeka, Kansas in 1901, when a woman named Agnes Ozman spoke "in tongues" or fluently in a number of foreign languages that she had no training in. The ability to speak "in tongues" (also known as "glossolalia") is viewed as being blessed or baptized with the Holy Spirit.

Pentecostalism emphasizes the work and gifts of the Holy Spirit. Pentecostalism also places high importance on prophesy and the practice of "faith healing".

Like most other Protestant denominations and other religions, Pentecostalism is divided into many sects, reported to be from 177 up to over 11,000. The vast majority of these sects are composed of only one physical church. Some of the main Pentecostal sects include the Assemblies of God, Church of God (Cleveland, TN), Church of God in Christ and United Pentecostal Church.


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