Comparing Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians’ Religious and Political Beliefs Across Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa

Elizabeth Sperber, Erin Hern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This article compares the political correlates of Renewalist Christianity in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa (N = 44,832). Renewalists include Pentecostals and Charismatic members of Mainline Protestant and Catholic churches. Though rarely studied comparatively, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa boast the largest Renewalist populations worldwide. Scholars have noted that the religious and political beliefs of Renewalists differ from other Christians, but existing studies either treat Renewalists as a single category or focus on Pentecostals while pooling Charismatic and non-Charismatic Catholics and Protestants as denominational blocks. Using multilevel mixed-effects models, this article first confirms that Renewalists’ religious and political beliefs differ from those of non-Renewalist Christians. Importantly, this cautions against the ubiquitous aggregation of Charismatic and non-Charismatic Catholics (and Protestants) in statistical analyses. Additionally, we theorize and evaluate differences between Renewalists and the role of regional context. Religious differences between Pentecostals and Charismatics, we show, are much larger in Latin America than in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-277
Number of pages18
JournalJournal for the Scientific Study of Religion
Volume62
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Keywords

  • Catholic
  • Charismatic
  • Latin America
  • Pentecostal
  • Renewalist Christianity
  • political attitudes
  • religious beliefs
  • sub-Saharan Africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Religious studies

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