The Ekklesia website reports today (February 19, 2011) that the "phenomenal growth" of Pentecostalism is changing the worldwide landscape of Christianity, but is also putting global disparities into sharp relief, a World Council of Churches (WCC) meeting in Geneva was told this week.
As it sweeps through the global South and related diaspora communities in the global North, Pentecostalism is developing "amongst people who are disproportionately impoverished, imprisoned, infirmed, and enslaved," said the Rev. Jennifer Leath, an ordained pastor of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, USA, at a WCC meeting on February 17.
Pentecostalism -- a movement characterized by ecstatic, rapturous worship that emerged at the beginning of the 20th century -- has been described as the world's fastest-growing faith.
There are now between 250 and 500 million Pentecostals worldwide -- many of them in the southern hemisphere.