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Homies and HermanosGod and Gangs in Central America$
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Robert Brenneman

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199753840

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199753840.001.0001

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“Christian, Not Catholic”

“Christian, Not Catholic”

(p.49) 2 “Christian, Not Catholic”
Homies and Hermanos

Robert Brenneman

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Central American evangelical churches and how they emerged in the region. The chapter emphasizes the fact that Central American evangelicals see themselves as religious “outsiders” even though their numbers have grown considerably in recent years. According to the most recent polling data, nearly a third of Central Americans now self-identify as Protestant and most of these individuals belong to evangelical or Pentecostal congregations. The chapter also examines the different streams of evangelical Christianity in the region, paying particular attention to what the author calls “barrio evangelicalism”—the small, local, Pentecostalized congregations that abound in the poor and working-class neighborhoods (barrios). These congregations emphasize strict personal piety, evangelization, and physical and psychological healing.

Keywords:   Evangelicals, Pentecostal, Barrio evangelicalism, piety, healing, Central America, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador

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