Why Historic Churches Are Declining and Pentecostal ChurchesAre Growing in Brazil, by Leonildo Silveira C.
Dr. Leonildo Silveira Campos has been a pastor of the Independent Prebyterian Church of Brazil for the past 25 years. He is professor of the Sociology of Religion at the Independent Presbyterian Seminary, at the Methodist Institute for Superior Studies and at the Ecumenical Institute for the Study of Religion in São Paulo, Brasil.
Without attracting much attention, Pentecostalism began to penetrate Latin America in 1910, almost immediately after its beginning in the United States. Early promoters of Pentecostalism took advantage of existing Protestant community networks in order to make their first converts. At that time Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, and other Protestant groups that had been in Brazil since the second half of the preceding century were growing, despite strong pressures from Roman Catholicism. For a long time, these denominations responded to the Pentecostals with indifference, tempered by a certain desire for spiritual revival. Only later did they perceive that this new kind of Christianity posed a threat to their institutions. Those few communities that received Pentecostal preachers suffered schisms and lost members to a movement that would come to dominate the Brazilian religious scene.
Decades passed before historic Protestants reacted by waging a fierce battle against the Pentecostals. This continued until quite recently, when the perceived omnipotence of historic Protestantism collapsed in the face of Pentecostal growth. Facing the empty pews left by members who followed new leaders "full of the Holy Spirit," bewildered historic denominations began to ask themselves, "Why are they growing while we are disappearing?"
This article will attempt to answer the following questions: Who are the Pentecostals? What challenges do they represent for Brazilian Protestants (especially Presbyterians)? What lessons may be learned from the success of this movement? Might these lessons help us to discover where Presbyterians "missed the boat" of history? There are no easy answers; after all, this issue has generated decades of struggle, mutual rejection, angry discourse, and arguments based on mistaken notions.
It is not enough to analyze this issue exclusively from the perspectives of church history and theology. In the first part of this article, I will analyze Pentecostalism as a religious movement with deep roots in the history, culture and economics of Western society. To put Pentecostalism in context, we must take seriously the pre-existing conditions of Latin American culture, popular religiosity, and pietist Protestantism that gave rise to this new message. Here, the sociology of religion may help us to perceive that religious movements are created, maintained, and abandoned by people acting in history who bear in the present the marks of the past and the potential of the future. History is marked by demands which may or may not be satisfied, but which generate leaders to feed the pilgrims and show them utopias that can be realized in history.
In the second part, I will analyze the dynamism, contradictions, and potential of Pentecostalism as an important part of the Brazilian religious scene. I will consider Pentecostalism as a movement and a mentality, both of which create institutions in the process of accommodation and change.
In the third and final part, I will analyze the interaction between historic Protestantism and Pentecostalism. I will try to answer these questions: What future will come from these ambivalent and dialectical relations, with their mixture of hatred and love, repulsion and attraction, disdain and admiration? Might Presbyterianism appropriate certain Pentecostal practices and experience renewed growth without losing its Reformed identity?
In the pages that follow I will try to keep the flame of hope alight, while recognizing that now, at the end of the millennium, Protestantism is sailing against the tide. Though I will use the tools of the sociology of religion, in the final analysis, the questions facing us are theological, ecclesiological, and pastoral.
I. BRAZILIAN PENTECOSTALISM: A HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
Religious movements do not evolve overnight, and many of them cannot be dated easily. To understand them better we must look at their origins, roots, and causes, as well as the reasons for their successes and failures. Thus, we must look beyond the times and places traditionally cited as the genesis of Pentecostalism (Topeka in 1901; Los Angeles in 1906), to the more remote causes, lodged in the history of the Christian Church, in the movements that marked Western Christianity, events often under appreciated by historians, pro-Pentecostal or otherwise.
Pentecostalism has always stirred up passions. It tends to ignite conflicts over the religious control of the laity and the distribution of religious "goods." A danger to religious institutions, Pentecostalism challenges the status quo because it bears within itself the "savage sacred," as opposed to the more "domesticated sacred" of the historic churches.
At the beginning of this century, certain sectors of Protestantism all over the world were anxious for a wide-ranging spiritual renewal. The "modern Church" was thought to have moved away from the "primitive Church." The former was bureaucratic, insensitive, rational, cold, and more concerned with its political and social privileges than with the action of the Holy Spirit. The latter was idealized, dynamic, the scene of great miracles and the copious distribution of charismatic gifts. Modern Pentecostalism believes it has bridged the gap between the two, eliminating 1850 years of history and the complex structures of ecclesiastical mediations that had been constructed around the Christian sacred. To accomplish this, Pentecostals elaborated new hermeneutics: intense emotional experience, interior illumination, and internal perception of the sacred. Charismatic leaders became the center of new mediations between the sacred and the profane. A new ecclesiology began to take shape in which the sacred was expressed through a hierarchy that enjoyed direct links to the Holy Spirit.
1. Antecedents of Brazilian Pentecostalism
The Brazilian Pentecostal movement did not begin in Sao Paulo (1910) or Belém (1911) or even in Los Angeles (1906) or Topeka (1901). More remote origins can be traced to the charismatic experiences of Christian communities of the first century and the Montanist Movement of the second century. History also records many ecstatic and mystical experiences during the middle ages, both inside and outside of monasteries. Further, many phenomena claimed by Pentecostalism transcend Christianity itself; that is, they belong to religiosity in general.
To understand the rise of Protestantism and modern Pentecostalism in Latin America, we must look back to the religious history of the English colonies and the United States. The occupation of territory, the opening of the frontier, the conflict with native Americans, the constant arrivals of numerous European immigrants, and internal migration created a multitude of eccentric, poorly-adapted people, spread thinly throughout a vast territory. Protestantism passed through a great process of adaptation as it accompanied the immigrants arriving in the new territory. In this context, religion became the greatest single integrating factor for these new inhabitants, giving them the ability to generate symbolic meaning for life in inhospitable conditions.
During the pioneer period, the Americans experienced a first wave of spiritual revival that began in 1726 among the Dutch Reformed. This great awakening lasted about 50 years and crossed confessional lines. Among the religious leaders of this period we find Calvinists (Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield), Anglicans (Charles and John Wesley) and Presbyterians (Gilbert Tennent and Samuel Davies). Many of these preachers used the renewed faith as a weapon against other pastors, whom they called "orthodox pharisees," "learned," "intolerant," "devoid of faith," etc. Anti-intellectualism in several regions led to the burning of theology texts. The growth of the revival in frontier regions, inhabited by people with little or no education, induced "primitive" religious behaviors, such as howling, shrieking, falling to the ground, and contortionism. This great first wave coincided with the rise of Methodism, the Society of Friends, and of sects such as the Shakers.
The second wave of revivals prepared the way for the rise of modern missions (of which Latin American Protestantism would be a result) and for revivalists like Finney, Moody, and Torrey. In the wake of these movements arose groups that focused on the search for holiness. They emphasized emotional experience, scorned learned theology, and liked fiery preaching and a free liturgy. After these two great revivals, Americans came to value the "inner light," the "burning heart," and "enthusiasm" as ways of attesting to the legitimacy of a faith nurtured outside traditional religious institutions.
Agile and competitive "free" communities, concerned with sanctification, began to compete with Protestant denominations for a place in the American religious market. In many regions there were camp meetings, where sanctification was sought as a "second blessing" within the reach of every Christian. It was in these autonomous communities that the Pentecostal movement would find the powder keg necessary for its first explosion in the 20th century. An important event in this period was the publication of the revivalist R.A. Torrey's book, Baptism with the Holy Spirit in 1895, in which the doctrine of sanctification was linked theologically to the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit."
Scholars have considered the events at the Bethel Bible School in Topeka, Kansas in 1901 to be the beginning of modern Pentecostalism. Led by the school's president, Charles Parham, dozens of students entered into ecstatic states and practiced glossolalia. This experience was rapidly disseminated in area churches and in neighboring states.
When a Holiness pastor in Houston was converted to Pentecostalism, it caused a schism in the church where William I. Seymour (born 1870, the son of former slaves) was a member. Seymour followed his pastor into Pentecostalism and preached in a Nazarene Church in Los Angeles in l907. Seymour was expelled from that church, but went on to hold meetings in the homes of sympathizers. Some time later, he and his sympathizers rented an old church building belonging to the African Methodist Episcopal Church at 312 Azusa Street, and initiated a movement called "The Apostolic Faith." Protestants came from all over the world to see and feel what was happening there, as Pentecostalism spread in an ever-widening circle. One convert to Pentecostalism from those meetings was W. H. Durham, later to become an important figure in Brazilian Pentecostalism.
2. Pentecostalism in Brazil
Two Swedish followers of Durham, Daniel Berg and Gunnar Vingren, believing that they had received revelations from God, came to the state of Paná in Northern Brazil, and began to preach the baptism of the Holy Spirit in a Baptist church there. They eventually founded an Assemblies of God church. Another follower of Durham's, Luigi Francescon, a former member of the Italian Presbyterian Church of Chicago, also received divine revelations. He went to Argentina and Brazil and founded the Christian Congregation of Brazil (CCB) in the states of São Paulo and Paraná
a) Pre-existing conditions in Brazilian Protestantism
Since the beginning of missionary Protestantism in Brazil--with the arrival of Presbyterians in 1859--there were already signs of difficulty in the assimilation of historic Protestantism by a Latin people, heir to Portuguese popular Catholicism and indigenous and African religions. Due to the scarcity of Catholic priests, Brazilian Catholicism often depended on religious services provided by lay leadership, far from the eyes of the parish priest.
A first sign of these difficulties arose when North American missionaries tried to fit Jose Manuel da Conceição into the theological mold of Anglo-Saxon Presbyterianism. Conceição was a former Catholic priest who had represented himself as a "Protestant Father" even before the Protestants arrived in Brazil. When he converted to Presbyterianism, he became the first ordained pastor from Latin America (1865). Once ordained, however, Conceição refused to exercise his pastorate in local or urban churches. He visited rural zones and established Protestant nuclei here and there. In his preaching and writing he emphasized the need to approach God through one's feelings.
A second sign of maladjustment of Presbyterian Protestantism to Brazilian culture is the case of Miguel Vieira Ribeiro, a member of a rich and illustrious family from Northeast Brazil who had been influenced by spiritism and positivism. In 1874 Ribeiro was converted to Presbyterianism during a worship service. Some years later, after conflict with the missionaries, Vieira abandoned Presbyterianism and founded the Brazilian Evangelical Church. The point of divergence was precisely the question of interior illumination and the possibility that a human being might receive new revelations directly from God.
At the same time, in Southern Brazil a Messianic and millennarian movement among German Protestant immigrants was developing. It was led by a women named Jacobina who entered into trances and received revelations directly from God. Remembered in history by the name "Mucker," this movement in a rural zone near Porto Alegre was crushed by the military and hundreds of its followers killed. It would seem that, ever since Luther, Protestantism has had trouble reconciling its theology and practice with millennarian movements. Luther's opposition to the peasant revolt in Germany is a good example of this.
b) The "Pentecostal Family" in Brazil
Scholars have tried in various ways to divide the history of Brazil's Pentecostal movement into periods. Paul Freston and others have explained it in terms of three waves. According to this theory, the first Pentecostal wave brought the Swedish founders of the Assemblies of God to northern Brazil in 1911 and the Italian-American Luigi Francescon to São Paulo in 1910. The latter founded the Christian Congregation of Brazil (CCB) within the Italian immigrant community in Sao Paulo and Paraná. For almost half a century these were the only forms of Pentecostalism known in Brazil, except for the Adventist Church of the Promise (1938), which was totally outside the mold of "historic Protestantism."
The second Pentecostal wave came in the 1950s. Its principal emphases were miracles, divine healing and speaking in tongues. The second wave brought denominations such as the Foursquare Gospel Church/National Evangelism Crusade (1953), the Evangelical Pentecostal Church "Brazil for Christ"(1956), the New Life Church (1960), the "God is Love" Pentecostal Church (1961), the House of Blessing (1964), the Wesleyan Methodist Church (1967), and many smaller denominations consisting of less than half a dozen local churches.
In the 1970s, the country was ready for a third Pentecostal wave, that coincided with an unprecedented economic crisis set off by the international petroleum crisis and worsened by the inability of the Brazilian military dictatorship to resolve the basic problems of the poorest people. This wave brought the Salon of Faith (1975), the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (1977), the International Church of Grace (1980) and other autonomous communities. A characteristic of third-wave Pentecostalism is its skilled use of the mass communication media; it successfully penetrated the radio and television networks the military regime had set up to promote national security and to encourage the cultural unification of the country. The third wave brought "the electronic church" to Brazil, a variety of Pentecostalism that has been successful in the U.S. and Central America.
Eighty-five years after its acclimatization in Latin America, the "Pentecostal family" has formed "kinship networks," mechanisms for classifying its members and separating "desirable" from "undesirable" relatives. It has adopted practices, customs, and rituals mostly from its interaction with "close relatives," leaving out of consideration "distant relatives" (Roman Catholics) and those who are in no way relatives, such as Umbanda, Candomblé and Kardecist Spiritism (based on the thought of Alain Kardec). The modifications that have taken place illustrate the dynamism of the various movements that make up Brazilian Pentecostalism, with their many practices and positions, some quite divergent and contradictory.
C) Branches of the Brazilian "Pentecostal family"
Compared to the explosion of the last 45 years, Pentecostalism of the first wave grew slowly in Brazil until the end of World War II. In the 1930s, Brazil had little industry and was a predominantly rural country. Only 25% of its population lived in cities. This percentage grew to 36% in 1950, 68% in 1980 and 75% in 1990. Internal migration gave a great push to the expansion of Pentecostalism.
The Congregação Cristã do Brasil (CCB) [Christian Congregation of Brazil] grew only within the Italian immigrant community in São Paulo and Paraná until 1935, when it began to open to the Portuguese language and Brazilian culture. During its organizational period, the presence of Francescon was very important. Though he lived in the United States, he came to Brazil more than ten times during the period from 1910 to 1948, residing in Brazil for different periods totaling ten years. Francescon was a Waldensian who had been born a Roman Catholic. While living in Chicago, he became a Presbyterian and later converted to Pentecostalism. A partial list of the way the CCB was permanently influenced by Francescon follows:
emphasis on "illuminism" (seeking direct revelations from God);
emphasis on speaking in tongues;
rejection of bureaucracy and formal organization;
distrust of theology and culture;
high value placed on purity of behavior;
resistance to becoming involved with other denominations (a strong sense of exclusiveness implying that the CCB is a sect); and strongly apolitical views.
The CCB does not publish literature and does not proselytize in public places, on radio, television, or the press. Converts are made through personal contacts, using family and personal networks. The Italian tradition, and also that of rural Brazil, of large, closely-knit families is still prevalent in this denomination. Conflicts among the leaders are minimal because power is reserved for the oldest, who lead the worship services. They blend the spontaneity and improvisational ability of the parishioners with a certain rigidity, thus eliminating charismatic forces that may cause innovation or conflict. The selection of hymns, prayers, and the presentation of testimonies are open to all. The preaching is improvised by whomever feels the desire to do it, but it is supervised by the leader, who is the "bearer of the Word." No offering is collected and there is no official church membership.
Doctrinally, the CCB differs from other members of the "Pentecostal family" by its residual Calvinism. Antônio G. Mendonça correctly observed that the CCB holds the idea of predestination dearly. Since God calls those who are to be saved, the faithful are dispensed from the work of proselytism, so common in other Pentecostal denominations.
The Assambleias de Deus do Brasil (ADB) [Assemblies of God] was founded in Brazil in 1910 by two Swedish Pentecostals who had been living in the United States, Berg and Vingren. Like so many Pentecostals of that era, they were motivated by revelations received directly from God. Arriving in the city of Belém, in the state of Pará, they were sheltered in the basement of a Baptist church whose pastor was also of Swedish origin. Some months later, as soon as they had learned Portuguese, they precipitated a division in the church. Thus, they founded the "Mission of Apostolic Faith" with 19 members. This name was changed after 1914, as it was in the United States, to "Assemblies of God."
Unlike the CCB's history, the history of the Assemblies of God is well- known because they publish biographies of their most illustrious preachers. The Assemblies of God first took root in the North and Northeast and expanded quickly into the South, accompanying the migration of peasants from the Northeast who, for more than a century, have been forced by drought, the increasing concentration of land, and violence, to migrate south in search of work.
During the first three decades of expansion, two important things happened: after thirty years of domination by Swedish missionaries, the ADB came to be controlled by Brazilians (mostly from the Northeast, with strong authoritarian tendencies), and the center of church activities moved from Belém to Rio de Janeiro. The influence of the Brazilian Northeast left the authoritarian and patriarchal marks of that rural culture on the ADB, which still centralizes power in the hands of the pastor. This causes permanent tensions between the institutional and the charismatic, creating schisms and new congregations.
In the ADB, the pastor is subordinated to a central church and these are subordinated to certain "ministries" of the National Convention. The worship services are marked by strong emotions, by songs (using popular Brazilian music, unlike the CCB) and by readings from the Bible. Worship is a kind of psychological climax of the tensions of the week. Visitors are strongly urged to make the "decision for Christ," that is, to convert to the Assemblies of God. Many left this church to begin the "second Pentecostal wave."
When World War II ended, Brazil's political, economic, and cultural situation underwent profound changes: democracy took hold once again, industrialization was taken up anew, the steel industry grew quickly, and European (especially French) cultural influence gave way to North American. The nationalistic populism of president Getulio Vargas was replaced by the optimism of Juscelino Kubitschek, who opened the country to foreign industries. Despite the later political and economic problems (the military coup of 1964), the country continued to grow. Communication networks (radio, telephone, television) were expanded. Distances were reduced by new roads in all areas of the country. And yet despite all this, the gap between rich and poor increased because industry could not absorb all the labor generated by the intense rural exodus.
This was the context of the second Pentecostal wave, bearer of a message that was better suited to reach the lowest strata of urban society. New movements began to break the traditional molds of religious institutions. In 1946, Harold Williams arrived in Brazil from Bolivia and founded a church in the interior of the state of São Paulo. Williams, a former actor in cowboy movies, was now a missionary for the International Foursquare Gospel Church. After failing to get a hearing for his revivalist message in the more traditional denominations, Williams joined Raymond Boatright in organizing the National Evangelism Crusade. In the beginning, their venture was interdenominational but by 1955 it had taken the name, Igreja do Evangelho Quadrangular (IEQ) [Foursquare Gospel Church].
The IEQ pioneered the uninhibited use of radio and public space. Its pastors identified more easily with the urban world than did the preachers of the Assemblies of God. Their messages focused more on the concrete needs of individuals. They placed a high value on healing and solving personal problems. In 1991 the IEQ had more than 3,000 churches in Brazil, with about 10,000 pastors, of whom 35% are women.
When he left the Assemblies of God for the National Evangelism Crusade, Manoel de Mello called himself a "missionary." Originally from the Northeastern state of Pernambuco, Mello was a construction worker in São Paulo. In 1956 he founded a small church called "The Bethel Church of Jesus." This name was soon changed to the Igreja Brasil para Cristo (IBPC) ["Brazil for Christ" Church] reflecting the nationalistic mood of Brazil in the 1950s. Mello was the first genuinely Brazilian leader to found a Pentecostal church. Though lacking in formal education, he was an eloquent preacher. He used the radio effectively to communicate directly. His program, "The Voice of Brazil for Christ," was on the air for two decades. His meetings of healing and miracles were held in public plazas and soccer stadiums. In 1958, he filled Pacaembú one of the largest soccer stadiums in Brazil. Near the center of the city of São Paulo he built a church with a capacity of more than 10,000 people. The IBPC works mostly in poor, working-class neighborhoods in east São Paulo, populated mainly by immigrants from Northeast Brazil.
Mello was successful in getting the IBPC into the World Council of Churches and becoming a member of the central committee. Though it caused internal strife, admission into the WCC brought innumerable benefits. Mello won fame as a supporter of ecumenism, a preacher concerned with social action, and a critic of the military government, but he was criticized when he used this prestige as a marketing strategy to bring resources into the church.
In practice, Mello was autocratic. This slowed development of the IBPC compared to its competitor, the Foursquare Gospel Church. Mello's charisma did not survive the internal conflicts which arose when he tried to build a cult around his personality. Pressured by accusations, Mello was forced to leave the leadership of the church in 1986, and he died in 1990. The IBPC lost its impetus to the new charismatic movements, broke with the WCC, concentrated on internal problems, and lost ground among the poorest social classes to the "God Is Love" Pentecostal Church. In the lower middle classes, the IBPC lost ground to the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God.
In 1961, Daví Martins de Miranda founded the Igreja Pentecostal "Deus é Amor" (IPDA) ["God Is Love" Pentecostal Church] in the working-class neighborhood of Villa María in the city of São Paulo. Miranda, from a rural area in the state of Paraná, was 26 years old at the time. Soon the church moved to the center of the city where its headquarters was finished in 1970. Nine years later, Miranda bought an old factory a few blocks from the Praça da Sé (the geographic center of the city). After reforms and repairs but still looking like a factory, it became the "World Headquarters" of the "God is Love" Pentecostal Church.
Huge gatherings called "concentrations of faith" are held here, and here too are located some of the radio studios that Miranda has constructed. Above the bullet-proof pulpit is an enormous light board showing all the radio stations transmitting the worship service at that moment. Many of these radio stations are Miranda's personal property. The IPDA buys time on other radio stations to transmit short-wave programs throughout Latin America. Miranda now mixes Spanish words with his Portuguese and sometimes his exorcisms and healing sessions have simultaneous translation to Spanish, indicating the degree of the IPDA's expansion in Latin America.
The IPDA has established mechanisms to control people by requiring their presence. "Faith cards" are distributed which must be stamped each day of the week (a substitution of the Catholic novena). These also require a financial contribution with each visit. A cashier in an annex to the bookstore works uninterruptedly during worship service to receive payment for the "faith card."
Present in all IPDA discourse is the theme of "divine healing," which includes various kinds of material problems--human relations, the complications of urban living, psychological problems--that is, all afflictions resulting from the near omnipresence of the devil. The cure is found in exorcism, constant attendance at church, and diligent use of various therapies recommended by the sect. These therapies are situated on the border between magic and religion, and include activities such as passing the Bible over the affected part of the body, drinking "prayer" water (blessed by the "missionary" himself), receiving unction from a church worker at the door of the temple, and bringing unemployment documents, clothes, and photographs to stand in for people unable to come to church. In one therapy, the miracle is effected when the person with the problem puts one hand on a tape recorder as it plays the "faith prayer" and places the other hand on the affected part of the body. The results of the therapy are presented in small testimonies called "Tell about the Blessings, brother." These taped testimonies make up a large part of the radio programs.
IPDA preaching is permeated by an intense moralism which generates many prohibitions. For example a behavior manual ("Biblical Doctrine for Today") requires depilation for women, and prohibits women from using make-up or pants, going to the beach, or playing ball with anyone older than seven years. It establishes rules for the length of skirts and the width of ties. Punishments are established for the first, second, and third back-slides. The rigor of these proscriptions may be due to the sect mentality which requires a life separated from the world. It demands that members obey strict rules so that they can feel "special". For persons coming from an experience of anomie, this exaggerated attachment to norms is part of the process of reorganizing life around new values.
In addition to the churches already mentioned, we can include in the second wave of Pentecostalism some denominations that resulted from schisms in historic Protestant churches, such as the Independent Congregation (1965); Wesleyan Methodist (1967); Renovated Baptist (1970); and Renovated Presbyterian (1972). Still other autonomous churches resulted from the fragmentation of the Pentecostal movement, such as the Church of New Life (1960). The House of Blessing/Evangelical Tabernacle Church of Jesus (1964), Signs and Wonders (1979), and Maranatha Christian Church (1970).
Some churches lost their identity by merging with other movements, or simply changed their names. Among these are the Apostolic Church (The Miracle Hour), the Biblical Revival Church, United Evangelical Pentecostal Church, and the Marvels of Jesus Church. This process is typical of the atomization of Pentecostal movements into small, autonomous churches.
The third Pentecostal wave began in the l970s in an urbanized Brazilian society undergoing an unprecedented social and economic crisis. These new sects are urban movements identified with the eruption of mass society. They take on an entrepreneurial style in the production and distribution of religious "goods." The emergence of the new sects is clearly a function of the globalization of both the country's and the world's economy and culture. For this reason, the ability to use mass communications media effectively becomes a question of life or death for these new sects. Only those in the best position to use mass media and modern marketing strategy can now survive in the competitive religious marketplace.
Douglas Teixeira Monteiro observed that old religious systems were disintegrating and "almost impresarial models of conduct, differentiated more by labels and packaging than by the products they offer," were emerging. The marketplace brings with it all the problems of marketing, that is, it attracts a fluctuating clientele and dedicates itself to managing the insecurities and afflictions of the masses. Rubem Alves argues that an entrepreneurial mentality and capitalist logic can best explain the success of these enterprises, which specialize in the transaction of spiritual goods and fall within the "logic of the exchange of values."
Through this perspective we can see how when the search for religious goods is frustrated (as in the case of the historic Protestant churches) consumers look for the same goods (spiritual comfort, the support of the sacred for their struggles, positive attitudes that will enable them to carry on with daily struggles, etc.) in other, better equipped agencies. These new religious entities are businesses which provide services. They are committed to satisfying the desires and needs of their clientele and not to propagating doctrines, historic traditions, or organizational continuity. What matters, then, are results. They leave aside the classic characteristics of Pentecostalism: the baptism of the Holy Spirit, glossolalia, the expectation of the imminent return of Jesus, eternal life in heaven, etc. The question now is how to satisfy the needs of the here and now in a clientele that is not worried about the distant future.
In 1975 Edir Macedo and two of his brothers-in-law founded the Faith Salon (Crusade of the Eternal Way). The following year, Macedo and one of those brothers-in-law organized the Church of the Blessing in a former funeral home in the neighborhood of Abolição in Rio de Janeiro and soon changed the name to the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD).
Macedo was better than anyone else in assimilating techniques and strategies from the North American televangelists. His biggest "gamble" occurred in 1989 when he bought a network of television and radio stations in São Paulo for 45 million dollars. In March of 1995 he increased his communication holdings with the purchase of a television station for 15 million dollars. Besides promoting church growth, Macedo has used his media clout to support conservative political candidates. In the 1994 elections, Macedo helped elect a brother, a sister, and various other members of the IURD to the federal Chamber of Deputies.
In addition to its electronic media, the IURD puts out a nationally distributed weekly called the "Folha Universal." Its edition on March 19, 1995 had a printing of 780,000 copies. Macedo's book Orixàs, caboclos, e guias-- deuses ou demônios (Orixàs, caboclos, arid guides - Gods or demons,) which demystifies the Afro-Brazilian cults, has sold more than a million and a half copies.
The IURD "boom" in the large and medium-sized Brazilian cities has been sustained by the radio and television networks owned by the church. Typically, the IURD rents an unused movie theater or warehouse and holds worship services characterized by 1) music with a popular rhythm to which the faithful sing and dance and 2) symbols taken from popular Catholicism and Afro-Spiritist religions.
The IURD divides its weekly programs according to the "product" to be "sold" on different days of the week, using a different "chain" (A human chain in which people link hands to form a "chain of prosperity" through which the spirit flows to all ) for each day of the week. Monday is the day of the "chain of prosperity" or the "chain of the entrepreneurs" which is dedicated to people with financial problems. Tuesday is the "chain of the seven apostles" for those who have health problems. Wednesday, the "chain of the children of God," focuses on prayer and Bible study. Thursday's "family chain" aims to relieve family problems. On Fridays, an important day in the Afro-Brazilian religions, the IURD holds its "chain of liberation" when rituals and prayers center on exorcism and fighting the power of curses, hexes, and spells. Saturday is reserved for the "chain of youth and children," and Sunday is dedicated to the "chain of Jericho," with the dramatization of the victory of Joshua over his enemies.
The offering is an important element in the IURD ritual. Contributing to the church is not restricted to what a person can give; pastors propose that believers make an act of sacrifice, that is, make a gesture "crazy with faith," such as giving money that has been reserved for food, rent, or paying bills. According to Macedo, this establishes an alliance with God. Not to tithe is to show lack of faith, cowardice, and disbelief in God. Sacrifice is thus monetarized; the worshiper co-opts divinity to solve his personal problems. This is how alliance with God is established according to "Bishop" Macedo.
The IURD has no patent on its successful formula. In São Paulo, its methods, slogans, and words of order are copied by many religious entrepreneurs, for example, the "Catholic Church of Holy Missions," the "Sanctuary of Good Jesus of the Miracles," and the "Sanctuary of Saint Anthony of Categiró."
A powerful syncretism is operating here, combining Roman Catholic, African, and indigenous traditions, all seasoned with a Pentecostal vocabulary. These churches compete for the same clientele--the poor, the miserable, and the powerless--and also attract people from the middle strata of the population, who come to the movement with or without the baggage of a former religion.
When will the growth and fragmentation of Pentecostalism in Brazil end? I have tried to demonstrate, after Otto Maduro, that all religious phenomena owe their growth to a series of historical, socio-economic, religious, and cultural causes that are independent of the good faith or the degree of consciousness of the individual participants. Due to the misery, economic restructuring, and anomie in Brazil, there is still a great potential for growth to continue. Pentecostalism has responded to the psycho-social needs of people excluded from modern capitalism. For them, no other utopia guarantees them a little dignity and the chance to participate in the results of economic development. Perhaps people had been convinced by the rhetoric of capitalist life, which promised but failed to deliver on consumption, prosperity, health, security, and full employment. Where these things are lacking is fertile ground for the effervescence of new religious movements. Throughout history, such situations have made the emergence, development and decadence of religious movements possible. Pentecostalism and Protestantism surely are not ready-made packages dropped from heaven many centuries after Jesus Christ, but movements nourished by historic and social causes, by the dreams and desires of people of flesh and blood, and by their concrete and identifiable needs.
To date, Pentecostalism has not manifested signs of aging or illness. On the contrary, I perceive in Pentecostalism the will and spirit to increase its power in the religious sphere and become a major player in politics. Pentecostalism's strength comes precisely from its identification with a popular culture born in a pre-capitalist tradition. It is the bearer of the remnants of millennarianism, with a dynamism capable of giving the poor and excluded the strength to live with inequality, emptiness, and misery. From this comes success first among the poor and then among the middle strata, who feel the lack of that symbolic richness without which life loses its flavor.
II. PENTECOSTALISM IN BRAZIL--ACCOMMODATION AND CHANGE
"Historic" Protestantism, transplanted to Brazil during the second half of the 19th century, bore the message of conversion. Its arrival coincided with the expansion of capitalism in Africa, Asia and Latin America. In Latin America, the intellectual elite fancied that Protestantism would stimulate progress and modernization while Catholicism, which was responsible for "backwardness," would be left behind by an enlightened people. This elite was soon frustrated, however, because the Protestantism which took root here became negative and escapist. It preached individualism more than the social transformation many of the elite desired. Thus, it failed to incorporate their hopes and became an ideology that justified the status quo.
By following the expansion of the coffee plantations, Methodist, Presbyterians, and Baptists were able to attract a significant number of converts among the free, landless poor. Historic Protestantism began to show the first signs of decline in growth during the "first wave" of Pentecostalism. This was more easily detected after 1930 when, for all intents and purposes, Brazil entered the 20th century. The political order established by the military coup of 1889 (the Old Republic) collapsed with the revolution of 1930, when Getúlio Vargas took over the government. For more than two decades, Vargas was the most prominent political leader, due mainly to his social policies toward the urban proletariat. During this period, Vargas's policy of industrialization through import substitution accelerated rural migration and urbanization. Vargas's dictatorship withstood internal revolutions while overseeing the repression of socialist and communist movements and Brazil's participation in World War II.
Historic Protestantism was not up to the task of comprehending and responding to this social, cultural, economic, and political change. In this period Protestantism began to lose its vigor and show increasing signs of exhaustion. In the 1930s there was an attempt by some second-generation Brazilian Protestant intellectuals to react. They formed the Evangelical Confederation of Brazil in an attempt to reduce denominational isolation and develop joint projects and strategies. The effort fell short, and the idea that a revival was needed began to grow. Confrontation with Catholicism, the traditional rallying cry, began to wear thin. Indeed, some leaders felt that only the experience of religious persecution could make Protestantism dynamic again.
1. Changes in the Brazilian religious scene
The arrival of any new agent into a field necessarily causes the displacement of already established people and institutions. New preachers often take the role of "prophets," adopting the rhetoric of novelty and transformation, denouncing others as mere "priests" or "sorcerers". As the following analysis shows, the changes that have taken place in the religious scene since the arrival of the Pentecostals reflect the tensions and disputes between the establishment and the newcomers.
a) Growth of religious pluralism
The social ruptures of the 1950s were mirrored in the religious sphere, debilitating both Catholicism and historic Protestantism. Pentecostalism, however, was not the only competitor; the Afro-Brazilian religions (Candomblé, Umbanda, Macumba), the Spiritism of Alain Kardec, new syncretic sects like the Legião de Boa Vontade  ("Good Will Legion") were developing quickly in cities exploding with an influx of rural migrants. The migrants left behind not only their land but also their traditional ways; they tried to understand and adjust to urban life using the symbolic universe of the countryside. Consequently, what Peter Berger calls a "market situation" was established, demanding different kinds of efforts by religions that had previously monopolized the field. In this new setting, institutions and religious groups had to compete in order to maintain or gain space within the disputed "religious market." In this context, the Evangelical Confederation of Brazil, which for 30 years had stimulated cooperation among Brazilian Protestants, became extinct.
b) Schisms and the pentecostalization of historic Protestantism
In the 1950s and '60s, Pentecostalism vigorously influenced historic Protestantism in Brazil. At first, Pentecostal penetration was facilitated by a welcoming attitude. Leaders of historic Protestant churches thought that in order to start growing again they needed a "religious revival." At no cost to the institutions, all denominations promoted "prayer and fasting" campaigns calling for "revival," so that church members would again take up evangelization. Interdenominational revivalists were invited as guest preachers, some of whom were openly Pentecostal. After the first impact, tensions began to rise. In the name of "spiritual" and "trans-denominational" evangelism, the adherents of the "revival" began to question the ecclesiastical institutions openly. New denominations emerged while internal tensions within various historic denominations continued. As soon as a cycle ended, tensions reappeared, as exemplified by the Presbyterian Church of Brazil (IPB) and the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil (IPI). Rubem Alves might have been right when he wrote that "Protestantism aged in our continent long before spending its most creative resources. Aging prematurely, it became senile while still a child." (Alves, p. 131)
c) Disintegration of groups and specialization of agents
As a result of the increase in religious competition, "second-wave" Pentecostalism generated new growth strategies. After 1970, Pentecostalism reached into the middle classes. This new clientele prompted the employment of strategies in use since the 1950s by North American televangelists which I will refer to as "marketing the sacred." Marketing strategies divide the population into segments and select a target group, thus establishing a niche of consumers of religious products. The process here is focused not on the product but on the needs of the consumers who receive "symbolic merchandise."
Certainly, marketing strategies are not always employed consciously. The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, for example, appears to employ them intuitively; nevertheless, some institutions accept and use marketing techniques openly. For example, the Rebirth in Christ Church, founded in São Paulo in 1986 and now attended by more than 50,000 people weekly, has assigned one of its pastors to head a "marketing department." This church is directed by Estevan Hernándes Filho, a former marketing director of IBM in Brazil. Most of Hernándes' followers are young people who gather for praise services structured around gospel music and evangelical rock in a former movie theater. Obviously, this new era of religious competition demands specialists that traditional theological seminaries are not prepared to produce.
d) Weakening of traditional boundaries
In Brazil, Pentecostalism is both a dynamic movement and a mentality. As such, it has a worldview and a set of practices which can also be found in Catholic movements (such as Charismatic Renewal), in syncretic groups (such as the Brazilian Apostolic Catholic Church, the Brazilian Orthodox Catholic Church, and Holy Missions Catholic Church) and in autonomous groups influenced by Pentecostalism. Pentecostalism discovered elements of piety and utopia in the Brazilian social imagination which had not been perceived by historic Protestantism.
This dissemination of the Pentecostal mentality among many denominations has eroded traditionally established boundaries. The pietism and puritanism of missionaries from various North American denominations were flattened by the Pentecostal steamroller. Thereafter a "minimum Protestant religiosity" began to emerge: popular, with fluid boundaries determined by the social and psychological needs of the poor, the excluded, those left behind by modernism and post-modernism.
This new religiosity introduced a logic that discards all absolute convictions, all fidelity to religious systems and institutions which came to be seen as absolute. On the other hand, Pentecostalism demanded personal loyalty to charismatic leaders who were no less demanding and who were responsible for rearticulating human relations with the sacred. As a result of this process, long extant boundaries simply became irrelevant. Old adversaries were reconciled and former friends were no longer friendly. A new "ecumenism" (here meaning arrangement of power) is taking place which has nothing to do with the kind of ecumenism found in the World Council of Churches.
Internal mutations in Brazilian Pentecostalism
Every religious movement is a dynamic social process and, once initiated, never ceases to be transformed, discarding old characteristics and assimilating new ones as it attempts to survive and expand. This has happened to Pentecostalism in Brazil and, to a lesser degree, to historic Protestantism. For this reason, the relationship between them does not follow a definite pattern. However, throughout eight decades of history, Pentecostalism has undergone meaningful internal modifications which affected the relationship of the several types of Pentecostalism with diverse denominations. Let us analyze some of them.
a) Weakening of early emphases
From the beginning, glossolalia was presented as an external sign of the "baptism by the Holy Spirit." Other landmarks of the movement were the expectation of the imminent return of Christ and belief in the interference of demons in daily life. Many early emphases of Pentecostalism were not novelties, but were inherited from revival and holiness movements and were solidly grounded in North American Protestantism. The expansion of Pentecostalism and its penetration of cultures other than the early 20th-century U.S. culture from which it sprang was due to its ability to adapt and incorporate new models with new characteristics while reinterpreting and de-emphasizing old models.
Pentecostal preaching was welcomed to this continent because it fit the needs and interests of Latin Americans. Many witnessed the decline of rural society with alarm. They experienced the hardships of unemployment in the city, the lack of an organizing and integrating center to their existence; they yearned for a feeling of community and fraternity. Pentecostalism adapted its agenda to address these needs, emphasizing one value over another, or discarding values of less importance.
The belief in the second coming and the "end of the world" were promptly accepted by a population facing social distress and anomie. The disintegration of the rural world proved that at least one world was coming to its end. "Speaking in tongues" also had an important sociological and psychological function for these people, because the speaker had the opportunity to be taken over by a higher power, and thus receive a new identity. Glossolalia overcomes the divisions of human language, enabling worshipers to unite with the transcendent sacred. The belief in direct communion with the sacred, without mediation by institutional religion, has old and deep roots in Brazilian culture and popular Catholicism.
And yet, as the 20th century draws to a close, analysts are proposing a new concept-- "post-modernism" --to understand these changes. Pentecostalism adjusted to the new demands of post-modern society more easily than historic Protestantism, which was committed to modernity; that is, capitalism and the "Protestant Age." "Neo-Pentecostalism" of the l980s proposed physical health, prosperity, and relief for psychological problems as the most important things to search for in the sacred. Eschatological concerns and even glossolalia were put aside.
b) Overestimation of different emphases
Pentecostalism develops different programs in different societies, or, in the words of Otto Maduro: "the social organization of production dictates and determines which religious actions are possible, which are possible but not desirable, which are tolerated, which are tolerated to a certain extent, which are acceptable but on a secondary level, which (if any) are convenient, and which are important and/or urgent (independently from the consciousness and intentions of religious agents)."
"Second-wave" Pentecostalism started preaching miracles after World War II, a time of economic recession in underdeveloped countries. In the cities, the crowds of poor people hoping for miracles were increasing. In greater São Paulo, preaching miracles attracted mainly industrial workers from the East side, mostly immigrants from the Northeast and the interior of the South and Southeast. Like the multitudes in the informal economy and the unemployed of Algeria who were studied by Pierre Bourdieu, these people are left only with "magical hope," which is "the future for those who have no future." They await "the miracle that will free them from their situation" because, "in the absence of reasonable expectations, only delirium and utopia are left."
Pentecostalism had a great advantage over historic Protestantism since it preached to both the body and the soul, approaching human needs from a holistic point of view in which one would not have to wait until death and eternal life to fulfill one's hopes. The association of illness and malady with the image of the devil offered its audience an efficient theodicy for times of suffering and uncertainty. The popular Brazilian image of the devil deems him the source of all evil that attacks humans, animals, or objects. Hence the importance given to exorcism, a way of blocking the forces that seek to prevent health, success, and prosperity. The battle against these demonic forces allowed Pentecostalism to claim for itself the term "liberation." It proclaimed a "holy war" against its enemies, the Afro-Brazilian religions and Catholicism. Historic Protestantism is ignored by the "third wave" of Pentecostalism (maybe because it is perceived as posing no danger!). Competition comes from certain trends in Catholicism and African religions which offer less other-worldly discourse.
c) Appropriation of popular symbols
In making its history, each people also creates a set of symbols and myths which are interconnected by a logic that joins them to a vision of the world. This vision, or "imaginary universe," can be described as a "set of representations, objects, and events that have never been seen in reality and that, many times, have no connection to it." While historic Protestantism proposed a break from popular culture, new religious movements found ways to appropriate the use of this "imaginary universe," which has been manifested in the CEBs (Base Ecclesial Communities), Kardecist centers, the African religions, and the Pentecostal cults.
Good illustrations of this assimilation and manipulation can be found in the rituals of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. They use water, fire, bread, earth, salt, and objects such as keys, doors, and pieces of cloth, featuring magical mechanisms to attract the sacred and attain a given end. It is curious to note that many of these symbols, as well as the language that accompanies them, are part of Afro-Brazilian rituals. The behavior, practices, ritual, and rhetoric of a "missionary," an "exorcist priest," and a "spiritist counselor" (pai de santo) are all very similar. All drink from the same well, this "imaginary universe," a common stock of images endemic to the culture, where Latin American popular religiosity also quenches its thirst.
Theological and ecclesiological changes
Christian Parker, a researcher of popular religiosity from Chile, says that we need to study popular religions in the light of a logic present in the popular "imaginary universe." Pentecostalism of the "third wave" adds to this logic the mentality of the marketplace, the use of marketing, and the establishment of religious businesses and entrepreneurial religions. Consequently there are important changes in ecclesiology and theology during this process.
In terms of ecclesiology, "third-wave" Pentecostalism discarded the creation of small communities and networks which had been successful in the struggle against anomie. In its place it adopted the image of the auditorium, a "supermarket" where religious products-- or their ingredients --are on display for all to help themselves. This Pentecostalism shaped its own ritual, turned pastors into indisputable authorities, eliminated representative congregational forms of government, and placed everything in the hands of charismatic (in the Weberian sense) leaders. Liturgically, services have become a source of joy, psychological decompression, a place for music and dance, a place where the world's miseries are left on the doorstep, a time to recharge one's consciousness with optimism, hope, and dreams of utopia.
In terms of theology, doctrines that were important for historic Protestantism have been discarded. The principle of sola scriptura has been weakened by the adoption of individual revelation and the magical-therapeutic use of the Bible. The doctrines of sola gratia and sola fide have been limited by the idea of personal effort and sacrifice and the use of emotions to confirm salvation and God's revelation. The "universal priesthood" has been maintained; however, the charismatic leader is seen as the intermediary in relations between the sacred and the profane, and the individual's participation has become merely decorative, lost in the wholesale nature of Pentecostal worship.
Prayer has become the arena for difficult negotiations between God and humankind. The worshiper can practically put God up against the wall. Sacrifice has become monetarized; tithing has substituted for the physical sacrifices of Catholicism, since tithing is the highest sacrifice someone can make in a monetary economy. The "gospel of prosperity" is the cornerstone of "third-wave" Pentecostalism and overshadows all eschatological concern with the end of the world, the second coming of Christ, and the destiny of the soul.
The temple is the sacralized space where ritual takes place; it is the "place of blessing" and the "home of happiness;" it is where healing energy enters the photographs of the sick, pieces of their clothing, and bars of their soap to be used in "purifying" baths (against evil spirits). A vibrating power radiates from this place. One of the pastors of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God declared on television that "even the seats are energized," just like the "rock at Sinai" and the "sacred mantle" consecrated at one of Christ's tombs.
The sacraments have been multiplied: the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God has introduced bread with water, the blessed rose, the anointed oil, the blessed salt, and many other ways to "make visible an invisible grace." Everything is sacred in this worship spectacle, in which the main actor-- the pastor-- throws pieces of his own clothing at the faithful, knocking them to the floor. The traditional contents of demonology, angelology, and anthropology are combined in the theoretical framework of "spiritual warfare." Human life is the battleground of a daily, continuous struggle between God and the devil. Among Brazilian advocates of this theory, the Pentecostal pastor Valnice Milhomens, wrote, "The fact that our bodies have become the temple of the Holy Spirit does not mean that they could never be taken by evil spirits."
Transformations have also occurred in the conception of ethics. "Third-wave" Pentecostalism abandoned the rigorous demands on personal behavior that were previously required, and adopted a lighter style, leaving to the individual the responsibility to balance his or her desires with a minimum of discipline. The result is a more fluid religiosity. The liberated body gaily dances in worship. A practical hedonism is adopted in daily life, a kind of moral "self-government."
All these changes in Pentecostalism appear to strengthen J.P. Bastian's hypothesis that in Latin America there has been a "domestication of Protestantism" by way of an "acculturation, to the values of popular Catholic cultural practices." The result is a religious practice that expressed more continuity than rupture with a popular culture loaded with pre-Columbian traits. Pentecostalism has changed in order to better accommodate a culture that is also undergoing rapid transformation. The success of this formula is proof of the effectiveness of its accommodation. Could "what is happening in Pentecostalism be what, in dialectics, is called a "qualitative leap"? Could a new religion be emerging in place of and under the name of "Pentecostalism"? If so, what kind of relations can historic Protestanrism maintain with a religion in a constant process of change?
III. HISTORIC PROTESTANTISM AND PENTECOSTALISM--LOOKING AHEAD
The relationship between Brazil's historic Protestants and Pentecostals has not followed a uniform pattern. Historic Protestants responded to Pentecostals first with a lack of understanding and later with indifference. Presbyterians, among others, looked down on Pentecostals. For these elite Protestants, Pentecostals were "fanatics" who practiced an "inferior type of religiosity." Later, as Pentecostalism multiplied, this attitude slowly turned from indifference to fierce competition, as seen in the multiplication of anti-Pentecostal articles in Protestant publications. The strongest reaction came in the 1960s, in response to "second-wave" Pentecostalism.
The emergence of a fundamentalist reaction to Pentecostalism was no mere coincidence. After all, if Protestant identity was at risk, it was necessary to find out who was responsible and name the enemies. Historic Protestantism has long responded to perceived threats by cloaking itself in fundamentalism. Thus, over time, defenders of "sound doctrine" identified their enemies as being the "social gospel," "communism," "theological modernism," "ecumenism," "socialism," and, later, "Pentecostalism." This reaction, however, did little to strengthen and redefine their internal and external borders with Pentecostalism. Despite all efforts --an emphasis on bureaucracy, a concern for institutionalization, and the appreciation of literate culture-- nothing could keep members of Protestant denominations from moving toward Pentecostalism. The desire for new experiences could not even be detained by attempts to stigmatize some types of Pentecostalism as being tainted with magic and contrary to the spirit of the Reformation.
Since 1950, Brazilian historic Protestantism has suffered numerous defeats from the Pentecostal movement. Its reactions have become bitter and suspicious, producing church policies and strategies that mix admiration and fear of Pentecostalism. This panorama has made any serious discussion about the richness and challenges of the Pentecostal movement impossible, for when people are bewildered, their fear prevents any attitude other than outright rejection or naive imitation of the adversary. Many denominations hide envy for the success of their competitors beneath their discourse of abomination. From my point of view, it is exactly this posture that made historic Protestantism especially susceptible to Pentecostal influence on theology, liturgy, and pastoral practice.
Refusal to analyze Pentecostalism and its main emphases has only thrown more wood on the fire on which Protestantism is immolating itself. The need of the masses for religious products different from those traditionally offered by the historic churches, and the inability of those churches to renew themselves and to hear the clamor of the poor and marginalized all result in the loss of members and of their respective places in a society of more than 150 million people.
Much has been written about the causes of the success of Pentecostalism and the feeling of defeat that has overcome historic Protestantism. One of these causes was evident in the above description of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God and other Pentecostal sects. We saw the Pentecostal ability to identify with the popular imaginary universe, with a magical, miraculous, festive, creative religion, ripe with emotions and permeated with a logic that escapes completely the lettered, rational culture of Protestantism derived from a foreign and capitalistic culture. The progress of Presbyterianism, for instance, took place when large groups of people renounced their culture and sought mechanisms to escape from it. The masses of people, suddenly inserted into the urban world in the last 40 years, brought with them emotions, hopes, and desires still shaped by a world where magic, popular religion, and miracle-working saints were still important. Pentecostalism's divine healing and the syncretic mysticism of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God have proved to be more effective in nurturing this symbolic universe.
Protestantism is the religious expression of modernity, which made literate culture its articulating center. Pentecostalism has done well in an oral culture, unconnected to scholarly networks. In Brazil, 35 million people are illiterate and, though excluded from formal schooling, they can easily be reached through the mass media of radio and television. Quentin J. Schultze makes an excellent contribution to our understanding when he relates orality to Pentecostal growth in Latin America. Presbyterianism continues to fight the tendency to use modern communications, and insists on a strongly theoretical Christian and theological education aimed at producing scholars; meanwhile, Pentecostalism trains communicators, emcees, and pastor/actors who lead services as stage-produced spectacles. These pastors, however, do not lose their ability to listen to the needs of their followers. The idea of religious services as worship spectacles was inspired in Brazil by North American televangelists in the 1980s. And yet, in a way, this massification also reminded people of the personal treatment they once received from the shamans of their original cultures.
Besides living in pre-literate orality, part of the urban masses also inhabit "islands of meaning" organized under the influence of a post-modern culture which has abandoned the centrality of literacy for the spoken word and electronic image. "Third-wave" Pentecostalism reflects the displacement of traditional culture and institutions by the arrival of the "post-modern era." The production, circulation, and distribution of religious goods in "Third-wave" Pentecostalism are part of a different logic that has turned radio, television, and temples into the shelves of a vast religious supermarket. Here, pastors and missionaries are account executives and specialists in marketing strategies, categories that are either unknown to or despised by historic Protestantism.
The world is moving toward globalization, eliminating all boundaries, including religious ones, generating a spirit of ecumenism. What kind of future will so many social, economic, and religious changes bring?
Possible scenarios in the religious field
From the data and interpretations mentioned here, I would like to sketch some possible scenarios in which the relationship between historic Protestantism and Pentecostalism may be played out.
Scenario 1 - Pentecostalized Protestantism
In order to survive, historic Protestantism assimilates Pentecostalism's main theological and liturgical principles, selecting those traits which are closest to its own traditions. In this scenario, Pentecostalism undergoes a process of institutionalization, tones down some of its more aggressive traits, and abandons characteristics typical of charismatic movements in general; it keeps itself free of bureaucracy and its confrontational stance. A fusion between these two poles creates a religiosity unique in the history of Protestantism, and causes a broad restructuring of the religious field, bringing about a reinvigorated Protestantism, better tuned to popular culture and the Latin American imaginary universe. Denominational boundaries are residues of a distant past and no longer delineate exclusive identities. This new Protestantism is qualitatively different from anything in the past because a qualitative leap has brought together Christians separated by a century of polemic and misunderstandings. The question now is whether historic Protestantism still has the strength to impose its preeminence in this process.
Scenario 2 - Protestantized Pentecostalism
This scenario also presupposes a broad process of fusion, this time with Pentecostalism predominating over historic Protestantism. In this case, the churches and denominations of historic Protestantism disappear from the religious map. Their places are occupied by churches, sects, and con- federations of Pentecostal communities, now fully institutionalized. They offer an ecclesial space where the role of emotion and the magical-utilitarian tendencies are reduced. The risk of schism is distant, creativity is restricted to the church hierarchy, and spontaneity limited by tolerance. Total dependence on charismatic leaders is diminished by the adoption of more representative forms of government. Such a scenario brings back the internal questioning that would soon start anew the dialectic of negation- affirmation-negation that has been responsible for the continuous fragmentation of Pentecostalism.
Scenario 3 - Decline of the Pentecostal movement
Although the weakening of the Pentecostal movement appears to be out of the question today, if Pentecostalism is the result of so many cultural and historical variables, could we not foresee that if the basis for its growth ceased to exist, then that growth would be reduced, leading eventually to its disappearance, as happened to so many movements and heresies in the history of Christianity? In the medium term, this hypothesis appears reasonable. After all, religious movements emerge in history. When conditions are favorable, a movement grows; when it loses its base, it declines and disappears, becoming a "cognitive minority" movement on the margins of history.
This scenario favors the reunion of the survivors of historic Protestantism and the possible recovery of their growth. After 35 years of hibernation, Presbyterianism started growing again in Cuba, an example of this possible scenario. Of all these hypothetical scenarios, surely this one has the weakest appeal to our imagination, for how could an institution that has long been under a slow process of weakening, aging, and death be reborn with the same body?
Scenario 4 - Decomposition of the present religious field
This scenario presupposes the end of the forms by which religion has been expressed and organized for centuries. The logic that made the relationship between clergy and laity plausible disappears. The ways by which institutions maintained themselves disappear. Without the traditional actors, the stage is occupied by new religious forces. Some of them are marginal to and distant from Western reality today. Others are still embryonic. Although this may be the most utopian scenario, it is nevertheless perfectly viable. Perhaps sects considered extinct (such as Gnosticism) are reborn, or the West is invaded by oriental religions (from India, Japan, etc.), or a mysticism emerges which is more attuned to "post-modernity." These may be the lights of a new dawn which may not necessarily be Christian, Catholic, Protestant, or Pentecostal.
In light of this not very optimistic future, historic Protestants, especially Presbyterian and Reformed, must examine their heritage, their strategies, and their church style in a pluralistic society that offers so many alternatives, both religious and secular. Questions need to be answered in light of the Reformed tradition, such as: How will Reformed churches be visible in the context described in the preceding pages? Can we talk about the survival of the "invisible church" while the "visible church" is decomposing in both form and content? The much feared question we posed in the beginning of this work remains: Is there a future for historic Presbyterian Protestantism in Brazil and Latin America? If so, what kind of future will it be? There are no easy answers to these questions. They must be answered by concrete pastoral actions to make an old expression come true: Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda.
 These expressions are used by Roger Bastide, the French sociologist, who wrote the following about Brazilian possession religions: "The present-day Sacred prefers a savage Sacred to the domesticated Sacred of the Churches." Le Sacré Sauvage et autres essais (Paris: Payot, 1975), p. 227.
 In Brazil, the concepts of "pioneering frontier" and "expanding frontier" have been used by Joséde Souza Martins in Capitalismo e Tradicionalismo (São Paulo: Pioneira, 1975) to explain the difference in people's behavior in the "pioneering frontier" (where a capitalist logic of production is already in place, along with more or less stable forms of sociability and behavior), and the "expanding frontier" (with adventurism, a sense of every man for himself, a disdain for the intellectual and for rational control). Messianic and millennarian movements in Brazil have occurred predominantly in "expanding frontier" situations. This distinction may help to explain some of the characteristics of the religiosity of the American colonists--their contact with native Americans, their isolation, being at the mercy of their own energies and far from the centers that might control and organize social life. H. Richard Niebuhr, in The Social Origins of Denominationalism, (New York: Holt, 1929), shows how European Protestantism was forced to adapt to America, taking on the form of sects and denominations, in order to be better assimilated by frontier people. In consequence Niebuhr speaks of "churches of the disinherited," "middle-class churches," "immigrant churches," and so forth.
 There are sociological and historical causes behind the explosion of "wild" and "undomesticated" religiosity that took place in the English colonies of North America during the great revival. To what extent was it a revolt of the poor and the victims of injustice against an institutionalized religion strongly supported by the state? At that time there were tensions, struggles, and revolts in many regions of the colony. The economy depended on slavery and the newly arrived immigrants were in many cases ex-prisoners or extremely poor persons from England, Ireland, and other regions of Europe. See Herbert Aptheker, A History of the American People: The Colonial Era, (New York: International Publishers, 1969). On the relations between anti-intellectualism and the religious revival, see Richard Hofstadter, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life, (New York: Knopf, 1962). In this book the author outlines the trajectory of the unpopularity of the intellect among North Americans, analyzing especially the importance of the "religion of the heart" and the "evangelism of the revivalists," relating all this to the ethics of business people who prefer utilitarianism and pragmatism to intellectual concerns.
 Los Angeles was among North America's fastest growing cities between 1880 and 1910. In 1900 it had 100,000 inhabitants; in 1906 (the year of the Pentecostal explosion), 230,000; and in 1910 it reached 320,000 inhabitants. In that decade alone, 5,500 African-Americans arrived, 5,000 Mexicans, 4,000 Japanese, and more than 30,000 Europeans. In 1910 about 75% of the population were first-or second-generation immigrants. In Chicago, Pentecostalism was started by Swedish Baptist immigrants. This city represents a typical example of how religion can reflect populational and social mobility with great intensity. It is my opinion that one cannot understand the growth of Pentecostalism in Latin America without taking seriously the correlation that exists between Pentecostalism and urban life.
 On the origins, development, and distinct character of Pentecostalism, it is indispensable to read Nils Bloch-Hoell, The Pentecostal Movement, (Oslo: Scandinavian University Books, 1964); Donald W. Dayton, Theological Roots of Pentecostalism, (Grand Rapids, MI: Francis Asbury, 1987); and Walter Hollenweger, El Pentecostalismo: Historia y doctrinas (Buenos Aires: Editorial La Aurora, 1976).
 See Emile Leonard, 0 iluminismo num protestantismo de constituiçã recente, (São Bernardo do Campo: Instituro Ecumonico de Pós-Graduação em Ciencias da Religião, 1988). In this little book and in his major work, 0 protestantismo brasileiro, E.G. Leonard places J.M. da Conceição at the beginning of indigenous Protestantism in Brazil. Conceição was an ex-priest who, in a "backward, ignorant and Catholic country" (to use the words of the North American missionaries who converted him), made the mystical element the starting point for the preaching of Reformed faith.
 See E. Boch, Thomas Münzer: Teólogo do revolução, (Rio de Janeiro: Tempo Brasileiro, 1973) and Norman Bimsbaum, "Luther et le millenarisme," Archives de Sociologie des Religions, No. 4 (July-December, 1957).
 See Freston's article in Antoniazzi et al., 1994.
 On the electronic church, see Hugo Assman, La iglesia electrónica y su impacto en América Latina, 2d ed. (San Jose, Costa Rica: Editorial DEl, 1988)
 The CCB was so closely identified with the Italians that the second hymnal, printed in Chicago in 1924, was completely in Italian. The third edition (1935) had a total of 580 hymns, of which only 250 were in Portuguese, but by the edition of 1943 all hymns were in Portuguese.
 This may be the reason for the absence of schisms in the CCB, an unprecedented fact in Brazilian Pentecostalism. Reed E. Nelson, a North American observer of the CCB, notes the importance of the family model for the growth and homogeneity of the CCB and also the relatively anarchic character of the liturgy.
 Though figures are unconfirmed, it is calculated that the CCB has between 1.5 and 2 million members in Brazil. CCB temples are disseminated unequally throughout Brazil. There are 5,444 temples just in the states of Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Paraná, distributed thus: 2,906 (53.3%) in São Paulo; 1,391 (25.5) in Minas Gerais; and 1,147 (21.2%) in Paraná. These data were obtained by Paul Fresron, in Antoniazzi et al., 1994, 103.
 Antônio G. Mendonça and Prócoro Velasques Filho, Introdução an proresranusmo no Brasil (São Bernardo Do Campo: Loyola/Ciências da Religião, 1989), p. 49.
 In 1915, the ADB had reached one Northern state and two in the Northeast. Five years later, it was present in 9 states--3 in the North and 6 in the Northeast. By the 1930s the ADB was in 20 Brazilian states. Still, the ADB had fewer members than the CCB. According to Erasmo Braga and K. Grubb, in The Republic of Brazil (London: WDP, 1932), the ADB had 13,511 members, compared to 30,800 for the CCB. The total number of Protestants in the country was 166,190. In 1970, the official statisries (Statistics on Protestant Cults in Brazil, IBGE) counted 753,129 members in the ADB and 328,655 in the CCB among a Protestant population of 2,409,094. Still, it must be remembered that in Brazil statistics contain many errors, and when they deal with Pentecosralism, the figures are often increased for propagandistic purposes.
 The role of the pastor in the ADB takes on many of those characteristics described in the analysis of Christian Lalive D'Epinay, in his 0 refúgio das massas (Rio de Janeiro: Paz e Terra, 1970), a work on Chilean Pentecostalism. The pastor is the symbolic successor of the hacendado, or large landowner, who maintains an intensely personal relationship with the members of the congregation, demanding of them at the same time a loyalty that is more personal than bureaucratic. Reed E. Nelson is right (op.cit., n.d.) when he calls the administrative style of the ADB "personalistic" in contrast to the "bureaucratic" model of the Presbyterians and the "kinship" model of the CCB.
 Emotional pressure on those attending worship services for the first time is very intense. It goes beyond the rules of etiquette and borders on the psychological seduction of the listeners. The pastor's domination of his congregation is absolute. Once I heard a church member give the following response concerning whom she was going to vote for: "I don't know, since my pastor still hasn't told me who I should vote for." To a follow-up question of mine ("But you're not going to vote for so-and-so, the one who helped you get title to your land?") she simply said, "I'll never vote for that candidate because my pastor doesn't like his politics."
 The Foursquare Gospel Church is the only Pentecostal denomination in Brazil that ordains women to the pastoral ministry, and one of the few that encourages pastors and lay people to run for elective political office.
 In the early 1980s, there was still a great rivalry between Mello and Miranda. At the end of the program of "The Voice of Brazil for Christ" on the former "Radio Tupí," we would hear Mello's appeal that people go to the "largest evangelical temple in the world" in order to worship God and not to an "old factory." The exchange of barbs included Miranda's criticism of Mello's style of dress. Once, referring to Mello, Miranda said that people "shouldn't believe in preachers with sideburns and stylish ties."
 In 1991, the IPDA claimed to have 5,458 churches in Brazil with 15,755 church workers; 62 churches in Paraguay; 59 in Uruguay; and 43 in Argentina. They also have a presence in poor regions of Bolivia and Peru. (As with all Pentecostal groups, these statistics clearly owe more to enthusiasm than to reality.) The government and administration of the church are centralized in the person of Miranda, who divides with his wife, daughters, and sons-in-law the responsibilities of the church (directing the radio stations, studios, bookstores, etc.). Since the 1980s, newspapers have denounced the "miraculous" growth of Miranda's personal fortune (Cf. "Os grandes negócios do 'pastor' Daví Miranda," in 0 Estado de São Paulo, 1/27/85/, p. 22). Stories are now circulating about one of Miranda's sons-in-law, who is pushing to the limit a dangerous confrontation with Miranda about religious charisma. Some observers predict a schism over control of the IPDA. Lately (in 1995), Miranda has been railing against "worldliness," and denouncing certain unnamed "church workers" who are discouraging people from carrying out his personal instructions of doing one night of fasting and prayer every week. One of his daughters has broken with her father and is a member of the Evangelical Pentecostal Church "Brazil for Christ."
 "Igrejas, Seitas e Agências: Aspectos de um Ecumenismo Popular," in Edenio Valle, José J. Queiroz
(org.) A Culeura do Povo, (São Paulo: Cortez & Morses, EDUC, 1979).
 "A Empresa da Curd Divina: Un Fenômeno Religîoso?î in Edenio Valle, Jose J. Queiroz (org.) A Culeura do Povo (São Paulo: Correz & Morses, EDUC, 1979).
 At the end of the 1980s, Edit Macedo began to be criticized harshly in the mass media. All called attention to the "financial exploitation" and also the gigantic concentrations in soccer stadiums (Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro and Pacaembsi in São Paulo). Apparently, the reason for the economic and police persecution was his entrance into the world of Brazilian telecommunications, which is the principal generator of meaning in Brazilian society (and where Roberto Marinho, owner of the "Globo" television network, reigns supreme). Macedo astutely presented this harassment as "religious persecution." He was indicted by federal and local authorities for fraud, tax evasion, charlatanism, and false healing and was even incarcerated for several weeks in May 1992. When freed, he disappeared from the scene and since then has directed his empire from the United States and Portugal. His empire includes 16 television stations, 2 radio stations, 1876 churches in Brazil, a radio station in Portugal, a weekly magazine called Folha Universal, and Universal News, a weekly newsletter published in the U.S. with a print run of 100,000.
 These numbers are significant because, in Brazil, a "best seller" sells 5,000 copies, and an important daily newspaper, such as 0 Estado do São Paulo, prints less than 500,000 copies.
 Among these symbols, full-fledged sacraments distributed to the believers, we find: "Holy Oil of Israel," "Blessed Water," "The Sacred Mantle," "Jacob's Staff," "Water from the Jordan River," "The Stone of the Sinai," "Salt of the Dead Sea," "The Anointed Rose," etc. All of these objects contain the unleashed "force" of "powerful prayers" made by pastors and deacons. To help provoke true catharsis, dramatizations and cultic rituals are enacted, for example, "Passing Through the Valley of Salt," "Running the Gauntlet of 70 Pastors," "Passing Hands Over the Stone of Mount Sinai" and "Going Through the Door of Faith." These and other rituals encourage the feeling that the sacred is not distant, but is within reach of the faithful.
 In the IURD, there is a single model for discourse, procedures, and rituals. The New York temples (and those in Portugal, South Africa and Geneva) also divide the week into "chasm" and offer the same symbolic products as do the temples in Brazil.
 Concerning the social conditioning of the development of religious messages in Latin America, see Otto Maduro's Religião e Luta de Classe - Quadro Teórico para a Análise de suas Inter-relações na América Latina, (Petrópolis: Vozes, 1981). Is Latin America experiencing the "end of the Protestant era" (that is, historic Protestantism) even before fully knowing this era? Perhaps Jean-Pierre Bastian is correct when he refers to the present period as the "domestication of Protestantism" by traditional Latin Américan culture, that is, the Catholic and magical cultures showing their strength beneath the new appearances. See Jean-Pierre Bastian, Historia del Protestantismo en Amdrica Latina, (Mexico: Casa Unida de Publicaciones, 1990); Luiz Vazquez Buenfil, "Pentecostalisms are substitute Catholicisms, says Jean-Pierre Bastian," El Faro, July/August 1994 pp. 108-111.
 Concerning Protestantism's links to the historic moment and the social stratification operating in the West, it is still indispensable to read Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Nor is it possible to ignore the critical evaluation done by Paul Tillich on the relationship between Protestantism and Western capitalist civilization, The Protestant Era, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1957).
 Masons, Republicans, and positivists shared this hope. Cf. Daví Vieira Guciros, 0 Protestantismo, A Maçonaria e A Questão Religiosa no Brasil, (Brasília: Edit. Universidade de Brasília, 1980); J.P. Bastian, Protestantes, liberales e francomasones, sociedad de ideas y modernidad en América Latina, (Mexico: Siglo XXI-FCE, 1980).
 Rubem Alves, "0 Protestantismo na America Latina - Sua Função Ideol6gica e Possibilidades Utópicas," Dogmatismo e Tolerância, (São Paulo: Paulinas, 1982).
 António G. Mendonça, 0 Celeste Porvir - A Inserção do Protestantismo no Brasil, (São Paulo: Paulinas, 1984).
 In 1930, according to Erasmo Braga and K. Grubb, Pentecostals represented 9.5% of all Brazilian Protestants. In 1964, according to William R. Read in Fermento Religioso nas Massas do Brasil (São Paulo: Metodista, 1967), this participation was already 65.2%, with estimates for 1990 of approximately 80%. (At present no dependable data on Pentecostalism in Brazil exist.)
 The sociological theory that we adopt here is that of Pierre Bourdieu. Cf. "Gênese e Eatructura do Campo Religioso" and "Uma Interpretação da Teoria da Religião de Max Weber," Sergio Miceli, Ed. A Economia das Trocas Simbólicas (São Paulo: Perspectiva, 1982) p. 27-98.
 A syncretic religion founded in the early 1950s in Rio de Janeiro by the famous radio broadcaster, Alziro Zarur, who turned "Radio Mundial" into his main instrument of propaganda. This movement is now directed by José de Paiva Nero. It uses the same therapeutic and communitarian tactics as Pentecostalism, now under the name, "Legion of Good Will--The Religion of God."
 0 Dossel Sagrado - Elementos para uma Teoria Sociológica do Religião (São Paulo: Paulinas, 1985).
 Fundamentalist para-church movements were then emerging in Brazil, including Jack Wyrtzen's "Word of Life," which specialized in summer camps, Bible studies, and evangelistic campaigns. Autonomous movements outside the church also emerged, beginning as "churches without signs," suggesting a kind of spiritual anarchy. Groups left the historic churches and added adjectives to their original names: "Orthodox Methodist Church," "Wesleyan Methodist Church," "Presbyterian Christian Church," "Renewed Independent Church," and "Independent Congregational Church." Other movements adopted new names like "Biblical Revival Church," "Maranatha Evangelical Church," and "Church Under Restoration."
 In recent years Pentecostal leaders of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (Edit Macedo) and of the Assemblies of God's Ministry of Madureira (a split from the National Convention)
have founded the National Council of Pastors of Brazil, (CNPB) which officially promotes "Pentecostal ecumenism," (and according to some observers is loaded with political intentions). This Council had a confrontation with the Brazilian Evangelical Association (AEB), an organization presided over by Caio Esbio Jr., an "evangelical" Presbyterian pastor. For Fbio no negotiations at all are possible with Edit Macedo, who he considers an exploiter of popular piety whose only desire is to fill the safe in his church. Their quarrel has been made public by the press. In a weekly magazine interview, Fábio said, "Edit Macedo is a bird of prey. He has planted a church based on syncretism [which is] a psychological and spiritual assault on people's pockets" (Isto , Jan. 25, 1995).
 Belief in the second coming is related to a Messianic and millennarian wing of Protestantism operating in the U.S. in the 19th century. The Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Mormons turned this into one of the pillars of their doctrines. Los Angeles Pentecostalism, however, was born of an earthquake that almost destroyed San Francisco on April18, 1906. This calamity stimulated the popular imagination and produced "prophecies" and "messages" at Azusa Street, announcing through glossolalia the imminent return of Christ to Earth.
 Religião e Luta de Classes, (Petrópolis: Vozes, 1982) p. 72.
 0 Desencantamento do Mundo - Estruneras Economicas e Estruturas Temporais, (São Paulo: Perspectiva, 1979), pp. 102, 135.
 See Laura de Mello e Souza, 0 Diabo e a Terra de Santa Cruz, (São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1994) and Inferno Atlantico - Demonologia e Colonização nos Séculos XVI e XVII, (São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 1993).
 This new type of Pentecostalism is the one that best adapts to the materialistic consumer society. Those who call Pentecostalism the opium of the people are wrong. Due to its conservative ideological function it is "Something more than opium." See Andre Droogers and Frans Kamsteeg, eds., Algo más que ópia - Una lectura antropológica del pentecostalismo latinoamericano e caribeño (Costa Rica: DEl, 1991).
 Maria Isaura Pereira de Queiroz, "Reflexões Sociológicas sobre o Imaginário," 0 Imaginário em Terra Conquistado, Texto Ceru, series 2, No.
4, (São Paulo: Centro de Earudos Rurais e Urbanos, 1993), p.4.
 Otra lógica en América Latina--Religión popular y modernización capitalista, (Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1993).
 Batalha Espiritual, (Sao Paulo: Ministério Palavra da Fé, n.d.), p. 53.
 See Bastian, 1990.
 Protestantismo e Represscio, (São Paulo: Atica, 1979).
 The existence of this oral culture explains the success of Pentecostal communication in Brazil through radio and television, especially the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD). Thousands of Pentecostal programs are broadcast daily throughout the country. Just in Greater São Paulo, the "São Paulo" and "Record" (IURD) radio stations have an average audience of 678,000 listeners, occupying seventh and eighth place, respectively, in the market. "Morado do Sol," another station used by many Pentecostal denominations, is heard by 134,000 people, surpassing traditional stations like "Eldorado." (Data from IBOPE reports of January 1995.)
 Basing his studies on W.J. Ong's theories, Schultze pointed out the conflict between literate and oral culture and demonstrated how the Pentecostal movement benefited from the fact that, in Latin America, book culture never established deep roots and was soon replaced by post-literate civilization. See "Orality and Power in Latin American Pentecosralism," Coming of Age: Protestantism in Contemporary Latin America, (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1994), pp. 65-88.
[49} I avoid the polemies concerning the expressions "modernity" and "post-modernity." Cf. Antony Giddens, As Consequências do Modernidade, (São Paulo: Unesp, 1991).