Latin American Pentecostals: Old Stereotypes and New Challenges
This chapter discusses the stereotypes about Pentecostals in Latin America, referring to other recent studies that discuss similar themes, and suggesting likely avenues for future research. One of the most persistent of stereotypes, particularly in the popular press, is that Pentecostalism is only a recent arrival to Latin America. What may be even more important is the strong influence Europeans have played in Latin American Pentecostalism. The fact that North American and European Pentecostal churches have long contributed funds and personnel to corresponding Pentecostal organizations in Latin America continues to reinforce the mistaken perception that Latin American Pentecostalism is dependent on outside, specifically North American support. Another persistent stereotype is that Pentecostals are always and inherently apolitical. Scholars suggest that Pentecostal growth rapidly expands new associational ties among believers that, over time, will challenge the traditional social order.