From: The Barna Group, January 7, 2008
(Ventura, CA) – Pentecostal or charismatic Christianity is viewed by some Americans as an emotional, theologically suspect form of the Christian faith. It is widely thought to be a very vocal and visible, but numerically small slice of the grand religious pie in the United States. Two new surveys from The Barna Group, however, indicate that things are changing dramatically in the religious landscape. Those surveys – one among a national sample of adults and the other among a national sample of Protestant pastors – show that the number of churches and adherents to Pentecostal perspectives and practices has grown significantly in the past two decades.
Growing Numbers of People
A decade ago, three out of ten adults claimed to be charismatic or Pentecostal Christians. Today, 36% of Americans accept that designation. That corresponds to approximately 80 million adults. (For the Barna survey, this included people who said they were a charismatic or Pentecostal Christian, that they had been “filled with the Holy Spirit” and who said they believe that “the charismatic gifts, such as tongues and healing, are still valid and active today.”)