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One possible reason that the "South" has become more emotive in their growing Christianity

Reader comment on item: A Christian Boom

Submitted by Lila Reisman (United States), Nov 27, 2002 at 10:36

Many years ago, I was employed by an International Airline that shall remain nameless and was a member of their National Marketing Team. A major portion of my "portfolio" was to develop more traffic to an overseas destination.

In the process, I had the occassion to meet with many leaders in the Chrisitian faith; Protestant and largely from the Pentecostal groups. I discovered that there was an increasing shift amongst the Protestants and even some of the Catholics to turn to a
more expressive and emotive denomination as were the "Spirit filled" Pentecostals. At some breakfast meetings held for "believers", it was not unusual to find, in addition to the Pentecostal Spirit-filled groups, a goodly sprinkling of people from every type of Protestant denominations. The specific breakfast gatherings numbered anywhere from 700 to 1,000 people, once a month. They came for the fantastic speakers, modern style musical groups and comradeship with other "spirit filled" Christians from the "North", as you divided them...although most were from Southern U.S. States and those 3 hour breakfast meetings were amazingly upbeat and friendly.

Furthermore, a trend was becoming more visible in that, from the Pentecostal groups, laypeople were going in a comparative role to be missionaries to the various countries in South America and some to Africa, to bring their message of an old/new form of Christianity that was fully Bible-bound but, also had the emotional and spiritual content that was missing from most Protestant and Catholic churches. There were always, at the least 30 people at a breakfast who would "speak in tongues" or were coming forward to be "slain in the Spirit".

Recordings were made, on the spot, of the speakers, usually well known by their public standing in the U.S who gave their dramatic testimony as to why and when they had turned to the Pentecostal movement, and tapes/ CDs were made available by the musical groups (some of the "stars" who performed were also known by their "cross over to modern music). All of this was sold at the end of the breakfast meetings. The musical tapes/CDs were often part of the presentation made by the "Spirit filled" volunteers who went out to countries in South America and to areas

in Africa where they could tell of and demonstrate their colorful Christian belief system that often won over the hearts of Christians in the less emotive branches of their Catholic and/or Protestant churches. Those volunteers would return to the States to tell of their exciting and amazing progress that they had made in the "South" and that encouraged others to go forward in their efforts, again, mainly to South America.

I have lost touch with these groups over the years but, I would think that their volunteers, bringing a gaily practiced brand of fundamental Christianity to South America, had a part in encouraging a Pentecostal type of Christianity to be developed.
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