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Pentecostalism is a movement within Protestant Christianity that emphasizes the active and present work of the Holy Spirit.


The Pentecostal movement became popular in the late 19th through early 20th century as a logical growth from the Holiness movement of the 19th century. The Pentecostal movement became distinct due to the emphasis of Glossolalia, or "speaking in tongues" as the initial evidence of having received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. This doctrine was originally promoted by Holiness evangelist Charles Parham. It was the Azusa Street revival in Los Angeles, led by William Seymour in 1906, however, that launched the worldwide Pentecostal movement. An alternative minority theory de-emphasizes the role of Azusa street in favor of simultaneous worldwide development.


Pentecostals hold to the same set of core beliefs as the broader Evangelical movement, distinguishing themselves primarily in the belief that the Baptism or Filling of the Holy Spirit is available to believers today and based on the model of Acts chapter 2 in the New Testament, especially with the evidence of glossolalia or "speaking in other tongues."

Pentecostals also embrace the other present day works of the Holy Spirit including the power of God to heal the individual instantaneously--often referred to as "divine healing."

Worldwide variations

Pentecostalism has experienced explosive growth throughout its history. Large sections of the growing church movements in the Global South are rooted in Pentecostal practice. This includes Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and China among others.


Pentecostalism has many varying beliefs within itself, thus many Pentecostal denominations exist. Some notable examples include:

Acceptance by other Christians

Pentecostals were largely ridiculed by many Christian denominations early in its existence. However, as a result of the Pentecostal acceptance of Evangelical beliefs and associations, it has become more accepted on a world scale. A common critique of Pentecostal services is an over-reliance on emotion or other charismata.