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Pentecostalism and Citizenship in Brazil: Between Escapism and Dominance

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AbstractBrazil is, today, the most Catholic, but also the most Pentecostal country in the world. The Pentecostal churches, namely the Assemblies of God, have been particularly successful among the poorest of the poor. There is little discourse on citizenship in Pentecostal churches, and its theological bases still seem to foster escapism; yet, believers regain a sense of dignity and respect for themselves and for others as they discover themselves as bearers of the Holy Spirit. In addition, contrary to the general perception, there are signs of a sense of responsibility for the whole human being, the environment and the common good. However, the relatively recent principle of ‘brother votes for brother’ tends to narrow down internal and external attention in terms of politics to the election of Pentecostal politicians, with all its ambivalences and a danger to seek dominance. This article argues that a third way between escapism and dominance, guided by a public theology, is possible.

Affiliations: 1: Escola Superior de Teologia São Leopoldo Brazil, URL:


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