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Revolutionaries and Revivalists: Pentecostal Eschatology, Politics and the Nicaraguan Revolution

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In 1979 Nicaragua's Sandinista guerrillas seized power with the help of revolutionary Christians. Yet by virtue of their eschatology and worldview, classical Pentecostals in Nicaragua were less enthusiastic. Premillennialism, otherworldliness and a focus on evangelism generated an apoliticism that was wholly unacceptable to a collectivist, this-worldly regime keen to co-opt the Church to help establish its vision of heaven on earth. Meanwhile, Sandinista antipathy towards Israel, close links with the East Bloc (traditionally associated with biblical Gog and Magog), and the sometimes brutal repression of evangelicals all contributed to a dispensational perception of an apocalyptic, dualistic struggle between good and evil. Thus, eschatology played an important role in shaping the nature of Pentecostal-Sandinista relations.

Affiliations: 1: The Midlands Bible College, St John's Square, Wolverhampton WV2 4AT, United Kingdom;, Email:


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