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Pentecostalism is a faith within Evangelical Christianity. It believes in a personal experience with God through the baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38); the same as in the Biblical account on the Day of Pentecost. Pentecostalism is similar to the Charismatic groups, but it came about earlier and separated from the main church branches. Charismatic Christians, at least in the beginning, tended to stay in their denominations and did not divide away.


There are three types of Pentecostal churches. Most believe that one must be saved by believing in Jesus as their Savior; to be forgiven for their sins and to be pleasing to God. Pentecostals also believe, like most other evangelicals, that the Bible is true and must be obeyed in decisions of faith. In this majority group, speaking in tongues is the sign of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and is not required for salvation. To this group, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is a supernatural gift for ministry that one receives after they have become a Christian.

The other two groups believe in an "Acts 2:38" based salvation. This means a person needs to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus. They then receive the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost). In this belief, the Holy Spirit is required for salvation; which includes speaking in tongues. In this group, some Pentecostals churches baptize in the name of Jesus only, and some baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

Pentecostal churches believe that Jesus still heals the sick, with the power of the Holy Spirit.


See also: List of Christian denominations by number of members
This list indicates that there may be 150 million Pentecostals. The largest Pentecostal denominations are:

Denomination statistics

While not as large as some of the above organizations the following have made quite an impact on Pentecostalism:

Geographical distribution


Operation World by Patrick Johnstone and Jason Mandryk, 2000, unless otherwise indicated.



Early history

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