Den karismatiske eksplosjonen

Jeg har lenget grublet over og studert den karismatiske bevegelsen, som på en måte er sterk (spesielt i den tredje verden), samt har en viss kraft og inderlighet som vi kristne trenger, men som på den andre side skaper mange problemer, både teologisk pg praktisk (slik jeg selv ser det). I den siste av sine ekstra mega-trender, som jeg tok fram sist uke, skriver John Allen om dette:

As several readers pointed out, any list of Catholic mega-trends that overlooks the astonishing growth of Pentecostal and Evangelical forms of Christianity worldwide cannot be complete. A recent study by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life offers a comprehensive run-down of the numbers. According to the Pew research, today there are an estimated 500 million “revivalists” in the world, including members of stand-alone Pentecostal and Evangelical denominations as well as charismatics within established denominations. Revivalists now represent one-quarter of the total Christian population of two billion, compared with just 6 percent of the Christian total 30 years ago. The “Pentecostal wave” is the world’s fastest-growing religious movement, making especially strong inroads in the global South. At one level, this mega-trend means that Catholicism will be increasingly pushed in a charismatic direction, towards greater openness to the miraculous, the experience of healings and exorcisms, a more literal reading of Scripture, and more spontaneous styles of liturgical expression. In Brazil alone, the world’s largest Catholic country, almost half of the population describes itself as “charismatic,” with profound consequences for how the faith is taught, preached, and lived. At another level, the “Pentecostal wave” also creates new competition for Catholicism, given that a hefty percentage of the revivalists are defectors from the Catholic church. To take one example, a study commissioned in the late 1990s by CELAM, the Latin American Catholic bishops’ conference, found that 8,000 Latin Americans were deserting the Catholic church for Evangelical Protestantism every day. Among other things, this competition for souls promises to reshape the ecumenical conversation; in 1992, John Paul II used the phrase “ravenous wolves” to refer to Pentecostal and Evangelical “sects” in Latin America, a more aggressive language that hints at a shift from détente to apologetics in inter-Christian relations. In whatever fashion Catholicism chooses to approach the revivalists, including the growing number within its own fold, they are an unavoidable feature of the religious landscape.

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