Pentecostal and Charismatic religion flourishes at some of the most fluid and hotly contested boundaries—cultural, religious and economic—in the age of globalization. Broadly categorized as renewalist movements, these religious communities are experiencing their most dramatic growth at the frontier between Christianity and Islam in Nigeria; in the vast factory towns of China's interior; among members of the rising middle class in Kenya; in the slums that ring the rapidly modernizing urban areas of Central and South America; in Muslim-majority Indonesia and Hindu-majority India. Encompassing more than half a billion adherents and blurring many of the traditional distinctions between Protestantism and Catholicism, renewalism is widely believed to be the fastest-growing religious movement in the world.
With researchers deployed in over 20 countries across the global South and East, the Pentecostal and Charismatic Research Initiative (PCRI) aims to provide answers to three key questions related to renewalist movements: What are the defining characteristics of Pentecostal and Charismatic religion? Where is it growing and what factors account for its growth? And what are the social and political consequences of renewalism's proliferation in places where the upheavals of recent decades are most acute?