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Pentecostals, Kinship, and Moral Economy in Guatemala

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Abstract

Using a set of interviews from Pentecostal churches in Guatemala, this study makes the following conclusions about the role of family and kinship in this segment of Latin America’s rapidly expanding evangelical population. First, evangelization deliberately targets family members. Second, church growth does in fact take place primarily along kinship lines. Third, the family structure is the foundation of church organization. Fourth, the extended family serves an important role as the provider of a social safety net. Fifth, the emphasis on “rapid discipling” along kinship lines carries with it a weakening of commitment to the inculcation of specific values and beliefs.

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