Encyclopedia of Latin American Religions

2019 Edition
| Editors: Henri Gooren

Church of the Foursquare Gospel in Brazil

  • Chas. H. BarfootEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-27078-4_318


Aimee Semple McPherson’s model for American Pentecostalism, the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (IEQ), was easily transferable to Brazil. The IEQ model worked well in the United States and Brazil because both countries were experiencing urbanization and industrialization. Additionally, the IEQ relaxed earlier behavioral taboos especially directed at women. Like the American version, the IEQ effectively used mass media and popular culture to reach middle-class believers. In 2016, the IEQ (Brazil) had 12,913 “churches and meeting places,” 47,000 “workers,” and a “membership” of about 3,100,000 (Foursquare 2016).


Brazil is the world’s fifth most populated country; it contains the world’s third largest city (São Paulo) and is second only to the United States in providing a homeland for Christians. Colonized by Portugal in the sixteenth century, Brazil has more Roman Catholics than any other country in the world, roughly 200 million – 60% of the...


Brazil Foursquare Pentecostalism Evangelicalism Aimee Semple McPherson Harold Williams Raymond Boatright Hollywood Healing Women 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Andersen DKL (2012) The rise of Pentecostalism in Brazil: an empirical study of reasons for growth. https://brage.bibsys.no/.../Master%20Thesis%20_The%20Rise%20of%20Pentecostalism. Accessed 17 Mar 2017
  2. Antunes A (2014) God has a new home: a $300 million mega temple in Sao Paulo. Forbes. www.forbes.com/…/god-has-a-new-home-a-300-million-mega-temple-in-sao-paulo/. Accessed 15 Mar 2017
  3. Barfoot C (2011) Aimee Semple McPherson and the making of modern Pentecostalism. Equinox, LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Foursquare Missions (2016) The Foursquare Church. Brazil. www.foursquaremissions.org/donate/country/brazil/. Accessed 16 Mar 2017
  5. Campos LS (1996) Chapter 3. Why historic churches are declining and Pentecostal churches are growing in Brazil. In: In the power of the spirit. www.religion-online.org/showchapter.asp?title=374&C=1358. Accessed 20 Mar 2017
  6. Canvas Cathedrals (1956) ProQuest historical newspapers: Los Angeles times. http://login.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu/docview/166985837?accountid=4485. Accessed 3 May 2017
  7. Chesnut A (1997) Born again in Brazil. Rutgers, New BrunswickGoogle Scholar
  8. Dart J (1972) Brimstone Gospel according to ‘Marjoe.’ ProQuest historical newspapers: Los Angeles Times. http://login.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy1.lib.asu.edu/docview/157197998?accountid=4485. Accessed 30 Apr 2017
  9. Doran J (2013) Demon-haunted worlds: enchantment, disenchantment, and the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. https://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/handle/2152/26589. Accessed 17 Mar 2017
  10. Freston P (1995) Pentecostalism in Brazil: a brief history. Religion 25:119–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Pewforum (2006) Historical overview of Pentecostalism in Brazil. www.pewforum.org/2006/10/05/historical-overview-of-pentecostalism-in-brazil/. Accessed 25 Mar 2017
  12. Jenkins P (2006) The new faces of Christianity. New York, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  13. Klaver M (2015) Pentecostal Pastorpreneurs and the global circulation of authoritative aesthetic styles. Cult Relig 16:146–159Google Scholar
  14. Madambashi A (2012) Protestant churches in Brazil experience mixed growth, decline; huge increase for Pentecostals. In: The christian post. www.christianpost.com/news/protestant-churches-in-brazil. Accessed 17 Feb 2018
  15. Martin D (2012) The first lady of Pentecostalism. The Times Literary Supplement. www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/public/the-first-lady-of-pentecostalism/. Accessed 24 Apr 2017
  16. Kokomo Tribune (1978) Miracle revival. https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/2740524/. Accessed 30 Apr 2017
  17. Pewforum (2013) New report details Brazil’s changing religious landscape. www.pewforum.org/2013/07/18/brazils-changing-religious-landscape/. Accessed 14 Apr 2017
  18. The Economist (2016) Pentecostalism in Brazil: from modesty to ostentation. www.economist.com/…/21688878-how-waves-migrants-bring-waves-religious-chang. Accessed 21 Apr 2017
  19. Ryan D (1923) Los Angeles Record in Barfoot (2011), 395–396Google Scholar
  20. Santacroce A (2013) Interview by C. Barfoot. In author’s possession. TempeGoogle Scholar
  21. Stark R (1996) Why religious movements succeed or fail: a revised general model. J Contemp Relig 11:133–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Street N (2013) LGBT-inclusive Pentecostal churches growing in Brazil. PRI The World and GlobalPost. https://www.pri.org/stories/2013.../lgbt-inclusive-pentecostal-churches-growing-brazil. Accessed 16 Apr 2017
  23. Van Cleave N (1992) The vine and the branches. International church of the Foursquare Gospel. The Church, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Arizona State UniversityTempeUSA