How has a Christian movement, founded at the turn of the twentieth century by the son of freed slaves, become the fastest-growing religion on Earth? Neo-Charismatic Pentecostalism has some 600 million followers worldwide, and by 2050 their numbers will grow to 1 billion: that's one in ten people. This is the religion of the Holy Spirit, with believers gaining direct experience of God and all that comes with it: success for the mind, body, spirit and wallet.
But Pentecostalism is also a cultural movement. It speaks to the most impoverished people in Africa and Latin America, and inspires anti-establishment leaders from Europe to Australia, South Korea to Brazil. It throws itself into culture wars and online activism, offering meaning and community to rootless Westerners adrift in a fragmenting world.
Beyond Belief is the first journalistic investigation into this revolution exploding across the globe. Visiting twelve countries and eight American states, Elle Hardy exposes a timeless tale of miracles, money and power, set in our volatile age of extremes. She exposes the Pentecostalist agenda: not just saving souls, but transforming societies. These modern prophets, quietly embedded in our institutions, have the cash and the influence to do it.
‘A fantastic read. Hardy gets right into the nucleus of the Pentecostal movement with empathy and a sharp journalistic eye. An incredibly important book.’ — Erica Buist, author of This Party’s Dead: Grief, Joy and Spilled Rum at the World’s Death Festivals
‘An arresting, page-turning narrative, worthy of the pageantry, vivacity and charm of Pentecostalism. Ambitious in its coverage and earnest in its exploration, Beyond Belief is a truly compelling account of the world’s foremost Christian renewal movement.’ — Ebenezer Obadare, author of Pentecostal Republic
‘Informative, engaging, and unsettling, Beyond Belief is an in-depth exploration of global Pentecostalism in lively, accessible prose.’ — Chrissy Stroop, journalist, commentator and senior researcher on the Postsecular Conflicts Project