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Protestant religious movement that originated in the U.S. in the 19th–20th century. It is characterized by a belief that all Christians should seek a postconversion religious experience called baptism with the Holy Spirit. The experience corresponds to the descent of the Holy Spirit on the twelve Apostles (Pentecost) and is evidenced by speaking in tongues, prophesying, and healing. Pentecostalism grew out of the 19th-century Holiness movement and shares its emphasis on biblical literalism, conversion, and moral rigor. The charismatic movement in Roman Catholic and mainstream Protestant denominations represents the same spirit. Today there are many Pentecostalist denominations in the U.S. and around the world, including the Assemblies of God. Penetcostalism has been especially successful in the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Pentecostalism, visit Britannica.com.