“Los Aleluyas” Print
Written by Sherry   
Sunday, 14 January 2007 10:22
Alternately intriguing and distressing article in today's New York Times on the rise of Hispanic Pentecostalism. The article states: One in ten New Yorkers is now a Pentecostal, one in three New York Pentecostals are Hispanic. NYC Pentecostalism has grown 45% in the last decade.

The accompanying picture is of a former Catholic who was impressed by "the unity and passion" that she witnessed at a relative's wake. " . . .she said, she practiced the sort of once-a-week Catholicism that was more habit than conviction. 'You can sit next to me, and when the service is over you don’t even know my name,” she said. “You don’t ask, ‘How are you?’ It’s foom, and you’re out.'"

She joined a tiny Pentecostal storefront. The pastor and lay leaders would have understood because they are all lapsed Catholics too.

"Here, in cramped storefronts like Ark of Salvation, people whose lives are as marginal as their neighborhoods discover a joyful intimacy often lacking in big churches. They find help — with the rent, child care or finding a job. As immigrants, they find their own language and music, as well as the acceptance and recognition that often elude them on the outside.

They find the discipline and drive to make a hard life livable.

To spend a year with this congregation is to see a teenage single mother and party girl discover the strength to go to college, marry in the church and land a job. It is to see a former political radical and brawler pray over alcoholics in the park."

Be sure and take a look at the multi-media that accompanies the article on the left, including an interesting map showing the distribution of Pentecostals from state to state.