Beyond Belief

How Pentecostal Christianity Is Taking Over the World

November 2021 9781787385535 280pp


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.


Elle Hardy is a journalist and foreign correspondent who has reported from the United States, the former USSR and North Korea, among a long list of places. Her work has appeared in GQ, Lonely Planet, Foreign Policy and Business Insider, and on ABC Australia.

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