Brazil offers a major example of the explosive growth of evangelical and Pentecostal churches taking place in the Southern Hemisphere. Reportedly 40 new churches open every week in Rio de Janeiro (and for 50 reales—roughly $23—you can register your new church with the government). Estimates of the number of Pentecostals worldwide vary between 115 million and 400 million. At current growth rates, in 50 years there will be 1 billion Pentecostals.
That evangelical energy was much on the minds of leaders of the World Council of Churches when they met in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in February. So I was eager for the chance to meet one of Brazil’s prominent evangelical pastors, Ary Velloso.