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Faith in the Barrios: The Pentecostal Poor in Bogotá

Rebecca Pierce Bomann
ISBN: 978-1-55587-827-6
1999/162 pages/LC: 98-44958

"This slender volume is an important contribution to the growing literature on the impact of evangelical Protestantism in Latin America."—Jane M. Rausch, Journal of Third World Studies

"Moving and vivid; will give students [of Latin American politics] a real understanding of the implications of poverty."—Cynthia McClintock

"An intimate account of everyday life and religious experience in a Colombian shantytown. Gracefully written. An ideal book for an introductory course on Latin America."—Dennis Gilbert, Hamilton College

“Fills an important gap in the literature on evangelicalism in Latin America....a readable, ethnographically rich work.”—John Burdick


The Pentecostal Poor offers a rich and powerful perspective on evangelicalism in the barrios of Latin America, exploring conversion and subsequent commitments to faith in an unstable environment of poverty and violence.

Bomann’s study, based on extensive fieldwork, is unique in that it reveals the evangelical Protestant movement through the eyes of the believers themselves, as well as from the author’s combined religious and scholarly perspectives. Uncovering deep intimacies of devotion and struggle in the lives of residents of a marginalized neighborhood in Bogotá, Colombia, Bomann provides vivid description and careful analysis of a religious movement that is having a profound influence in Latin America.


Rebecca Pierce Bomann is a scholar in the fields of sociology and Latin American religion.


  • Introduction
  • The Research Context.
  • The Barrio: Nuevo Progresso.
  • The Mystery of the Movement.
  • "Arriving at the Feet of Jesus": The Path to Conversion.
  • "Learning to Walk in the Ways of the Lord": Commitment to the New Faith.
  • Staying "Firme en el Señor”: Faith Maintenance Through the Church.
  • "My God Will Never Abandon Me": Faith in Daily Life.
  • Postscript.