Item Details

Provincialism as Asset and Predicament: The Free Apostolic Church of Pentecost in Greece

Issue: Vol 20 No. 1 (2021)

Journal: PentecoStudies: An Interdisciplinary Journal for Research on the Pentecostal and Charismatic Movements

Subject Areas: Religious Studies

DOI: 10.1558/pent.19005


The present article problematizes the dominant image of Pentecostalism as a par excellence global, context-sensitive and anti-nationalist form of Christianity by analysing the development over the last fifty years of the leading Pentecostal church in Greece, where nationalism has strong roots and is closely linked to Orthodox Christianity. It can be established that the church’s adaptation to dominant religious expectations in Greece did ensure its hegemonic position among Greek Pentecostals but it also involved its disconnection from global Pentecostalism. Furthermore, the very success of the church over the first three decades after its establishment stimulated a structural rigidity, which in turn proved to be fatal for its capacity to adapt to an ever-changing social context in Greece. Being neither globalist nor adaptive, the largest Greek Pentecostal church has remained stagnating.

Author: Evangelos Karagiannis

View Original Web Page

References :

Alexander, P. 2005. “Historical and Contemporary Pentecostal Critiques of Nationalism”. In That Which We Have Received We Now Pass On: Spirit, Word and Tradition in Pentecostalism – Papers presented at the 34th Annual Meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, Regent University 2002, 1–18. Virginia Beach: Society for Pentecostal Studies.

Austin-Broos, D. 1992. “Redefining the Moral Order: Interpretations of Christianity in Post-emancipation Jamaica”. In F. McGlynn and S. Drescher (eds), The meaning of freedom: economics, politics and culture after slavery, 221–45. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.

Austin-Broos, D. 1996. “Politics and the Redeemer: State and Religion as Ways of Being in Jamaica”. New West Indian Guide 70(1–2): 59–90.

Austin-Broos, D. 1997. Jamaica Genesis: Religion and the Politics of Moral Order. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Austin-Broos, D. 2001. “Jamaican Pentecostalism”. In A. Corten and R. Marshall-Fratani (eds), Between Babel and Pentecost: Transnational Pentecostalism in Africa and Latin America, 142–62. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Bastian, J.-P. 1993. “The Metamorphosis of Latin American Protestant Groups: A Sociohistorical Perspective”. Latin American Research Review 28: 33–61.

Bastian, J.-P. 2001. “Pentecostalism: Market Logic and Religious Transnationalisation in Costa-Rica”. In A. Corten and R. Marshall-Fratani (eds), Between Babel and Pentecost: Transnational Pentecostalism in Africa and Latin America, 163–80. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Bergunder, M. 2003. “Mission und Pfingstbewegung”. In C. Dahling-Sander, A. Schultze, D. Werner and H. Wrogemann (eds), Leitfaden Ökumenische Missionstheologie, 200–219. Frankfurt am Main: Verlag Otto Lembeck.

Chalkias, C. 2000. Pagkosmia Pentēkostē Bd. 2: Hē Pentēkostē se olon ton kosmo [World Pentecostalism Vol. 2: The Pentecost in the World]. Athens: [author].

Chatzieleftheriou, I. 2010. “The Development of Pentecostal Churches in Greece”. MTh in Practical Theology Dissertation, Mattersey Hall in association with Bangor University, Mattersey, UK.

Coleman S. 1998. “Charismatic Christianity and the Dilemmas of Globalization”. Religion 28: 245–56.

Coleman, S. 2000. The Globalization of Charismatic Christianity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Coleman, S. 2002. “The Faith Movement: A Global Religious Culture?”. Culture and Religion 3: 3–19.

Coleman, S. 2006. “Studying ‘Global’ Pentecostalism”. PentecoStudies 5: 1–17.

Di Giacomo, M. 2006. “Pentecostalism, Nationalism and Quebec Culture”. Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies 28: 33–58.

Droogers, A. 2001. “Globalization and Pentecostal Success”. In A. Corten and R. Marshall-Fratani (eds), Between Babel and Pentecost: Transnational Pentecostalism in Africa and Latin America. 41–61. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

EAEP. 1992. Hē Pentēkostē stēn Ellada: Istorikē anaskopēsē [The Pentecostal Movement in Greece: Historical Review]. Athens: Christianismos

EAEP. 2006. Eleuthera Apostolikē Ekklēsia Pentēkostēs: Hē istoria tēs. Ti pisteuei. Pōs politeuetai [Free Apostolic Church of Pentecost: History, Beliefs, Ways of Conduct]. Athens: Oros.

Eglund, H. 1996. “Witchcraft, Modernity and the Person: The Morality of Accumulation in Central Malawi”. Critical Anthropology 16: 257–79.

Eglund, H. 2001. “The Quest for Missionaries: Transnationalism and Township Pentecostalism in Malawi”. In A. Corten and R. Marshall-Fratani (eds), Between Babel and Pentecost: Transnational Pentecostalism in Africa and Latin America, 235–55. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Eglund, H. 2003. “Christian Independency and Global Membership: Pentecostal Extraversion in Malawi”. Journal of Religion in Africa 34: 82–109.

Ellis, S. and ter Haar, G. 1998. “Religion and Politics in Sub-Saharan Africa”. Journal of Modern African Studies 36: 175–201.

Fengos, L. 1992a. “Na proseuhomaste gia to ethnos mas [Let Us Pray for Our Nation]”. Christianismos 99: 2.

Fengos, L. 1992b. “Epsachna na vrō to Theo [I Searched for God]”. Christianismos 100: 2.

Fengos, L. 1992c. “Hoi ekklēsies tēs Pentēkostēs se ola ta ethnē [The Pentecostal Churches in All Nations]”. Christianismos 100: 4.

Fengos, L. 1992d. “Grammata kai apories anagnōstōn [Notes and Queries]”. Christianismos 101: 7.

Fengos, L. 1996. “Eirēnē hymin [Peace Be upon You]”. Christianismos 148: 1, 3.

Fokas E. and Karagiannis, E. 2015. “Greek Identity and Europe: Entanglements and Tensions”. In W. Spohn, M. König and W. Knöbl (eds), Religion and National Identities in an Enlarged Europe, 68–95. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Horn, K. 2006. “‘Also to the Greeks’: An Ancient Nation at a Spiritual Crossroads”. Today’s Pentecostal Evangel (TPE), 7 May. Retrieved from

Karagiannis, E. 2009. “Secularism in Context: The Relations between the Greek State and the Church of Greece in Crisis”. European Journal of Sociology 50: 133–67.

Karagiannis, E. and Glick Schiller, N. 2006. “Contesting Claims to the Land: Pentecostalism as a Challenge to Migration Theory and Policy”. Sociologus: Journal for Empirical Social Anthropology 56: 137–71.

Lindermayer, O. 1995. “‘The Beast of the Revelation’: American Fundamentalist Christianity and the European Union”. Etnofoor 8: 27–46.

Lindermayer, O. 1998. “Phontamentalismos kai Pneumatolēpsia: Therapeia kai methexē sto plaisio mias pentēkostianēs koinotētas stēn Hellada [Fundamentalism and Spirit Possession. Healing and Communitas in a Pentecostal Church in Greece]”. Ethnologia, 5(1996–1997): 115–79.

Lindermayer, O. 2001. “Europe as Anti-Christ: North American Pre-Millenarianism”. In S. Hunt (ed.), Christian Millenarianism: from Early Church to Waco, 39–49. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Lindermayer, O. 2009. “Hē pentēkostianē ekklēsia ōs thrēskeutiko kinēma stēn Ellada sēmera [The Pentecostal Church as a Religious Movement in Greece Today]”. PhD thesis, University of Crete.

Lindsey, H. 1984. There’s a New World Coming. Eugene, OR: Harvest House.

Marshall-Fratani, R. 1998. “Mediating the Global and Local in Nigerian Pentecostalism”. Journal of Religion in Africa 28: 278–315.

Martin, D. 2002. Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

Maxwell, D. 1998. “Delivered from the Spirit of Poverty? Pentecostalism, Prosperity and Modernity in Zimbabwe”. Journal of Religion in Africa 28: 350–73.

Maxwell, D. 2006. African Gifts of the Spirit: Pentecostalism and the Rise of a Zimbabwean Transnational Religious Movement. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press.

Mayargue, C. 2001. “The Expansion of Pentecostalism in Benin: Individual Rationales and Transnational Dynamics”. In A. Corten and R. Marshall-Fratani (eds), Between Babel and Pentecost: Transnational Pentecostalism in Africa and Latin America, 274–92. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Meyer, B. 1992. “‘If You Are a Devil, You Are a Witch and, If You Are a Witch You Are a Devil’: The Integration of Pagan Ideas into the Conceptual Universe of Ewe Christians in Southeastern Ghana”. Journal of Religion in Africa 22: 98–131.

Meyer, B. 1998a. “‘Make a Complete Break with the Past’: Memory and Post-colonial Modernity in Ghanaian Pentecostalist Discourse”. Journal of Religion in Africa 28: 316–49.

Meyer, B. 1998b. “Commodities and the Power of Prayer: Pentecostalist Attitudes towards Consumption in Contemporary Ghana”. Development and Change 29: 751–76.

Meyer, B. 1999. Translating the Devil: Religion and Modernity among the Ewe in Ghana. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press.

Meyer, B. 2010. “Pentecostalism and Globalization”. In A. Anderson, M. Bergunder, A. Droogers and C. van der Laan (eds), Studying Global Pentecostalism: Theories and Methods, 113–30. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press.

Nikolakopoulos, N. 1992. Ti leei hē Hagia Graphē gia tē Makedonia [What Does the Holy Scripture Say about Macedonia?]. Christianismos 99: 1, 3.

Robbins, J. 2004. “The Globalization of Pentecostal and Charismatic Christianity”. Annual Review of Anthropology 33: 117–43.

Shuman, J. 1996. “Pentecost and the End of Patriotism: A Call for the Restoration of Pacifism among Pentecostal Christians”. Journal of Pentecostal Theology 9: 70–96.

van Dijk, R. 1992. “Young Puritan Preachers in Post-Independence Malawi.” Africa 62: 159–81.

van Dijk, R. 1997. “From Camp to Encompassment: Discourses of Transsubjectivity in the Ghanaian Pentecostal Diaspora”. Journal of Religion in Africa 27: 135–59.

van Dijk, R. 1998. “Pentecostalism, Cultural Memory and the State: Contested Representations of Time in Pentecostal Malawi. In R. Werbner (ed), Memory and the Postcolony: African Anthropology and the Critique of Power, 155–81. London: Zed Books.

van Dijk, R. 2004. “Negotiating Marriage: Questions of Morality and Legitimacy in the Ghanaian Pentecostal Diaspora”. Journal of Religion in Africa 34: 438–67.