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The Anthropology of Global Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism$
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Simon Coleman and Rosalind I. J. Hackett

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780814772591

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814772591.001.0001

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Politics of Prayer

Politics of Prayer

Christianity and the Decriminalization of Cocaine in Guatemala

(p.214) 11 Politics of Prayer
The Anthropology of Global Pentecostalism and Evangelicalism

Kevin Lewis O’Neill

NYU Press

This chapter analyzes formations of citizenship among Guatemalan Pentecostals, notably in relation to a particular cause—the decriminalization of drugs. It recounts how this cause was championed by Harold Caballeros, a former foreign minister and one of Guatemala's leading Pentecostal politicians. This was an extension of the prayer campaigns he had led against drug trafficking in Guatemala. In this connection, churches such as the Guatemala City megachurch El Shaddai provide a body of literature that instructs members on how to win back the capital as well as the country from the Devil. Through field research, this chapter illustrates how interceding in a spiritual war was primarily enacted as a private and personal activity, with prayer sheets kept at bedsides and workplaces and in individual Bibles, rather than used in public spaces.

Keywords:   Guatemala, citizenship, Pentecostal politics, decriminalization of drugs, drug trafficking, Harold Caballeros, El Shaddai, individual political action, citizenship participation

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