Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface

Terence Chong

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pp. vii-viii

The idea for this volume on Pentecostal megachurches in Southeast Asia began to form in 2015 after I had completed several papers on megachurches in Singapore. There were several recurring themes in the Singapore cases which I found interesting. The congregations of Singapore megachurches were generally youthful and infused with energy and idealism. They had an optimistic worldview that stood out from the well-worn apathy typical of today’s youth. I also found a strong and mutually reinforcing link between the spiritual and material...

Acknowledgements

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p. ix

About the Contributors

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pp. x-xii

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1. Introduction

Terence Chong

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pp. 1-18

The global success of Pentecostalism has made it necessary to speak of different Pentecostalisms. From the United States to Latin America, East and Southeast Asia, Pentecostalism has been shaped by different politics and cultures. One might even say that Pentecostal pluralism has ensured not just its survival but its continued cross-cultural flourish. Indeed, Pentecostalism’s ability to adapt practices and theologies to local conditions has seen the faith emerge in a multitude of expressions while retaining enough common characteristics...

INDONESIA

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2. Pentecostal Megachurches in Jakarta: Class, Local, and Global Dynamics

Chang-Yau Hoon

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pp. 21-46

With 87 per cent of its 238 million of its citizens claiming to be adherents of Islam, Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world.1 Surprisingly, this country is also one of the Southeast Asian nations experiencing fast growth in Christianity. Between 1971 and 2005, Indonesian Censuses reported that Christians, including both Protestants and Catholics, consistently represented between 7 and 8 per cent of the population.2 Scholars have argued that this figure was an understatement because the Indonesian government...

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3. Counting Souls: Numbers and Mega-worship in the Global Christian Network of Indonesia

En-Chieh Chao

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pp. 47-68

Large numbers are important to Pentecostalism in particular because they are both the goal and the tool of proselytization. In sermons and media that advertise worship events, numbers serve as “objective indicators of progress” in the mission of the believers.2 Meanwhile, the large-scale worship and the construction of megachurches are an indispensable part of this growth project, be it in South Korea, the United States, or Indonesia.3 Yet, Indonesian megachurches have their own distinctive features.4 As I demonstrate below, Indonesia’s...

MALAYSIA

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4. Reaching the City of Kuala Lumpur and Beyond: Being a Pentecostal Megachurch in Malaysia

Jeaney Yip

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pp. 71-99

Said to have originated in the United States in the 1900s, Pentecostalism is one of the fastest growing Christian denominations internationally and has become the largest numerical force in world Christianity after the Roman Catholic Church.1 Pentecostalism has traditionally seen a downward mobilization of the Spirit resulting in large swathes of working or rural class individuals embracing the faith.2 Although these characteristics are now found globally, the amorphous nature of Pentecostalism defies typical characterizations because of...

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5. Pentecostalism in Klang Valley, Malaysia

Chong Eu Choong

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pp. 100-124

Klang Valley, comprising the federal capital Kuala Lumpur and the adjoining city of Petaling Jaya, is the most important urban centre in Malaysia. It is also in Klang Valley where one would find the highest concentration of churches in the country. This is because Christian missionaries during the British colonial period focused on spreading their faith in areas where immigrants from China and India lived and worked.1 As the number of converts grew, churches were also built in colonial Kuala Lumpur. However, the Christian population...

PHILIPPINES

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6. Jesus is Lord: The Indigenization of Megachurch Christianity in the Philippines

Jayeel Serrano Cornelio

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pp. 127-155

In 2013, the Jesus Is Lord (JIL) movement celebrated its 35th anniversary at the open-air grounds of the Luneta Grandstand in Manila with an estimated 20,000 in attendance. The event adopted the theme “Revolution of Righteousness”, which organizers have explained in two ways.1 The revolution was a spiritual transformation people underwent for salvation. This idea cannot be detached from JIL’s Evangelical ethos. But also, this idea has implications on the way JIL views Philippine society....

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7. Pentecostal Charismatic Megachurches in the Philippines

Joel A. Tejedo

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pp. 156-178

There are many misconceptions over Pentecostal megachurches in the Philippines. They are often perceived as advocates of the prosperity theology and thus motivated by financial gain while their charismatic leaders are viewed by the popular media as individuals with a messiah complex because of the strong leadership demonstrate over their congregations and prominent role they play in the society. This chapter explores the growth of Pentecostal megachurches in the Philippines and their innovative indigenization of the Christian faith...

SINGAPORE

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8. Grace, Megachurches, and the Christian Prince in Singapore

Daniel P.S. Goh

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pp. 181-206

Among the major religions in Singapore, Christianity has been the fastest growing faith in the last three decades. The percentage of the resident population aged 15 years and older — inclusive of citizens and permanent residents numbering around 3.12 million people — that professed to be Christians, increased from 10.1 per cent in 1980 to 18.3 per cent in 2010. The converts were overwhelmingly of Chinese ethnicity. Buddhism and Taoism, the main religious affiliations of the majority Chinese population in Singapore, have registered a decline...

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9. Speaking the Heart of Zion in the Language of Canaan: City Harvest and the Cultural Mandate in Singapore

Terence Chong

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pp. 207-234

Senior Pastor Lawrence Khong, head of Faith Community Baptist Church (FCBC), one of the biggest charismatic megachurches in Singapore, is a tad nervous. The 2014 Shanghai tour of his magic show VISION, part David Copperfield and part Cirque du Soleil complete with dancing girls and disappearing sports cars, is not selling as well as it should. Khong urges his congregation back home in Singapore, through a video clip on Facebook, to pray for the show’s success. Together with his daughter Priscilla, Khong also runs Gateway...

Index

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pp. 235-243