April 25, 2007

Changing Faiths: Latinos and the Transformation of American Religion

Glossary

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Baptism of the Holy Spirit: A distinctive experience among pentecostals and charismatics in which the believer receives spiritual gifts and powers, such as speaking in tongues, healing and prophecy.

Bilingual: Hispanics who read and speak both English and Spanish, as determined by a series of questions that explore language ability and use.

Charismatics: Those Christians who practice the gifts of the Holy Spirit but who are not members of historical pentecostal denominations. Most belong to Catholic or Protestant denominations, although they engage in spiritual practices, such as speaking in tongues, that are not common in these churches.

Country of origin: For all Latinos, both immigrant and native born, the country where they locate their family ancestry.

Divine healing: The miraculous curing of physical and other illnesses through the direct intervention of the Holy Spirit.

Eligible voters: Respondents who responded positively when asked if they were U.S. citizens. All respondents were at least 18 years old.

English dominant: Hispanics who read and speak in English most of the time and have a limited ability to read or speak in Spanish.

Ethnic church: A house of worship that has some Hispanic faith leaders, where services are available in Spanish and where most of the people in a typical service attended by respondents are Hispanic.

Evangelical Protestants: Those who identify themselves as Protestants and say they consider themselves to be born again or evangelical Christians.

First generation: Born either outside the U.S. or in Puerto Rico. (Although people born in Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens by birthright, for the purposes of this study they are categorized as first generation because they have an experience with migration and share many of the linguistic and cultural attributes of immigrants.)

Foreign born: Born either outside the U.S. or in Puerto Rico. (Although people born in Puerto Rico are U.S. citizens by birthright, for the purposes of this study they are categorized as foreign born because they have an experience with migration and share many of the linguistic and cultural attributes of immigrants.)

Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Listed in 1 Corinthians 12:4-14, these gifts include speaking in tongues, healing, prophesying and the performing of miracles.

Mainline Protestants: Those who identify themselves as Protestants but who do not say they are born again or evangelical.

Native born: Hispanics who were born in the 50 states or the District of Columbia. Other Christians: Those who identify themselves as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons or Orthodox Christians.

Other Faiths: Those who identify themselves as members of Jewish, Muslim or other non-Christian faiths.

Pentecostals: Protestants who belong to pentecostal denominations, such as the Assembly of Christian Churches, Assemblies of God or the Pentecostal Church of God. Pentecostals are part of the Christian renewalist movement.

Prophesying: A spontaneous utterance spoken in worship settings and believed to be inspired by the Holy Spirit; not necessarily a prediction of future events as the term is commonly understood. One of the spiritual gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12.

Prosperity Gospel: A teaching that has emerged in recent decades in some Christian circles that holds that religious belief will bring good health and material prosperity to the believer.

Rapture: The belief that the faithful will be rescued and taken to heaven before Jesus returns in judgment and the world comes to an end.

Registered voters: Refers to eligible voters who said they were absolutely certain they were registered to vote.

Renewalist Christianity or Renewalists: An umbrella term used to refer to pentecostals and charismatics. These spirit-filled movements place great emphasis on God’s ongoing, day-to-day intervention in human affairs through the person of the Holy Spirit. Renewalists believe that the power of the Holy Spirit is manifested through such supernatural phenomena as speaking in tongues, miraculous healings and prophetic utterances and revelations.

Roman Catholics: Those who identify themselves as Roman Catholic. Second generation: Born in the U.S. of at least one foreign-born parent.

Seculars: Those who say they have no specific religious affiliation or say that they are agnostic or atheist.

Spanish dominant: Hispanics who read and speak in Spanish most of the time and have a limited ability to read or speak in English.

Speaking in tongues: Ecstatic speech or prayer using an unintelligible language that is considered a gift of the Holy Spirit.

Third generation: Born in the U.S. of native-born parents.