Provincialism as Asset and Predicament

The Free Apostolic Church of Pentecost in Greece


  • Evangelos Karagiannis Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna



globalism, provincialism, context-sensitivity, nationalism, secularism, adaptation


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 Biography

Evangelos Karagiannis, Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna

Evangelos Karagiannis PhD is a social and cultural anthropologist. He held positions at the University of Vienna, the University of Zurich, the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and the University of Osnabrück. He currently works at the Institute for Human Sciences (Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen) in Vienna. His research interests lie in the intersection of political anthropology and anthropology of religion, with a special focus on the tension between nation and religion.


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How to Cite

Karagiannis, E. (2021). Provincialism as Asset and Predicament: The Free Apostolic Church of Pentecost in Greece. PentecoStudies, 20(1), 9–35.