Latin-American Charismatic Christians in Stockholm (Sweden)

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 12:30
Oral Presentation
Emir MAHIEDDIN, Religion & Society Research Centre, Sweden
The Latin-American diaspora has been present in Sweden for almost 50 years now, starting with the arrival of thousands of Chilian refugees after the fall of Allende in 1973, and it is constantly renewed by new flows of immigrants. The stereotype goes this group would only consist in atheist leftists, and there are just a few studies focusing on their religiosity, usually limited to the Chileans (50% of the Latin-Americans in Sweden). However, in suburban Stockholm, this diaspora is living a vivid time of revival, counting more than 4000 "evangélicos" gathering in successful Pentecostal and charismatic migrant-churches that remain invisible in media in spite of their success. A new generation of Latin-american evangelicals has emerged, determined to radically change not only their city, Stockholm, but the global spiritual landscape at large.

This paper will present ethnographic data gathered in an on-going study of these Latin-american charismatic Christians in the urban landscape of Stockholm. It will focus on the ethical and spiritual life they develop in these congregations, as well as on the social work the latter implement in order to answer their specific needs.

This groups are interesting for they have to build their subjectivities at the cross-road of several minority conditions: they are evangelicals in a Latin-american diaspora mainly characterized by Catholicism and atheism; they are believers in one of the most secular countries in the world; they are immigrants from the South in one the most developed countries in the North. The author will try here to analyze the kind of subjectivities that results from this entanglement.