Stop suffering! economic downturns and pentecostal upsurge
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This paper estimates the effects of economic downturns on the expansion of Pentecostal Evangelicalism in Brazil. We find that regions more exposed to economic distress experienced a persistent rise both in Pentecostal affiliation and in the vote share of candidates connected to Pentecostal churches in national legislative elections. Once elected, these politicians carried out an agenda with greater emphasis on issues that are sensitive to fundamental religious principles. These results uncover a direct link between economic distress and a sustained entrenchment of more fundamentalist religious groups in a contemporary democracy.