Religion: Offering The Hope of Heaven

Jimmy Swaggart takes his Pentecostal fervor to Latin America

"I'm not going to promise you better times," roared the fiery American preacher as he prowled the stage with Bible held aloft, "but it doesn't matter, because you're going to a better place anyway!" To many of his eager listeners in a San Salvador stadium, the distant hope of heaven may have been at least momentarily alluring, beset as their nation has been by a seven-year guerrilla war and a moribund economy. When the preacher later assured them that "terrible times are coming," the applause of approving believers reached a thunderous peak.

The crowd pleaser onstage was Jimmy Swaggart, 51, the...

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