Brazilian evangelist has big plans for U.S.

NEW YORK (RNS) Fourteen years after he started out in Brazil, Apostle Valdemiro Santiago sits at the helm of a booming Pentecostal network of 4,000 churches, including 10 in the U.S. Despite Santiago’s personal wealth, his movement’s relative poverty and simplicity may be its greatest asset.

Young snake handlers grasp the power of faith

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) While older serpent handlers were wary of outsiders, these younger believers welcome visitors and use Facebook to promote their often misunderstood — and illegal — version of Christianity. They want to show the beauty and power of their extreme form of spirituality. By Bob Smietana.