Christian Biblical Church
(Iglesia Cristiana Bíblica, ICB)
The origins of the Christian Biblical Church are in the Italian immigration to Argentina in the early 20th century. Missionaries from the Italian Christian Assembly (a Pentecostal church) in Chicago (USA) came to Buenos Aires in 1916 and founded Pentecostal communities among the Italian immigrants, which became known as Italian Pentecostal churches; out of their midst grew the Christian Biblical Church, which was officially established in 1970. The Christian Biblical Church is a Pentecostal church which accepts the divine authority of the scriptures, believes in the Holy Trinity and confesses Jesus Christ as Son of God and Saviour. It identifies itself with the moderate and Bible-centred line of Pentecostalism. The church practices believers' baptism by immersion in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Holy communion is celebrated twice a month. Historically the ICB has been marked by speaking in tongues (sign of the baptism by the Holy Spirit), and the practice of sanctification. It has a strong tradition of defending family values and traditional views of sexuality, the role of women, and the place of the family as the basic unit in society.
The ICB reaches out to a wide community of over 30,000 people. It understands its mission as evangelism, spiritual growth of its members and social outreach. The church has three centres for drug addicts, a social centre for sports people, soup kitchens for small children, a secondary school by correspondence and activities among elderly people. It has a school for Christian education which organizes seminars for church members, basic biblical teaching and study groups for those preparing to be a pastor; 40 percent of the latter are women.