Brazil’s Evangelicals on the march | DW Documentary

Brazil’s Evangelicals on the march | DW Documentary

Brazil’s Evangelicals on the march | DW Documentary

Evangelical churches are growing fast in Brazil, often filling a void left by the Catholic church and the state.

In Brazil the evangelicals are known for looking after poor and marginalized communities. But even in the wealthier districts of the megacity Rio de Janeiro the Bible-thumping Pentecostals are on the march, gaining more followers by the day. In recent years they’ve become an important factor in Brazil’s politics, looking to impose their conservative values on society as a whole. Meanwhile, church leaders have been accused of profiteering, since faithful followers are told to donate ten percent of their income to the church. A report by Bianca Kopsch

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Video Transcript

Singing together praying together getting baptized together the Evangelical churches in Brazil are growing fast in places that are largely overlooked by state institutions and the Catholic Church the Evangelical churches look after Poor and marginalized communities but the evangelicals are also gaining more followers in the wealthier districts of the mega City Rio

De Janeiro exerting political influence and looking to assert their conservative values Every sing one-year-old Elena lives with her grandparents in a modest home in a suburb of Rio De Janeiro when her father was suddenly sent to prison her mother camaa several months pregnant at the the time had to move back in with her parents for cam Ramos her family and the

Evangelical Pentecostal Church were a lifesaver those were very difficult months I was pregnant and I had no contact with Him at that my family was my main support and then I looked for a church I needed something to keep me on my feet I was pregnant so I had to be strong for her camaa is unemployed her mother supports the entire family working as a cleaner her grandmother also has a small

Pension shortly after the baby was born they lost almost all their belongings in a flood Camila’s desperation grew as did her wish to be baptized her church has a strong social media presence typical of the Pentecostal movement we’re always connected online when I wake up I check the program to

See what’s new and if there are any sermons there are also WhatsApp groups like The Baptism group or the group for young people and if I don’t make it to the church I watch the service online cam regularly visits her daughter’s father in prison he’s serving a 10-year sentence for alleged

Involvement in a robbery while in prison he became Evangelical and was baptized and has been encouraging camaa to follow his lead I also pray for him that he stays strong and continues to walk with God because that’s his support now I’m more relaxed because I know that everything is God’s plan and

Soon it will all be in the past the big day has arrived in Sao Gonzalo the center of Revival is having a mass baptism fellow church members are already waiting outside for camaa and her family Camila used to be Catholic but this is the first church where she’s

Felt truly welcome she decides to get the baptism t-shirt as a momento with the Catholics I was just one of many it’s different here they take care of me and I feel the presence of God I feel more cared for in this Church a church service that’s more like a rock concert the crowd is singing All Of Heaven loves you the Evangelical gospel is drawing a huge audience some 50 million Brazilians are already part of the Pentecostal Movement new Pentecostal churches keep popping up mostly on the outskirts of large cities and in the many poor neighborhoods Pastor GMA Khalifa only recently founded his modest Church in a converted shop the donations from his 50 odd members go towards the rent his sons are the members of the

Band and his wife is at the Mic like in many Pentecostal churches there’s a service here almost every day that’s also part of their recipe for Success this accessibility is very practical for the people here they can go to church when they’re sad depressed or when they’re having personal or professional problems in Rio de Janeiro’s akari flla Pastor garm is well known his father used to be a drug lord who called the

Shots here G became a mechanic after work he devotes his free time to the community his mission today collecting food for the poorest of the poor the people who donate are mostly Ordinary People and know from their own experience what it means to be poor they don’t want to see others

Suffer so they chip in with what little they have there’s also money being made from religious Faith some church leaders have built up large business Empires Pastor Silas malafaya runs his own Publishing House in Rio he supplies the entire country with books he wrote himself special Bible editions and Evangelical instructional materials he

Also produces his own TV show and a podcast runs a YouTube channel and is active on social media this media Juggernaut has helped his church grow 10 old since 2010 today he has more than 300,000 paying members in the Pentecostal church it’s tradition for members to donate 10% of their income to

The church but the pastor says he’s not in it for profit but for Faith that’s the dumbest thing I’ve heard people give because they believe the Bible Compares money to a god do you think people just give their money like that oh I’m just going to give it away

Have they been hypnotized hypnotized for what 20 30 years they’re not idiots who are just being manipulated by the head of the church the other end of the akari favella is overflowing with drugs and addicts some try to earn a little money by collecting trash in places where the state is

Nowhere to be found the evangelicals are a visible presence doing missionary work preaching Miracles and Divine Healing and offer bring spiritual support oh Lord give her hope for a new life in the name of Jesus Amen in a place where the most basic necessities are hard to come by no one

Can pass up a free meal it’s liberating work it brings life to people who are as good as dead leaving our homes and our jobs to come out here and do work like this it’s Priceless Brazil is still the world’s most populous Catholic country but meanwhile almost a third of the

Population is evangelical and it’s projected they could become the majority by 2030 most are joining the conservative and even ultraconservative Pentecostal movement sociology Professor Christina vital is studying their influence on society and politics it grew significantly under the former right-wing populist president shyir bolsonaro who made a point of embracing the Evangelical

Worldview this gave the evangelicals the feeling that they were in power for the first time several of the religious leaders wanted to show that they had influence over his actions and the president played this game because he felt protected by this religious Network and the religious leaders played this

Game to strengthen their own institutions Pastor CES malafaya is one of the country’s most influential Evangelical leaders and a staunch supporter of shyir bonaro for him Communists homosexuals and abortion are taboo but opponents say his fight for a more conservative Brazil is Fanning the Flames of social intolerance I have a prophetic

Voice the prophetic voice questions the prophetic voice points to the dangers coming our way and gives a warning we live in a time where if you’re not in favor of what is politically correct for legalization of drugs gay marriage freedom to do whatever then there’s something wrong with

You so why are we radical because we don’t accept these things according to the sociologist the threat to democracy of the bolsonaro years has faded but Brazil isn’t out of the woods yet there’s a major Rift in Brazilian society and politics today between the Defenders of religious values on the one

Hand and Universal values on the other the religious groups have gained a public presence including within the mainstream of politics and arts and there’s a growing influence of Pentecostal culture on everyday life the growth of the Evangelical Church is having a conservative impact we return to Camila’s baptism Service before they head to the baptismal font members make electronic donations according to Prosperity theology God will multiply any offering the Pentecostal church is counting on hope to boost their membership and their income the sermon calls upon the battle between good and evil a central theme for the

Church when you give your life to Jesus the devil loses his power you bury your old self and a new creature is born the daily struggle doesn’t end with baptism you’ll still face new trials but you become more responsible and know better what you want like everyone here camaa Longs for

A new beginning she’s being baptized with more than 200 other Believers I’m so happy and emotional a new person Lighter Camila’s new sense of hope is finding an echo among other believers too conservative evangelicals are growing in numbers and influence in Brazil and elsewhere in the World

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Video “Brazil’s Evangelicals on the march | DW Documentary” was uploaded on 03/11/2024 by DW Documentary Youtube channel.