Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Religion and Politics Interpenetrate in Brasil

conservatism Brazil politics Evangelicalism Pentecostalism fascism heresy military prosperity gospel propaganda media messianism Christian Zionism

The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus or IURD) is a complex that involves a media empire not only aimed at propagating its religious and moral precepts and proselytizing, but also expressing the extraordinary growth of the Evangelicals in Brazil, especially that of neo-Pentecostalism, which has Prosperity and Health Theology at its heart. The neo-Pentecostal Evangelicals are a clear threat both to traditional and to popular Catholicism.

The IURD is a church-enterprise, whose power has spread especially in the Brazilian peripheries and has reached the public sphere and institutionalized politics, through the election of pastors and adherents who represent it in the National Congress and in Brazilian municipalities and states. Thanks to its high number of adherents and its media empire, alongside the Assemblies of God, the oldest Pentecostal Brazilian church, it works as a space to recruit voters and to enlarge the image of candidates who follow its line, to whom they offer in return the maintenance and amplification of power.

The neo-Pentecostal churches, led by the IURD, have become a kind of electoral breeding ground, on the one hand, and centers to broadcast electoral propaganda on the other, for those who represent it and those who will, if elected, offer it advantages and power.

The Evangelical Parliamentary Front (popularly called the ‘Evangelical Bench’), founded in 2003, clearly reflects the insertion of various kinds of Evangelicals into institutionalized politics. Most of the Evangelical parliamentarians in the Evangelical group are members of the Assemblies of God or the IURD.  (more...)


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