The seeds of the extremism that led to the attack on Brazil’s capital on Sunday were too often nurtured by evangelical churches.
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Behind the story
CT’s coverage of the mob that stormed government offices in Brasília came from our Brazil-based Portuguese team, who last year developed a 10-part series detailing evangelical considerations around the presidential race between incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, who had been likened to a Donald Trump, and his opponent (and the election’s victor) Luiz Inácio da Silva, called “Lula.”
Mariana Albuquerque, our Portuguese project coordinator, contributed reporting to this week’s piece on the attack and its implications for the church in her country. “It is important for people to know that some evangelical leaders have always sought to benefit from political power, but in the Bolsonaro government evangelicals (from Pentecostals to Presbyterians) have found fertile soil and flourished,” she told us. “January 8 has roots in pulpits and has been driven by a thoroughly corrupted gospel teaching that affects churches across the country.”
As many have pointed out, the narrative rings familiar to American evangelicals taken aback by the violence we saw at our own Capitol on January 6, 2021. Mari added, “By now, many theologians, pastors, right-wing leaders, and nationally relevant Christian institutions have spoken out lamenting and repudiating the occurrence. However, many others still remain silent and there are still those who insist on supporting what happened. The Brazilian church has a lot of work to do.”
In other news
The SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission helped launch a new umbrella pro-life organization with an alliance of 100 groups.
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A church network called House of Prayer defrauded military families out of $22 million, according to a recent Justice Department motion. Its churches were raided by the FBI last year.
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