World: Brazil’s evangelicals stand with President Bolsonaro

Brazil's Bolsonaro, down in the polls, set to officially launch candidacy

  Brazil's Bolsonaro, down in the polls, set to officially launch candidacy Brazil's Bolsonaro, down in the polls, set to officially launch candidacyBRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is set to officially become a candidate for re-election at a party convention in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, as he seeks to claw back the commanding lead established by his main rival, former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Brazil has the largest Catholic population in the world. But the number of Protestant evangelicals is growing fast. They make up roughly a third of the country today. And, they’re expected to become the majority in less than one generation.

Televangelist Silas Malafaia's evangelical church in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is pictured. © Michael Fox/The World

Televangelist Silas Malafaia's evangelical church in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is pictured.

Politically, Jair Bolsonaro is their candidate in the presidential election coming up in October. The president has promoted their policy priorities, and he’s hoping to benefit from them again as he runs for reelection later this year.

Evangelicals voted en masse for Bolsonaro, lifting him to power with his slogan, “Brazil above everyone, God above all.”

Bolsonaro again in the presidential election in Brazil on

 Bolsonaro again in the presidential election in Brazil on Rio de Janeiro, July 24th (Reuters) - Brazil's head of state Jair Bolsonaro will again compete in the presidential elections in Brazil in autumn. The 67-year-old was officially voted the candidate of his liberal party for the vote in early October on Sunday. According to surveys, however, the left challenger and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva are clearly ahead of incumbent Bolsonaro.

“Bolsonaro’s against abortion. He defends family values, so we see in him someone who is embracing our cause,” pastor Diego Valentin da Silva said.

Bolsonaro has allocated state funds for evangelical TV stations and appointed evangelical pastors into key positions in his government. He also opened his doors to top church leaders, marched with Christians in the capital Brasília, and late last year, he appointed André Mendonça as the country’s first evangelical Supreme Court minister.

Bolsonaro’s religious messaging is unprecedented for a Brazilian head of state. Previous presidents, including Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, developed solid relationships with church leaders. But, Bolsonaro has lifted evangelical language and policy priorities to the fore.

University of São Paulo political scientist Vinicius do Vale said that this is because Bolsonaro knows it’s how he can mobilize supporters and win people’s hearts, even during tough economic times in Brazil.

“He doesn’t want to discuss inflation,” do Vale said. “He wants to talk about homosexuality. He’s wants to discuss abortion. He wants to talk about God.”

Brazil towel sales emerge to mock mistrust of polls .
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — As keen supporters of Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro claim polls signaling he will lose his reelection bid can't be trusted, an unlikely proxy has emerged: towel sales. Cashing in on skepticism of pollsters ahead of October elections, some street vendors have begun using scoreboards to track sales of towels bearing the faces of far-right Bolsonaro and his rival, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of the leftist Workers’ Party. © Provided by Associated Press Brazil's former president who is running for reelection, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, center, speaks during a campaign rally in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, July 12, 2022.

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