Group of evangelicals is articulated by “Outside, Bolsonaro” and

Evangelicals from Minas Gerais, mainly from Belo Horizonte, have joined, more and more, in the fight against religious fundamentalism and for the “Out, Bolsonaro”. The assessment is made by members of the Minas Gerais Evangelicals for the Rule of Law nucleus who articulate progressive evangelical people who assume a posture of defense of the secular State, democracy, human rights and the promotion of life, based on the biblical interpretation.

More and more, we see churches detaching themselves from the pocketbook

For Raquel Mourão, who is an economist and theology student, the current scenario is favorable for dialogue with evangelicals who voted for Bolsonaro in 2018, given the scandals disclosed by the Covid-19 Parliamentary Inquiry Commission (CPI) and the increase in social inequalities, hunger and unemployment. “As a Christian, I cannot support a government that is against life,” says Raquel, who is also a member of the Evangelicals Front.

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“What people have seen are people looking for us to be more open to dialogue, because before they didn’t even listen to us. But now, with so much of Bolsonaro exposed in the news, covid’s own CPI, it looks like the eye scales are falling off. And it is becoming evident that Bolsonaro and his ministers do not have a project, we are seeing hunger increase, unemployment. People’s situation is getting worse, and when it affects the pocket, the head thinks”.

31% of Brazilians are evangelicals

Pastor Fillipe Gibran reminds us that, in 2018, the number of evangelicals who voted for Bolsonaro decreased by 11 percentage points from the first to the second round.. This drop, according to the member of the group Christians Against Fascism, was due to the intense work developed by churches and evangelicals in the dialogue with the Christian population. This also shows that many evangelicals voted for Bolsonaro under the influence of pastors and leaders, especially reactionary churches.

Although evangelicals are the electoral base of the federal government, not all are conservatives or fundamentalists / Thiago dos Anjos

If you ask an evangelical [que votou em Bolsonaro] if he is in favor of torture, he might say no. That is, he has no idea what project he has embraced. And this has become a reality, because repentant evangelicals have become a sizable number. And more and more, we see churches detaching themselves from the pocketbook and that, at this moment, they no longer support the president”, he assesses.

Two recent polls, released last month, point to record rejection of Bolsonaro. In PoderData’s survey, the retired captain appears with 58% rejection, the highest rate recorded since the beginning of the study, in April 2020. In another survey, conducted by the Ipespe Institute, the level is 55% rejection, being the highest percentage analyzed since January 2019.

Evangelicals are diverse

Across the country, according to a Datafolha survey, released last year, 31% of Brazilians are evangelicals. Of this total, 58% are women, 59% declare themselves black or brown and 69% earn up to 3 minimum wages. The growth of the evangelical population is a reality, as it rose from 15.4% in 2000 to 22.2% in 2010, according to the Census, the last one carried out in the country.

37 religious entities launched a manifesto against the “policy of death”

Although evangelicals are the electoral base of the federal government, not all are conservatives or fundamentalists. On the contrary, as Rachel argues, evangelicals are plural, the Protestant Reformation bequeathed two principles, one which is free examination of the scriptures of the Bible and the other which is free examination of conscience. “This results in different biblical interpretations, different attitudes about different aspects of life, including politics”, he points out.

For Fillipe, pastors and religious leaders who stand out in defense of President Bolsonaro – such as Silas Malafaia, pastor of the Assembly of God Vitória em Cristo, and Edir Macedo, bishop of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God – have a practice contrary to the gospel and are “concerned about a power project”. “This fundamentalist reactionary movement, despite bearing the name, should not be seen as evangelical. Because Jesus’ proposal is precisely against the weapon, hatred, persecution and the military government”, he points out.

Articulation in Belo Horizonte

Across Brazil, since 2016, progressive evangelical groups have acted in defense of democracy, human rights and, more recently, have joined popular movements, parties and unions in the Fora Bolsonaro demonstrations.

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Among the groups that are part of the Evangelical Coalition in the capital, there are Evangelicals for Gender Equality, Rede Fale, Evangelical Center of the PT, O Reino em Pessoa, the Evangelical Black Movement, Evangelicals, Christians against Fascism and the Evangelicals Front for Rule of Law, among others.

In July of this year, 37 religious entities in the country launched a manifesto against the “policy of death” of President Jair Bolsonaro. To learn more about the work of the Evangelicals for the Rule of Law, go to @frentedeevangelicosmg, on Instagram.

Source: BoF Minas Gerais

Edition: Elis Almeida

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