Rio de Janeiro. The rapprochement between President Jair Bolsonaro and the evangelical churches has strengthened throughout his tenure. Under the motto “Brazil above all and God above all”, the far-right has defended conservative positions such as the ban on abortion and even appointed the first evangelical judge to the Supreme Court.
This is why evangelicals support Bolsonaro’s vice-presidential candidates with the slogan “Only Jesus can save Brazil from corruption and Lula.”
In Congress, evangelicals form a strong group with 112 of the 513 representatives, representing 30 percent of Brazil’s population, according to estimates.
In a secular country like Brazil, this current of Protestant Christianity is making its way into the upper echelons of power.
And Bolsonaro’s base is now on the streets to promote a coalition ahead of October’s election, where he will seek re-election against the beloved former leftist president Lula da Silva.
“Religion should be mixed with politics. This is a representation of the society we are a part of and therefore we need evangelical policies,” said Rafael Moreira Macedo, a conservative militant who works for the election propaganda, affirming that governors and deputies are also elected in front of the election. God’s Victory in Christ Assembly from Penha.
Most make clear their support for Bolsonaro, repeating the same points of his speech, especially the left’s criticism of Lula’s corruption scandals.
Moreira Macedo, 37, says the former president “defends dictators… Evangelicals believe more in freedom, but they (the left) are more different from socialism and communism.”
“I don’t know anyone who would vote for Lula. “Bolsonaro is against everything that hurts teenagers and adults,” said Alessandra Abreu, a 22-year-old student who has been an evangelist since her mother-in-law started going to church three years ago.
To reach this conclusion, Bolsonaro’s friend and mentor, Pastor Silas Malafaia, makes sure to listen intently to the sermons during the liturgy.
According to a September 1 poll by the Datafolha Institute, Bolsonaro has 48 percent of the vote among evangelical voters, compared to Lula’s 32 percent. In contrast, among the general population, 32 to 45 percent were reversed.
“Of course I will vote for Bolsonaro,” said Lucio, 33, a married mother. Because a family made up of a man and a woman is more than anything else. “If all evangelicals are open-minded, they will vote on the 22nd,” he said, referring to the number that the far-right must enter in an electronic ballot box to vote.
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According to Datafolha, 56 percent of Brazilian voters believe that politics and religion should go hand in hand. At the same time, 60 percent consider it more important for a candidate to defend family values than to present a good economic program, which shows how the agenda of conservative values extends beyond churches.
Moreira Macedo explained that evangelists have the responsibility to preach in their communities. “You meet a lot of people. I play Christ’s disciple by infecting others in a positive way at every opportunity. I never count them out, but I convince a lot of people—”