Rio’s Pentecostal mayor takes on the capital of Carnival

Dec 15, 2017

By Anthony Faiola and Anna Jean Kaiser

 The mayor of this sultry metropolis slashed funding for Carnival, the city’s gay pride parade and a procession honoring an Afro-Brazilian goddess. Mayor Marcelo Crivella, a Pentecostal Christian, calls the moves fiscal prudence. But Rio’s liberals see a thinly veiled crusade to impose God’s law from city hall.

As political polarization intensifies in the United States, Latin America’s largest nation is locked in its own escalating culture wars, with the rise of an increasingly powerful religious right.

Evangelical politicians such as Crivella — a 60-year-old bishop and former gospel singer who once claimed that homosexuality could result from botched abortions — are finding enormous success in Brazil. Their rise comes as conservative Protestant faiths make massive inroads in this predominantly Catholic country and as corruption scandals taint traditional political parties, causing more Brazilians to vote outside the box. 

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One comment on “Rio’s Pentecostal mayor takes on the capital of Carnival”

  • From the article above:

    Evangelical politicians such as Crivella — a 60-year-old bishop and former gospel singer who once claimed that homosexuality could result from botched abortions — are finding enormous success in Brazil. Their rise comes as conservative Protestant faiths make massive inroads in this predominantly Catholic country and as corruption scandals taint traditional political parties, causing more Brazilians to vote outside the box.

    Even though the Catholic Church has imposed no end of suffering and misery on the people of South America, it does occur to me that by taking up with the evangelical invaders there, they may be going from the frying pan into the fire.

    Secular governments set themselves up for challenge by fundamentalists when the level of corruption rises to an intolerable level. Preachers can easily convince the lumpenproletariat that all they need is (fill in the blank with Jesus or God or Allah, etc.) to come back to their rightful place and all of societies problems will be promptly straightened out. A Muslim fundamentalist once told me “don’t be afraid of an Islamic revolution (in Algeria), we need to get rid of that corruption.” It’s shocking to hear this from someone who is otherwise a well functioning adult.

    After watching what happened in the Middle East and North Africa in the past couple of decades, the South American secular governments would do well to clean up their act before a Latino Spring catches them when they least expect it.



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