Tsavkko Garcia, Raphael
Publication year: 2020

Religious fundamentalists in Brazil have been challenging the rules of isolation imposed by the governors of several states. And, since mid-April, when the number of infections started escalating, several cities have been allowing religious temples to resume services. In April, evangelical pastors even staged a demonstration in Campo Grande, capital of the state of Mato Grosso, to demand the reopening of temples.

In Manaus, one of cities worst hit by the pandemic, with hospitals above capacity and a shortage of coffins, city councillors voted to reopen religious temples on May 6. In some cities, pastors have even taken to the streets to demand reopening.

At the moment, Brazil has the third-most cases of any country in the world and ranks sixth-most in terms of deaths. It is facing the pandemic amid an open conflict between the federal government led by extreme-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has dismissively called the disease a “little flu,” and governors of several states have been trying to impose measures to slow the advance of coronavirus.

In this dispute, many evangelical pastors — which includes televangelists and leaders of the largest Pentecostal and neo-Pentecostal denominations — have positioned themselves with Brazil’s president.

Full article at Sojourners’ website. Date of publication: 21/05/2020.

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