Skip to comments.In Catholic Brazil; Evangelicals on the rise (here is how they attract them)
Posted on 09/15/2009 10:12:21 AM PDT by NYer
Just days after posting this item about Brazil's most popular priest, I found this little nugget, which shows just what the Church is up against down there.
Want to know what's luring a new generation of Brazilians away from the Church? Evangelical churches offering, among other things, fight nights and tattoo parlors.
From the New York Times:
The atmosphere was electric at Reborn in Christ Church on “Extreme Fight” night. Churchgoers dressed in jeans and sneakers, many with ball caps turned backward, lined a makeshift boxing ring to cheer on bare-chested jujitsu fighters.Read on for more at the link.
They screamed when a fan favorite, Fábio Buca, outlasted his opponent after several minutes. They went wild when Pastor Dogão Meira, 26, took his man down, pinning him with an armlock just 10 seconds into the fight.
With the crowd still buzzing, Pastor Mazola Maffei, dressed in army pants and a T-shirt, grabbed a microphone. Pastor Maffei, who is also Pastor Meira’s fight trainer, then held the crowd rapt with a sermon about the connection between sports and spirituality.
“You need to practice the sport of spirituality more,” he urged. “You need to fight for your life, for your dreams and ideals.”
Reborn in Christ is among a growing number of evangelical churches in Brazil that are finding ways to connect with younger people to swell their ranks. From fight nights to reggae music to video games and on-site tattoo parlors, the churches have helped make evangelicalism the fastest-growing spiritual movement in Brazil.
Evangelical Christian churches are luring Brazilians away from Roman Catholicism, the dominant religion in Brazil. In 1950, 94 percent of Brazilians said they were Catholic, but that number fell steadily to 74 percent by 2000. Meanwhile, the percentage of those who described themselves as evangelicals grew by five times in that period, reaching 15 percent in 2000. A new government census is due out next year.
Despite Brazil’s deep connection to Catholicism, more and more Brazilians want to experiment and choose their own religion, said Silvia Fernandes, a professor at the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro, who wrote a book about Brazil’s evangelical movement.
She said more Brazilians were attracted to evangelical churches, or Pentecostalism, for the “flexibility of the religious expression.” They see churches like Reborn as places where they can express themselves more freely, and “not only look for solutions to personal problems, but also find a place to meet and socialize.”
Pastor Meira said that for young people seeking salvation, evangelism could fill a void. “Here they enter the church, sometimes to see a fight competition, they receive the word of Jesus Christ, and they begin a transformation. They will get off drugs, start to respect their parents and start to cure the illnesses of the soul, like anxiety, depression, drugs and alcohol, prostitution,” he said.
Now you can understand what the Brazilian priest in the following article is contending with.
Just a note. It is a podium, not an altar.
“Rinaldo Pereira, a founder of Bola de Neve, preached to the congregation. A surfboard served as the altar. “
God isn’t fooled ... .
 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
 A man that doeth violence to the blood of any person shall flee to the pit; let no man stay him.
New York Times...ok, not much can be believed.
Fight nights. ‘Brazilian’ JiuJitsu in Brazil? Could that be likened to church basketball leagues here in the states? I don’t think I have a problem with that.
Tattoo...not a big fan myself, but that doesn’t make you ‘not a christian’. I suppose it could be likened to a beer tent here in the states, which I have seen churches ‘sponsor’.
Actually, he’s standing on the podium in front of a surfboard lectern.
Those attending are looking for a place to express THEMSELVES more freely. A place to MEET and SOCIALIZE. That says volumes. It’s not really about Christ, is it?
The winnowing out continues. Some seed fell on good soil but was carried away by birds.
An astute and excellent analysis of the situation. Thank you for the post and ping!
Actually ... it's a surfboard!
The topic of this article is Evangelicals on the rise in Catholic Brazil. Catholics attend church to worship God, not to be entertained. And we Catholics do have a problem with that.
It’s all about meeeeeeeee!
***Actually, hes standing on the podium in front of a surfboard lectern.***
Aren’t lecterns normally much smaller and off to one side?
Kinda reminds me of the atrocities to Christian faith that happened in Haiti under the name of Santaria.
And some of us non Catholics have a problem with people getting drunked up at Catholic festivities such as Las 'Vegas night and Bingo held at the Catholic churches...
Been there, done that...
No, really actually, he's standing on a platform with a temporary table thrown together with a surfboard as the table top...
The raised platform you stand on is called a podium.
The dictionary defines a lectern as a tall stand with a sloping top used to hold a book for reading. It does not name a location in the definition.
But people do usually use the word lectern for the small stand off to one side. Just as they also use podium to designate the lectern. The podium is the raised platform speakers stand on in the front of the room.
Hate to quibble, but the surfboard is much larger than is required to hold a book in the optimal position for read and it is not tipped towards the orator.
I have not gone through the links to watch any video, but it sure seems to be the altar (although many Protestants have dispensed with the altar altogether since the idea of the Sacrifice of the Mass has been dispensed with altogether and the raised dais has become a stage in which the stars are the speakers and actors). Look at the posture of the speaker in the picture. Definitely an actor entertaining the people.
Straining at knats...
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