Brazil’s Evangelical Christians Are Gaining Political Power August 2, 2014

Brazil’s Evangelical Christians Are Gaining Political Power

There’s an anti-abortion, anti-gay evangelical Christian running for President.

Old news? Sounds like it, until you realize it’s happening in Brazil, and they’re rehashing arguments that sound like they’re coming right out of the Bible Belt:

At a public school in the town of Nova Odessa, in the Sao Paulo state countryside, bright-eyed 6-year-olds read words off a blackboard.

If a group of evangelical local city councilmen have their way, these children will be required by law to read verses from the Bible to learn their letters. The proposal has already been passed in the council and is waiting for the mayor’s approval.

Teachers at the school, who spoke off the record for fear of inflaming the situation further, say public schools in Brazil traditionally do not allow religious discourse. The country — like the U.S. — is a nation of immigrants. There are Jews, Muslims, Candomblé practitioners, Buddhists and others here. The teachers worry that imposing one viewpoint would make others feel discriminated against.

As it stands, evangelicals are a relatively small proportion of the country’s government. An NPR report says they make up “14 percent of deputies and 5 percent of senators in Brazil’s National Congress.” The problem is they’re growing quickly, and if voters keep putting them into office, the country’s going to move even harder to the right.

We’ve seen the consequences of that in the U.S.

Brazil, don’t be like us. Fix the problem while you can.

(Image via Filipe Frazao / Thanks to Deanna for the link)

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