With Brazil in political turmoil stemming from its president being the subject of an impeachment trial and the vice president taking temporary charge of the country, what's thriving in the South American nation is evangelism.
Acting President Michel Temer, according to a Washington Post report
, turned to evangelical Christians after false rumors circulated that he was a devil worshipper. He has since appointed evangelical leaders to high-ranking positions in the government.
Evangelicals are emerging from the shadows in Brazil after 13 years of living under a socialist, workers' party system. President Dilma Rousseff, a former guerrilla fighter and a member of the Workers' Party, is awaiting her impeachment trial
after she was accused of illegally doctoring fiscal accounts to mask the size of Brazil's budget deficit.
Temer is a member of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party and is bringing evangelicals to the forefront. He filmed a video asking for evangelicals to support him in response to the devil rumors. The support has stuck.
"They have more political influence than ever, and they are going through a moment in which they're asserting their power," political scientist and sociologist Paulo Baía told the Post.
Roman Catholics make up the largest religious group in Brazil, with the Pew Research Center
concluding in 2010 that 65 percent of the country's residents were Catholic. That was a drop from 92 percent in 1970, but other religions have risen since that time — evangelicals, grouped with Protestants in the Pew study, jumped up from 5 percent to 22 percent during that time.
A New York Times Magazine
story last year, meanwhile, chronicled the practice of children as young as 11 working as preachers in front of large audiences.
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