Nearly 13,000 candidates with religious titles ran for office in Brazil’s Nov. 15 local elections – an increase of 24 percent compared to previous municipal elections. However, the total number of religious leaders who ran for office is even greater, given that not all elected candidates and politicians use a clear religious title.
Religion has always played an important role in Brazilian politics, including the formation of a powerful group in the National Congress known as Bancada Evangélica (Evangelical Caucus, officially the Evangelical Parliamentary Front), formed in 2004 but active at least since 1987. And today, the far-right government of President Jair Bolsonaro is heavily supported by religious leaders associated with the Bancada Evangélica.
With 203 members, the Bancada Evangélica seeks to expand its conservative agenda throughout the country. The group has members from several political parties – even a few members of traditional left-wing parties. If the Bancada Evangélica were classified as an official party, it would be the largest in the Brazilian legislature.
Full article at Sojourners’ website. Date of publication: 20/11/2020.