4 5

LINK Photos of Brazilian evangelicalism - The Washington Post

For years now, there has been a global resurgence of right-wing leaders, often connected to Christianity and evangelicalism. We are seeing it here in the United States, but you can also see it in other parts of the world, including Viktor Orban’s Hungary or what was, until very recently, Jair Bolsonaro’s Brazil.
Believers pray during the event “The Send,” at the Mane Garrincha Stadium in Brasilia. The Send is an event that gathers evangelical missionaries to train them and raise money for the evangelization of other people, within and outside Brazil. (Ian Cheibub)

Brazilian photographer Ian Cheibub’s project “Golgotha” is a probing look at the rise of evangelicalism in Brazil. In his project statement, Cheibub asks:

“What do a former drug dealer who was converted in jail, an indigenous person from Maranhão who was once addicted to alcohol and drugs, a minister of state who claims to have seen Jesus in a Guava tree, and a millionaire Youtube pastor who owns a conglomerate of churches and officiated the president’s marriage have in common? ”

The answer to Cheibub’s question is faith, and “their dreams, ambition, and desire for life and opportunity both explains and complexifies the understanding of what it means to be Evangelical in contemporary Brazil.”

“Golgotha,” which has various meanings, including the Hebrew “The Place of the Skull” as well as the biblical hill where Jesus was crucified, is Cheibub’s attempt “to understand the different faces of evangelization in the country. … It looks at the place where the people put their faith, sometimes their money and many others their anguishes and ambitions.”

In his project statement, Cheibub notes that at one time, the Catholic Church held more sway than evangelicalism but that at a certain point, the relationship between the Catholic Church and Brazil’s population dwindled. In the vacuum that ensued, Cheibub says:

“Evangelical pastors, with generous funding from American neopentecostal churches, moved in to occupy the role that had been played by the Catholic Church for generations before that. They were able to successfully integrate into the formerly Catholic communities in part because their discourse of prosperity so starkly differed from the Catholic one of guilt.”

Not unlike in the United States, evangelicalism and right-wing ideology sometimes go hand-in-hand, even penetrating the political atmosphere. Until he was ousted in a recent election, this could be seen through former president Jair Bolsonaro.

All of this is of particular interest to me because I grew up the son of Baptist missionaries. And while the term “evangelical” wasn’t really bandied about all that much, I grew up surrounded by people who shared similar ideologies.

Although I no longer go to church or am a part of that world anymore, a lot of what I see happening out there “in the world” reminds me of experiences I had growing up. Intellectualism and curiosity weren’t necessarily emphasized. One adage about Southern Baptists is that they “feel” religion rather than “think” about it.

I have a feeling that this is one of the reasons so much happens that seems illogical to people who did not grow up around “evangelicalism.” There is less of a tendency for critical thinking about the Bible. Rather, in my experience, study guides and, especially, the word of one’s pastor are the favorable avenues for deciding what is right and what is wrong. At least, that is what I remember from my time growing up “in the church.”

But I also grew up with a very strong feeling for the demarcation between church and state. The two, I was taught, should never, ever mingle. Perhaps that is what differentiates my early experience from what is now taking place globally. The two seem to be more and more connected. What happens in the future remains to be fully seen.

You can see more of Cheibub’s work on his website.

snytiger6 9 Nov 12

Enjoy being online again!

Welcome to the community of good people who base their values on evidence and appreciate civil discourse - the social network you will enjoy.

Create your free account


Feel free to reply to any comment by clicking the "Reply" button.


Mental defectives I can cope with. Dangerous mental defectives I cannot.


It is precisely because those leaving dogma are still looking for an emotionally satisfying alternative that I suggest, or Dudeism/Taoism, instead of atheism. That is not emotionally satisfying.


Christian missionaries fanned out across the globe to spread their brain rot. And, unfortunately, they have met with some success.

I would say, much sucess! Their message is far more populous than the Catholic guilt and acceptance of one’s lot for rewards after death message. And yet, like the Catholics, all you have to to for your rewards is believe, and ask your invisible friend to forgive whatever atrocities you committed in your life and you are right there with all the good people at the pearly gate.


All interesting.

Write Comment
You can include a link to this post in your posts and comments by including the text q:695136
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content. Read full disclaimer.