Supreme Court Justice Cármen Lúcia, who also serves on the Superior Electoral Court, ordered Congressman Eduardo Bolsonaro, President Jair Bolsonaro’s third-eldest son, to delete social media posts that said former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva supports the invasion of churches and the persecution of Christians.
The decision answers a request filed by the Lula campaign on August 21. Given how fast disinformation spreads on social media, the ruling will hardly undo the possible damages to the image of the presidential frontrunner.
Justice Lúcia claims the information in the posts is “known to be untrue.” She gave Eduardo Bolsonaro 24 hours to take down the posts or face a daily fine of BRL 50,000 (USD 9,700) if he publishes similar content again.
“Lula has never and will never close churches. The former president has always respected all religions and believes religious freedom is paramount to democracy. He knows that freedom of belief and worship is a right guaranteed to all Brazilians,” Lula’s defense wrote to the electoral court.
Associating Lula with an anti-Christian agenda is an attempt by President Bolsonaro to lure religious voters and force a runoff stage. A majority of Brazilians (56 percent) believe that political and religious values should go hand in hand, according to last week’s Datafolha survey. And 60 percent think defending family values is more important than good economic proposals.