Explaining Brazil #154: A crisis in Angola threatens Bolsonaro

President Jair Bolsonaro is battling multiple domestic crises — but one dispute across the Atlantic could cost him the support of a valuable ally

When Jair Bolsonaro rose to power in 2018, one of his key support bases consisted of Evangelical churches. Most notably, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God — which owns one of Brazil’s largest media empires, including Record, the country’s second-largest TV station. Fast forward almost three years, and the relationship between Mr. Bolsonaro and Record appears to be fractured. Not because of his government’s coronavirus pandemic response or its laissez-faire attitude toward the environment, but because of how his administration failed to react to a crisis involving the Universal Church — in Angola. 

Mr. Bolsonaro could lose this important supporter just as his popularity dips and the 2022 election looms large on the horizon.

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  • Mathias Alencastro holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Oxford and is a researcher of the Brazilian Center for Analysis and Planning, Cebrap.

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