Society

Evangelical churches aggravating Brazil’s Covid-19 crisis

Besides holding mass to thousands of people and calling for the end of quarantine, many evangelical preachers sell magic solutions to Covid-19

evangelical churches
São Paulo’s Temple of Solomon, built by the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God. Photo: Rafael Neddermeyer/FP

“No state government has the power to suspend my mass,” barked evangelical preacher Silas Malafaia, on March 16. One of President Jair Bolsonaro’s most fervent supporters, Mr. Malafaia lobbied hard for the right to continue hosting the flock of his pentecostal Assembly of God church. A few days later, the president declared religious activities as “essential,” creating a middle ground in which only large services would be suspended, following the Health Ministry’s guidelines to avoid big gatherings — but small masses are allowed. Nevertheless, on Mother’s Day this past Sunday, the Assembly of God held a service for 300 people in...

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