Brazilian president Jair Mesias Bolsonaro is rapidly losing footing among the powerful evangelists, one of his main electoral supporters and who voted massively for him in 2018. “Bolsonaro's message is no longer the message of Jesus”, according to pastor and gospel singer Kleber Lucas.
ollowing months of services in line because of the pandemic, Lucas finally led full presence ceremonies at the over flown temple of the Baptist Soul Church in Rio Do Janeiro, where the faithful with face masks lift their hands to heaven and accompany clapping hands the pastor who has won two Latino Grammys.
The message of Jesus is justice for all, a shared table, respects for the different opinions, and is not fundamentalism, which Kleber now points out, is what the Brazilian president is preaching with his actions and statements.
Talking to many leaders who had great expectations about a strong moral Christian message, to revitalize the rights of the Evangelic family, I now perceive many repentant voters among the congregations.
According to an opinion poll from Ipec in early July, almost 59% of Evangelic church members do not trust the president. The census from 2010, showed that 22,2% of Brazilians declared themselves Evangelic, but recent polls indicate a higher percentage, up to 30%, as members of traditional Protestant churches and Pentecostal movements have continued to advance.
Bolsonaro is Catholic and was brought up as such, but his current wife Michelle is Evangelic and the president was symbolically baptized at the River Jordan by a pastor from that congregation.
Some leaders of the Evangelic church admit having voted for Bolsonaro to prevent a repeat of a left wing victory, but now have no qualms about criticizing him.
In 2018 I voted for Bolsonaro, not because I was convinced, but to impede the Workers' Party from winning, says pastor Cesar Carvalho, from the New Day Christian Community. I do not like or approve the way Bolsonaro takes advantage of religion to catch the faithful and votes with his agenda. It looks more as a caricature.