Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Evangelicals and Democracy in Brazil

Amy Erica Smith writes in Americas Quarterly about evangelicalism and politics in Brazil. Jair Bolsonaro uses it to justify violence, but there are other issues. Evangelicals in Brazil, like the U.S., see their values as threatened, which increases the chances of pushing to pass laws related to things and people they deem immoral. Democracy in the abstract, restriction of democracy in practice.

Evangelicalism has been on the rise for quite a while in Latin America and as its adherents gain the presidency or even perhaps congressional majorities (or at least pluralities) that tension will only become more common.

Across the region, evangelicals are increasingly mobilizing for conservative candidates and causes. In Colombia, for instance, they helped defeat the 2016 peace referendum. And in Costa Rica and Chile in recent years, evangelicals suddenly sprang from quiescence into action when faced with the imminent threat of the legalization of gay marriage and abortion rights. In Brazil, a fear of what has been called “gender ideology” fired up the religious vote that in turn contributed to Bolsonaro’s victory on Oct. 28.
And although the U.S. is not the cause of this development, it can give it inspiration and perhaps even a model.


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