From the favelas (slums) of Rio de Janeiro to television screens across the nation, the Pentecostal church is growing in numbers and influence in Brazil, and more than doubled between 1980 and 2000.
The Pentecostal growth in Brazil comes as the world’s largest Catholic community shrinks, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Pentecostals often view their churchgoing experience as more personal and social activism — particularly outreach to the poor — as more common.
Producer Bryan Myers and correspondent Edie Magnus report from the Assembly of God New Zion church in Rio de Janeiro.
Below, see what bloggers are saying about religious shifts in Brazil and across South America.
The “My Brazilian Brasil” blog discusses the “dangerous” relationship between religion and politics in Brazil, writing about the possibility that a Pentecostal may soon become Rio de Janeiro’s mayor.
The “Upside Down World” Web site writes about the role of Pentecostal churches in poor urban neighborhoods in Brazil.
Todd Martinez, a Fulbright research scholar studying in neighboring Uruguay, explores the reasons behind increasing conversion across Latin America at the “Small State” blog.
Also watch PBS NewsHour’s report on the Protestant church’s impact on Latin America.