Evangelicals protest gay marriage in Brazil

26 May

As published in New Straits Times

RIO DE JANEIRO: Tens of thousands of evangelical Christians marched in Rio on Saturday defending marriage between a man and a woman, and protesting a recent legal ruling allowing gay marriage.

The event, organized by Rio de Janeiro evangelical ministers, gathered some  100,000 people, according to police estimates.

The throngs of faithful marched alongside floats, wearing t-shirts  emblazoned with religious slogans and waving signs praising Jesus.

The march ended at the downtown Cinelandia square, where pastors preached,  the faithful prayed in unison, and a gospel concert was held.

As acknowledgement of the political clout of the group, Rio de Janeiro  Mayor Eduardo Paes was at the event, along with other politicians.

The “March for Jesus” is a main Brazilian evangelical church event.

The march and rally highlight “the principles that we defend: unity of the  people of God… in favor of freedom of expression, freedom of religion,  traditional families and life,” said Pastor Silas Malafaia of the Assembly of  God church, who organized the event.

“We say no to sin, no to corruption, no to homosexuality. We say yes to  Jesus,” a participant told local media.

Brazil, with a population of around 194 million, has the largest number of  Catholics in the world.

Evangelical Protestant churches, however, have been making inroads. The  2010 census estimates that 22 percent of Brazilians are evangelicals.

In comparison, 65 percent of Brazilians say they are Catholic, down from 90  percent in 1970.

On May 14, Brazil became the third and largest Latin American country to  give a de facto green light to same-sex marriage when a panel overseeing  Brazil’s legal system headed by the chief Supreme Court justice said that  offices that issue marriage licenses had no standing to reject gay couples. — AFP

also in GLBT World News tweets

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