The Heinrich Böll Foundation, in partnership with the Institute for Religious Studies (ISER), launches the Web dossier Religion, Democracy and the Extreme Right. With publications, videos and articles by various specialists in the fields of religion and the extreme right, the Webdossier proposes reflections on the correlation of current political forces, taking into account religious aspects and the profound changes in Brazilian society over the last few years.
10 years ago, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Institute for Religious Studies (ISER) launched their first publication on the subject of religion in the public space and its connection with institutional politics, with the intention of understanding the liberal, conservative and fundamentalist political project that already at that moment it was announced as a strong component of Brazilian politics.
In 2013, federal deputy Pastor Marco Feliciano was elected to the Presidency of the Chamber's Commission on Human Rights and Minorities. Previously occupied by the left, this movement of evangelicals sent a clear message: the dispute over the meaning of human, family and gender rights. Ten years later, this multifaceted project and with different religious actors, but not only, was the spearhead for the polarization of Brazilian society. Today, there is a consensus that, when analyzing Brazilian politics, it is essential to highlight Christian, Evangelical and Catholic religious leaders, who have become even more important.
Religious belonging and Christian religious leaders are today an unavoidable player in politics. Eager to put themselves on the public scene, they bring with them the contradictions of a modified Brazilian society, in which a moral grammar of defense of traditional values has gained prominence for a large part of this group, which hierarchizes society into “good” and “bad” and they work from a heteronormative view of family, in addition to demonizing the faithful of African-based religions.
Although there are left-wing or pro-Human Rights groups within the field of Christian religious denominations, which publicly condemn racist, homophobic and sexist attitudes in this field, the liberal conservative fundamentalist project has become more and more hegemonic, mobilizing the population. Add to this scenario the advance of the extreme right in the world and Brazil was not left out of this wave, represented here by former president Jair Bolsonaro.
The Webdossier features articles by Christina Vital (ISER and UFF), co-organizer of this production, Ana Paula Miranda (UFF), Camila Rocha (CEBRAP) and Esther Solano (UNIFESP), Flávia Biroli (UNB), Flávia Rios (UFF) , Michel Gherman (UFRJ), Nina Rosa (UFMG), Olivia Bandeira (UNICAMP and Intervozes) and Ricardo Mariano (USP), who contribute to the political reading of this field and help us think about how to curb the advance of the extreme right in society.