ISER Communications No. 73

Evangelicals on the Left in Brazil: Interviews with Leaders and Collectives in the 2020 Elections

The Evangelicals on the Left in Brazil issue brings interviews with leaders and collectives in the 2020 elections, by Comunicações do Iser, brings to a wide audience reflections of religious actors, notably evangelicals and evangelicals, about the 2020 elections. From the organic movement of Catholics and Evangelicals to elect representatives to the National Congress in that legislature (1987-1990) that would be marked by the elaboration of the new Constitution, after 21 years of military dictatorship in Brazil, religious conservatism gained prominence in academic works and in the secular media.
However, from the 2010 presidential elections, the emphasis on the participation of these religious actors increased, reaching a kind of culmination in the 2018 elections, when part of the evangelicals were identified as the main support group for Jair Messias Bolsonaro, victorious in that election. In most approaches, a form of binary thinking was pronounced, making the diversity of political, social and even doctrinal/theological/cosmological positions present within religious groups in Brazil opaque. Certainly, Brazil, as well as other countries in the Americas and Europe, went through a conservative effervescence that collapsed achievements of minority social groups, inclusive public policies, social assistance programs, a management model in which popular participation was encouraged.

The material gathered in this issue of Comunicações do Iser features five interviews with evangelical leaders, some running for the 2020 elections in individual candidacies, others in collective candidacies. They are: Ariovaldo Ramos, Nilza Valéria, Samuel Oliveira, Tiago Santos and the members of the Plural Collective Candidacy. Ari, as he is better known, ministers at the Reformed Christian Community in São Paulo. At the time of the interview, he was the national coordinator of the Front of Evangelicals for the State of Law, alongside Nilza Valéria, our second interviewee. They were founders of the movement in 2016, shortly after the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. Valéria worked at World Vision Brazil, in the mandate of state deputy Mônica Francisco (PSOL-RJ), and is currently a member of the Rede de Mulheres Negras Evangélicas. Samuel de Oliveira is coordinator of the Bancada Evangélica Popular movement and was a candidate for the PCdoB for the São Paulo City Council in 2020. Tiago Santos is the creator and coordinator of the movement Christians Against Fascism, created in 2018. of 2020 by PSOL-RS to a chair in Porto Alegre City Council, in a collective candidacy. Finally, we had the collaboration of Jonatas Arêdes, member of the 2nd Presbyterian Church of Belo Horizonte and small rural producer, Fellipe Gibran, pastor, lawyer and member of Comunidade Evangélica União em Cristo, Djenane Vera, teacher of plastic arts in the public teacher, ceramist and attender of the Maranatha Christian Church and Kenia Vertello, pedagogy student and member of the Connect Baptist Church. These four young people were part of the Coletivo Plural, a candidacy that ran in those elections for a vacancy in the Belo Horizonte City Council for the newly created Popular Unity party.

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