Bolsonaro, a Catholic, Expanded His Base Among Evangelicals

Popular among the religious caucus, the representative was baptized in 2016 already aiming at a presidential run

Anna Virginia Balloussier
São Paulo

God, God, God, God, God, God, God.

Seven were the times that Jair Bolsonaro, during the first speech after being elected Brazil's new president, invoked the highest entity to some of the largest religions in the world. And if he made it that far, he has both God and the evangelical leaders that claim to speak in His Name to thank.

Bolsonaro has been building for years a solid foundation with the fastest growing religious group in Brazil. In the early 1990s, evangelicals were only 9% of the overall population. Now, they are three in every ten Brazilians.

Jair Bolsonaro is baptized in the Jordan river, in Israel

He sprinkled some religion here and there in his first speeches after his triumph in the ballots. "Our slogan, I found it in that toolbox used to fix men and women, the Holy Bible," he said.

A prayer, said by pastor and senator leaving office Magno Malta (PR-ES), preceded one of his two victory speeches on Sunday (28th). Malta didn't get reelected, but there might be a place for him in his friend's presidential cabinet.

A common mistake is to think Bolsonaro himself is an evangelical, which is not true. His wife, Michelle, is Baptist, so is his son Flávio and he has a great rapport with evangelical pastors.

But Bolsonaro has always declared to be Catholic, and so far, that has not changed.

Translated by NATASHA MADOV

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