When evangelical pastor Silas Malafaia inaugurated the first branch of his Assembleia de Deus Vitória em Cristo church in Taboão da Serra (in Greater São Paulo) on July 22, he had another inauguration in Sorocaba on the same day.
During 2018 and 2019, ADVEC inaugurated nine churches. Since 2020 the church has opened 18 new churches during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Malafaia says this investment demands "strong cash," because he doesn't want to "do something stupid for God." Malafaia spends an average of R$1 million per opoening. In other words, in 2020 and 2021 alone, costs would have exceeded R$ 20 million.
ADVEC's headquarters, in the north of Rio de Janeiro, has 120 machines for swiping credit or debit cards.
When face-to-face services were banned or authorized with limited capacity, the church switched to virtual money transfers. During the lockdown period, tithes and offerings did not drop much because, according to Malafaia, 85% of the collection is done electronically.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon