Islam Gains New Followers in The Outskirts of São Paulo

Followers of religion face pressure from the Family

Lucas Landin

In the neighborhood of Tatuapé, on the east side of São Paulo, a recently inaugurated religious temple attracts attention due to the large plaques with the name of Jesus. But it is not a Christian church, it is an Islamic center.

Brazilian Edmar Cândido da Silva, 34, a da'i leads this center and his name means spreader of Islam. He was born a Christian but became a Muslim 12 years ago.

SÃO PAULO / SÃO PAULO / BRASIL -15 /11/21 - : Edmar Cândido da Silva ( Foto: Karime Xavier / Folhapress) . - Folhapress

It was in 2009, in a quest to get closer to God, that Edmar discovered the belief that is part of his life today.

In 2010, 35 thousand Brazilians declared themselves follers of Islam in the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics Census.

In recent years, the religion has been gaining followers on the outskirts of São Paulo, with no connection with the Arab community.

After converting, a process Muslims call a "reversal," Edmar faced resistance from his family.

"We usually say to the reverted that they are going to face these difficulties [of acceptance] because Brazilians have many doubts about what Islam is and still know it as the 'religion of the Arabs'."

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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