BRASILIA, Brazil ? Most of the books on Adelor Vieira’s desk are what you’d expect
for a congressman busy with the machinery of state: a copy of the civil code, a
handy reference guide to laws on local governance. But tucked to one side, within
easy reach, lies the book that, for Vieira, trumps all the others: the Bible.
In countries throughout Latin America, evangelicals such as Vieira are stepping out from the shelter of their churches to enter the fractious world of secular politics. These Protestant Christians are increasingly speaking out, teaming up and getting elected in a region that remains overwhelmingly Roman Catholic.
[W]ith some estimates projecting that Brazil could be 50% Protestant by 2050, the influence of evangelicals in the political realm is likely to increase.
I’d rather someone be a faithful Evangelical than an apathetic Catholic. Still,
a faithful Catholic would be better.
That Evangelical Protestants are proselytizing in Catholic strongholds is disturbing
for two reasons. First, there is fertile ground for conversion in the first place.
Second, sheep stealing is an ugly and unkind act. However, I’ll give the missionaries
the benefit of the doubt that they restricted their outreach to apathetic Catholics
or atheists. Also, I’m upset by some of the misunderstandings associated with this
Witness this quote from the article linked above:
Many are attracted by dynamic worship services and the emphasis on a personal
relationship with God.
For many here, faith remains a private affair, their devotion playing out at church
and at home. But others are heeding what they believe is a divine calling to shine
the light of Christian truth on “works of darkness,” which encompass perceived
evils as varied as abortion and the corruption rampant in Brazilian politics.”
Anyone who says Catholicism doesn’t involve a personal relationship with God is
grossly misinformed. Furthermore, faith should never be merely a private affair
and the Church, particularly through the current pontiff, has always advocated Christ’s
teachings as calls to social change.