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Ronaldinho enters politics with party linked to ‘Prosperity Gospel’ church

The former FC Barcelona footballer wants to “give something back” to his country. The leader of the Brazilian Republican Party is a bishop of the Universal Church of Kingdom of God.

SOURCES Evangelical Focus, Agencies, The Guardian AUTHOR Evangelical Focus SAO PAULO 22 MARCH 2018 12:23 h GMT+1
ronaldinho Ronaldo de Assis Moreia, Ronaldinho, in a recent event. / Ronaldinho official Facebook

Brazilian footballer Ronaldinho used to be the biggest star in Europe. Now, he seeks a career in politics.



During his years in Barcelona (2003-2008) and other cities where he played, the football star was known for the fantastic goals he scored and the titles he won, but also for the parties he frequently attended.



Retired since 2015, Ronaldo Assis Moreira could now run for congress. “I am happy to be able to participate in a project aimed at improving our country and bringing modernity, joy and health to the entire population”, the former football star said.



His brother Roberto, added: “He wants to give something back to his country”.



 



CRIVELLA AND THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD



Ronaldo has officially joined the conservative Brazilian Republican Party (PRB), a group frequently described in the media as an “evangelical party”.



 



A 10 star deserves a 10 party, says promotional image of the PRB party. / PRB Facebook

The key leader and founder of the PRB is Marcelo Crivella, now mayor of Rio de Janeiro. Known as a worship music singer, Crivella is an influential Bishop of the neo-Pentecostal Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD, in Portuguese). He is also a nephew of the founder of the church, Edir Macedo,



The IURD has a strong international presence and emphasises the so-called “Prosperity Gospel” theology. The network of churches has been recently acused of trafficking children between Portugal and other countries. The Portuguese Evangelical Alliance, “strongly repudiated” the alleged crimed, and added: “The doctrines and practices of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God do not respect the values of the Portuguese Evangelical Alliance”.



 



IMAGE OF EVANGELICAL POLITICIANS IS “VERY BAD”



The PRB is just one of the several political movements in Brazil that aim to represent the evangelical churches (mostly Pentecostal) in the country. The “image” of these politicians in society is “very bad”, sociologist Paul Freston told Evangelical Focus.



“Forty years ago, it was common to hear non-evangelical people say: Evangelicals are not involved in politics, that is a pity! It would be good if they were involved more, they would bring good things to the political world. Well, today no one says that”, Freston, an expert in social and religious trends, said.


 

 


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Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.