The life of evangelical churches and their spiritual leaders has been portrayed in some recent films and series. Can they help us start conversations?
Damares Alves is a former evangelical pastor and has become a popular figure of Jair Bolsonaro's government.
The Federal Police has reported that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and the Minister of Women, Family and Human Rights, Damares Alves have received death threats in the last weeks.
During his campaign, Bolsonaro was stabbed in an murder attempt. Meanwhile, since the beginning of the transitional government, at the end of last year, the minister was threatened 145 times in total.
Minister Damares, the first evangelical Christian minister in Brazil's history, is one of the main targets of terrorist group called Individualists Tending Towards the Wild, also known as the Secret Wilderness Society.
This group was responsible for an attempted bomb attack on a Catholic church in Brazlandia, near the capital Brasilia, on Christmas Eve 2018. A backpack with a bomb containing 5 kilos of explosives was found in the temple but disarmed by the police.
The Federal Police of Brazil have issued seven search and seizure warrants in three states and arrested three people. In one of the houses they found a manual on how to make bombs. One of the suspects holds a triple nationality and often travels abroad.
“We do not care about how many we would have killed, and we do not care if the Christian religious, the group to which [the Minister] belongs, are killed as well”, the terrorist said in an online statement. “Let it be clear that our intentions against Damares Alves still exist, and they are increasingly dangerous”.
Damares Alves, one of the most popular figures of the government, is an evangelical pastor. She has been relentless in her fight against pedophilia and organized crime. She also has expressed clearly the government's opposition to abortion.
“You can be walking in the valley of death, Damares, walking in a minefield. Have you thought about a worship service in your church flying through the air like in Sri Lanka? Or a political event of his? And a deadly toxin in some food of his? A bullet in your head while traveling to work?”, the terrorist threatened the Minister.
Damares has confirmed that all necessary security measures were taken.
“The Bible said that though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for the Lord is with me. He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies. This text is in Psalm 23. And this table, without a doubt, it is a new Brazil”, she pointed out.