Wednesday, November 14   Sign in or Register
Evangelical Focus
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud

Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.

Do the media in your country usually portray evangelical Christians accurately?



Religious fraud

Brazil: Sect enslaved followers and accumulated fortune

Criminals dismantled by the police called themselves ‘Jesus Evangelical Community’.

police, brazil, sect Brazilian police intervenes in one of the buildings owned by the sect. / EFE

Brazilian police dismantled a religious sect accused of subjecting its faithful to slavery-like conditions while accumulating a fortune of close to 100 million reais (some $28.6 million) in donations from its followers, officials said.

EFE agency informs that at least six people were arrested in an operation aimed at dismantling a criminal organization “that used a religious sect to appropriate the assets and income of its faithful, who were also subjected to forced labor in conditions similar to slavery,” according to a Federal Police communique.

The criminals operated in three Brazilian states through a sect known as the ‘Jesus Evangelical Community’.

Besides arresting suspected leaders of the organization and transporting another 47 people to police stations for their depositions, the close to 190 Federal Police agents who took part in “Operation Back to Canaan” seized numerous properties and assets under orders of the justice system.

The judge who ordered the operation called for the seizure of at least 70 properties, vehicles and bank accounts supposedly acquired with money collected from the faithful, who were talked into donating everything they owned.

“Upon joining the sect, the faithful were convinced they should donate all their goods with the argument that they would live together in a community where everything would belong equally to everybody, but where they were obliged to work without receiving anything in exchange”, the statement said.

According to those directing the investigation, the leaders of the sect forced the faithful to work in wretched conditions, without any remuneration, on the ranches where they lived and performed their religious rituals, while those running the racket enriched themselves with whatever those properties produced.

Members of the organization will be accused of the crimes of people trafficking, submitting individuals to a condition analogous to slavery, association to commit crime, fraud, forgery and money laundering.

The sect's activities were first investigated in 2011, and were targeted in 2013 by a Federal Police operation, both in response to reports of slavery.

At the time, two leaders of the sect were arrested for appropriating the pensions and the social subsidies paid monthly by the government to members of the religious sect. However, in neither case was any proof of slave labor discovered.




    If you want to comment, or


YOUR ARE AT: - - Brazil: Sect enslaved followers and accumulated fortune
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!” Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!”

Bulgarian evangelicals protested peacefully on November 11 against a draft law which could severely restrict religious freedom of faith minorities. Churches rallied in Sofia and other cities after the Sunday worship services.

Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

Biotechnology: “There is a difference between restoration and enhancement” Biotechnology: “There is a difference between restoration and enhancement”

“We have to understand the times in which we live, and have discernment”, says Doctor Peter J. Saunders.

The Manzanas case The Manzanas case

A short documentary about how retired pastors and widows of an evangelical denomination in Spain fight a legal battle for their pensions after the favourable ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.

‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube

EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.

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