Evangelical Christians in Brazil Resolve to ‘Save Souls’ and ‘Bring Jesus’ to Carnival Revelers

Congregants from Attitude Baptist church in Rio de Janiero attend a carnival celebration on Copacabana beach.
Photograph: Dom Phillips/The Guardian

With drummers pounding out samba rhythms through the rain, this might almost have been just another one of the hundreds of street parties of Rio’s world-famous carnival.

But nobody at the I’m Full of Love Samba Street Party on Copacabana beach was drunk or in costume, few bystanders were dancing – and the group on the sound truck was singing about Jesus.

Evangelical Christians, a large and increasingly assertive demographic in Brazil, played a key role in the election of the far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, whose wife Michelle is the most famous congregation member at Rio’s Attitude Baptist church, the organizers of the party.