Brazil
   Protestantism had a first beginning in Brazil when the Dutch briefly occupied Recife (1630-54), but it really took root in 1819, when the Church of England established a small parish for English expatriates in Sào Paulo. A few years later, a German Lutheran church was opened for immigrants who had settled outside of Rio de Janeiro. Over the next century, Germans continued to immigrate and form a number of relatively homogeneous communities, most in southern Brazil. There are now more than a million Brazilian Lutherans, divided between the Evangelical Church of the Lutheran Confession of Brazil (a member of the World Council of Churches) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Brazil (aligned with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod).
   in 1859, an American Presbyterian minister arrived in Brazil and founded the first Presbyterian church in the country in Rio de Janeiro in 1865. it would eventually spawn three different Presbyterians bodies, the Presbyterian Church of Brazil, the independent Presbyterian Church, and the Conservative Presbyterians Church, which between them now include approximately 700,000 members.
   Baptists were next to arrive; they have had spectacular results in the 20th century. The Brazilian Baptist Convention (affiliated with the SouTHern Baptist Convention) has approximately 1.5 million members.
   Methodism had small beginnings in 1835, but only flourished after the arrival in 1876 of Rev. Junias Eastham Newman, a missionary with the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (now a part of the United Methodist Church). Today the Methodist Church of Brazil numbers approximately 130,000 members.
   Toward the end of the 19th century, the Seventh-day Adventist Church entered Brazil; it already claims almost 1 million members. However, within the larger Protestant community, the older groups have been completely overwhelmed by the growth of Pentecostalism. The Assemblies of God of Brazil began when two Swedish missionaries who had encountered the movement in William H. Durham's church in Chicago settled in Belém, where their initial audience included members of the Baptist church.
   From their initial effort, Pentecostalism gradually spread, and by 1940 had only some 400,000 members. in the years immediately following World War ii, the growth rate picked up considerably. By 1970, the Assemblies had become the largest non-Catholic church in the country, and by the end of the century reported in excess of 7 million members. It has also become the parent to several other large churches, the most important being the Christian Congregation of Brazil (a movement among Italian immigrants with more than 3 million members) and the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, with more than 4 million members. The latter has become an international body with churches in 50 or more countries.
   Pentecostalism has thus become the majority group of the Protestant community. Several newer churches have also experienced spectacular growth, especially the Evangelical Pentecostal Church of Brazil for Christ, the Cornerstone Gospel Church, and the God Is Love Pentecostal Church, which together have more than a million members. With the spectacular spread of Pente-costalism, the growth of the other Evangelical churches, including some Holiness churches, has largely been ignored.
   The ecumenical scene has been somewhat chaotic, with several competing councils. Many of the older Protestant churches belong to the National Council of Churches in Brazil, itself affiliated with the World Council of Churches. Several major denominations belong to the World Council independently of the Brazil Council. There is also an affiliate of the World Evangelical Alliance, the Brazil National Alliance, to which a spectrum of more conservative churches belong. Counting Protestants in Brazil is difficult because of the high number of doubly affiliated Christians.
   See also South America.
   Further reading:
   ■ R. G. Frase, A Sociological Analysis of the Development of Brazilian Protestantism: A Study in Social Change (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton Theological Seminary, thesis, 1975)
   ■ E. P. Velasco, A History of the Christian Evangelical Church in Brazil (Jackson, Miss.: Reformed Theological Seminary, Th.M. thesis, 1992)
   ■ W. Wedemann, A History of Protestant Missions in Brazil, 1850-1914 (Louisville, Ky.: Southern Baptist Theological seminary, thesis, 1977)
   ■ E. Willems, Followers of the New Faith: Culture, Change and the Rise of Protestantism in Brazil and Chile (Nashville, Tenn.: Vanderbilt University Press, 1967).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • BRAZIL — BRAZIL, South American federal republic; general population (est.) 183 million (2005); Jewish population 97,000. Jewish history in Brazil is divided into four distinct periods with a specific interval: (a) The presence of new christians and the… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Brazil — • Information includes history, religion, climate, education, and economy Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Brazil     Brazil     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Brazil —    Brazil, a country of some 3.3 million square miles on the eastern coast of South America, is by far the largest country on the continent. In the sixteenth century, the first Europeans settled in the land now known as Brazil, the Dutch in the… …   Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914

  • Brazil... — Brazil... Album par The Ritchie Family Sortie 1975 Albums de The Ritchie Family …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Brazil — Brazil, IN U.S. city in Indiana Population (2000): 8188 Housing Units (2000): 3740 Land area (2000): 3.341280 sq. miles (8.653876 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.028175 sq. miles (0.072973 sq. km) Total area (2000): 3.369455 sq. miles (8.726849 sq.… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Brazil — 1550s, from Sp./Port. terra de brasil red dye wood land, from Sp. brasil or It. brasile, probably connected to Fr. braize (see BRAIZE (Cf. braize)) for resemblance of color to a glowing ember (but O.It. form verzino suggests a possible connection …   Etymology dictionary

  • Brazil —    Comédie dramatique de Terry Gilliam, avec Jonathan Pryce (Sam Lowry), Robert De Niro (Harry Tuttle), Michael Palin (Jack Lint), Kim Greist (Jill Layton).   Scénario: Terry Gilliam, Tom Stoppard, Charles McKeown   Photographie: Roger Pratt… …   Dictionnaire mondial des Films

  • Brazil — [brə zil′] [Port, short for terra de brasil, land of brazilwood: see BRAZIL] country in central & NE South America, on the Atlantic: declared independence from Portugal (1822): 3,286,485 sq mi (8,511,963 sq km); pop. 146,155,000; cap. Brasília… …   English World dictionary

  • Brazil — Brazil, Halbinsel, auf der Azorischen Insel Terceira, mit drei hohen Berggipfeln …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Brazil — (spr. brǟsill), Hauptstadt der Grafschaft Clay im nordamerikan. Staat Indiana, hat Eisen , Woll u. Mühlenindustrie, Kohlengruben u. (1900) 7786 Einw …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Brazil — (spr. brässíl), Ort im nordamerik. Staate Indiana, (1900) 7786 E.; Kohlengruben …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”