Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, called for a national day of fasting and prayer last Sunday, to “free Brazil from this evil” of coronavirus.
Bolsonaro’s popularity has plunged recently, owing to his refusal to take seriously the threat of Covid-19. However, he retains strong support among Brazil’s large community of evangelical Christians, and he has exempted religious services from coronavirus lockdowns.
Although brought up as a Catholic, Bolsonaro was re-baptised as an evangelical Christian in the Jordan River in 2016. “Brazil is in a serious crisis. The forces of evil are rising against a God-fearing Christian president,” tweeted Congressman Marco Feliciano, who is also an evangelical pastor.
Yes, Brazil is in thrall to the same sort of religious extremists we are familiar with in the US. Fortunately, not all evangelicals are macho science deniers.
Nonetheless, makes you despair.