Academics and evangelicals agree to repudiate the report on trafficking – 05/22/2023 – Juliano Spyer

In this conflicted and divided Brazil, it is remarkable when academics and evangelicals agree. This rare alignment took place after the publication of the article “‘Narcopentecostalism’: evangelical drug dealers use religion in the fight for territories in Rio”, by BBC Brazil, reproduced by this Folha and by O Globo last week.

It is a long and thoughtful text, with the perspectives of several researchers on the relationship between crime and religion. The problem was the use of the term “narco-Pentecostalism” in the title, which has two effects: it attracts the attention of readers through sensationalism and strengthens the idea, among evangelicals, that the mainstream press, especially Folha and Globo, persecute and defame these Christians.

Pastor Silas Malafaia criticized her in a live: “It is ridiculous to try to link evangelicals to drug trafficking. If some scoundrel pastor is selling himself to a drug dealer, he will answer before God and does not represent us. [numericamente] representative of who we are”.

Sociologist Diogo Corrêa asked: “Are there secular drug dealers?” He is the author of the recently published “Anjos de Fuzil” (EdUerj), about the relationship between crime and religion in Cidade de Deus, Rio de Janeiro. For him, drug dealers and evangelicals influence each other in a complex way in favelas, but this has not led to a merger. “After all”, Diogo analyses, “residents, drug dealers and believers in Cidade de Deus continue to know how to differentiate between a drug dealer and a believer”.

UFF anthropologist Christina Vital has studied the religious landscape in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas since the 2000s. She wrote about the report: “Today, there are no churches whose leadership and membership are active drug dealers, much less can we speak of churches led by pastors who serve exclusively traffickers. The approach of these traffickers, more often than not, happens because of the demand for protection or the moral values ​​of reference that they share because they live in areas where the evangelical presence is dominant”.

These criticisms are nothing new. In 2019, Época magazine highlighted the article “Between Bibles and rifles” on its cover. Deputy and pastor Otoni de Paula criticized: “Everyone knows that drug dealers go to the terreiros to take a shower, wrap their bodies up to go to the track. Here, this deputy did not attack African-based religions, just to show that there is an organized attack on evangelical churches in Brazil”.

Instead of highlighting information that reinforces stigmas, there is a way of questioning them to point out how the evangelical phenomenon is diverse and surprising. The magazine Piauí did this last week by publishing a profile with the suggestive title: “An evangelical and anti-fascist in the elite of the troop”.

PRESENT LINK: Did you like this text? Subscriber can release five free hits of any link per day. Just click the blue F below.

#Academics #evangelicals #agree #repudiate #report #trafficking #Juliano #Spyer

Leave a Comment