Displaying items by tag: Brazil
From 7 to 9 August, eight Amazonian nations met in Brazil hoping to agree on future strategies to protect the rainforest while sustainably developing the region. President Lula called this summit for the eight South American countries sharing a slice of the Amazon. It is the first time in 45 years that there has been a meeting to ensure a regional response to combat deforestation, crime and climate change. Three days before the event, a pre-summit meeting of civil society representatives agreed on an alliance to combat deforestation, but each country will pursue its own conservation goals when the heads of state discuss and make decisions. President Lula said that previous meetings were just talk, talk, talk, and nothing happened, and this meeting is the first great opportunity for people to show the world what they want to do. Experts and conservationists have hailed the event as a turning point for the future of the Amazon rainforest. See also
Brazilian president Lula wants his Nicaraguan counterpart, Daniel Ortega, to free Bishop Rolando Alvarez, who was sent to prison for over 26 years for refusing to leave Nicaragua after Ortega expelled him with 222 other political prisoners to America. He had been locked up for sermons unflattering to the government. Because he refused to leave, he was sent to a maximum-security cell. President Lula said, ‘There is no reason for the bishop to be prevented from exercising his function in the Church. The only thing the Church wants is for Nicaragua to free him.’ While Brazil and Nicaragua have good relations, ties between the Vatican and the Central American state have been severely strained following a crackdown on anti-government protests in 2018, when the Church acted as a mediator between them. Lula said that Ortega should recognise that a mistake had been made.
People having a pre-Lent holiday at San Sebastiao beach had two feet of torrential rain. Sao Paulo state’s floods also claimed lives on carnival weekend. TV and social media showed entire areas under water, hillside houses swept away by mud, flooded highways, cars destroyed by fallen trees and more. By 23 February dozens were missing, 48 had died and rescue crews were scrambling to provide necessities, but the logistics of reaching the isolated towns was creating difficulties. Not all aid has reached survivors. Criminals taking advantage of the chaos are looting trucks carrying donations. Pray for the 1,730 displaced people in churches, schools and kindergartens and the 1,810 left homeless, the injured, and those looking for the missing. Pray for those mourning the dead. Amid such devastation a two-year-old boy was rescued from a sea of mud, as was a woman giving birth. See
Jair Bolsonaro lost the presidential election to Lula da Silva in October, but his supporters do not accept that he lost. On 8 January thousands stormed key government sites, ransacking Congress buildings, breaking into the Senate chamber, presidential palace and Supreme Court in Brasilia. Lula’s inauguration on 1 January was peaceful, but when Anderson Torres took over as secretary of security on the 2nd he fired the entire command before going on a family holiday. The federal intervenor in public security accused Torres of ‘structured sabotage’. The attorney general said the police commander, and governor of Brasilia have been fired. The commander of the military police, former public security chief and others ‘responsible for acts and omissions’ leading to the riots were arrested. About 1,500 rioters are detained at the police academy and 600 elsewhere. Public prosecutors want to freeze Bolsonaro's assets because he has not admitted defeat in a tight election that divided the nation.
At least two people have died after heavy rain caused a mudslide which engulfed the BR-376 motorway in Parana state. The whereabouts of around thirty people are unknown. Several vehicles are thought to have been buried under the rubble on the coastal road. Aerial pictures show lorries lying on their sides hanging perilously over the edge of the motorway. Social media footage showed motorists battling through muddy flood water before the landslide. Some people online have asked why the road was not closed earlier. Access to a major port for grains and sugar shipments has been cut off. About 80% of goods exported from Paranagua, the country's second-biggest port for grains and sugar, are delivered by truck. The state authority has declined to estimate the total losses.
Brazil’s Lula da Silva’s presidential election victory brings renewed hope for our largest rainforest as he pledged to combat climate change and reverse his predecessor’s policies. Pray for Lula to keep his pledges to protect the Amazon. November 8th is the USA’s midterm election day. Black, Hispanic, and young people are concerned about crime at polling stations. South Africa’s new Zulu king, Misuzulu kaZwelithini, has been officially recognised as the head of the country’s influential traditional monarchy by President Ramaphosa saying, ‘You have picked up the mighty spear that fell. May your steady hand bring stability to AmaZulu kingship.’ Pray that the new king and government unite to bring rural areas into prosperity. At the time of writing, Itamar Ben-Gvir, a fringe Palestinian-hating religious far-right extremist, will probably join Benjamin Netanyahu to form a far right coalition that would change the nature of Israel’s political system.
President Bolsonaro has delivered fiery speeches to tens of thousands of supporters at rallies ahead of a divisive election on 2 October when opinion polls suggest he will be defeated. Bolsonaro has repeatedly attacked Supreme Court justices, alleging (without any evidence) that Brazil’s electronic voting system is vulnerable to widespread fraud. Legal experts have rejected that allegation, and critics accuse him of sowing doubt ahead of the election to dispute the results, as was done by Donald Trump, whom Bolsonaro has emulated. ‘Bolsonaro, activate the military to depose the Supreme Court,’ said one banner carried by Suely Ferreira who said, ‘Our country is being ruined by the high court’s dictatorship. We love our president. Everyone I know supports him. He will win. There’s no way he could lose.’ The president’s attacks on the voting system have stirred calls for a military coup from some more radical backers, fuelling concerns that the nation could see election-related violence.
Two years ago, World Missionary Press (WMP) sent 6.4 million Scripture booklets to ministry partners through a project called ‘Blessings for Brazil’. WMP freight coordinator Helen Williams says she is flooded with reports of the Holy Spirit changing hearts. ‘The feedback is overwhelming as our distributors describe new opportunities; one ministry is sending 500 boxes a time to distribution points for pastors. There are places being reached that have never been reached because of the lack of resources. Some use Scripture booklets in the inner city, others take them to remote jungle tribal villages. Optician teams use Scripture booklets for their eye test reading charts. Where literacy is marginal, teachers use the booklets to teach the language - their lesson plan is the Scripture booklet. Eight million more booklets will go out before the end of 2022.
The Brumadinho dam disaster in 2019 killed 270 people and caused extensive environmental damage that affected the livelihoods of 944,000 people. Men were brought in to carry out repairs, and violence against women increased at home and outside the home. This was attributed partly to the influx of the new workers and partly to households under pressure when livelihoods collapsed. On the third anniversary of the disaster, women have described the effects on them when drinking-water supplies were destroyed, as well as fisheries and other sources of income. They said that their livelihoods, particularly in agriculture and fishing, had been ‘extinguished’ because of contamination, shortages of water and lack of investment in production. Christian Aid said, ‘Families have been torn apart and the community remains devastated three years on. It is chilling to understand countless women have been subjected to the horrors of gender-based violence.’
It has been thirty days since two planes flew 545 persecuted Christians and at-risk Afghans out of the country. They are now temporarily housed in Abu Dhabi. They have been given ninety days from when they arrived to leave the country and re-settle. They boarded these flights with nothing more than a handbag. Everything was left behind as they fled to safety. While they are all grateful to be alive, they now face uncertainty; pray for those assisting them with paperwork that must be completed for their resettlement, arrangements for flights out of Abu Dhabi, and temporary housing and living expenses when they land in their new home country. Brazil has emerged as a potential new home for these Afghans. Their rescuers have strong contacts in local churches, and the community there is ready to step up and serve as the Body of Christ, welcoming this group of refugees.