Lula says that God guides his steps in 1st meeting with evangelical leaders

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Lula renewed his frequent pledge to bring barbecue to Brazilian homes (photo: André Borges / AFP)

Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) said he is guided by God in his first campaign meeting with evangelical leaders.

“If there’s a Brazilian who doesn’t need to prove that he believes in God, that Brazilian is me. I wouldn’t have gotten where I am if it weren’t for the hand of God directing my steps”, he said this Friday (9) in São Gonçalo (RJ), during an act organized by the PT’s evangelical nucleus. “I’m sure that from above he will say: Lula, take care of these people here.”

Before speaking with messianic notes, the PT highlighted initiatives he took when he was president to guarantee religious freedom, in an attempt to dispel fake news fed by the Bolsonarist machine, such as that he will close churches if he is elected.

“I learned that the State must not have religion, it must not have a church, it must guarantee the functioning and freedom of many churches.”

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Lula renewed his frequent promise to bring barbecue to Brazilian homes, only omitting the beer he usually includes in the package. “Families love to get together on the weekend and have a little barbecue,” she said. Alcoholic beverages, which are not recommended in churches, were left out this time.

Bolsonarism was in the crosshairs at times, not always with nominal citations. Lula said, for example, that “no one can lie in the name of God, in fact, no one should use God’s name in vain, no one should use God’s name to try to win a vote.” Reference to the commonplace religious mentions in the campaign of opponent Jair Bolsonaro (PL).

He again accused the president of “stealing the Sete de Setembro from the Brazilian people.” The date was supposed to be a civic one, but Bolsonaro “threw a party for him”, he said.

The speech for religious was several shades down bellicosity against the rival the day before. In Nova Iguaçu (RJ), Lula compared Bolsonar’s actions on the bicentennial of Independence to a “meeting of the Ku Klux Klan”.

To hammer home the family letter, so important to this Christian niche, Lula told the story of his mother, highlighting the role of Dona Lindu in raising her children. Then she spoke of her own offspring, with five children, eight grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. “If the family is in harmony,” if children obey their parents, “we will live in extraordinary tranquility,” she said.

He also recalled the Presbyterian Lysâneas Maciel, constituent deputy of the PDT who, in the 1980s, was called by peers from a seminal evangelical bench in Congress as “the leader of the evangelicals of the B”, the minority on the left of the bloc.

Vice on the Lula ticket, former governor and former opponent Geraldo Alckmin (PSB) pointed out that it took a pastor to change the world half a century ago: the Baptist Martin Luther King, an American icon in the fight against racism.

“Who wants Lula president says amen!”, shouted the Baptist pastor Oliver Goiano before the audience of believers, to open the act. Sermons followed, with prayers and proselytizing speeches.

The meeting was programmed to try to dilute resistance in the evangelical base to Lula and to the left that he represents. This month’s Datafolha poll gives Bolsonaro 48% of that Christian electorate, against 32% for the former president.

Earlier, a Bolsonarista was wounded in the head in confusion with PT militants who were waiting for Lula to arrive at the religious act. Rodrigo Duarte drove a car all decorated with elements of Bolsonarism. On Thursday (8), he warned, on video, that he would go to the place to protest.

It is Lula’s first event with pastors in this campaign. Better late than never was an impression shared behind the scenes by some of the evangelicals in attendance.

The PT did not leave his comfort zone – there were old war comrades from the minority progressive wing of evangelical leaders. Among the most expressive names, deputy Benedita da Silva and pastor Ariovaldo Ramos.

“I fully believe that we need to correct and think about our language”, said Pastor Goiano. A pull on the ear in the fruitless dialogue often held between the left and the churches, with jargon that would better fall in non-religious circles.

Instead of citing the Marxist concept of historical materialism, for example, it would be worth saying that the church of deacons and apostles strives for the equality of all. A more palatable gateway to the segment.

The more militant tone also appeared. “President Lula, the evangelical church has to ask your forgiveness. You were not only the target of injustice by the Brazilian Judiciary, but also by the Brazilian clergy”, said Pastor Sérgio Dusilek, president of the Carioca Baptist Convention.

A gospel piseiro produced by the Evangelical Front for the State of Law resounded through the shed, a popular rhythm in the temples. The lyrics suggested believing that “better days will come”.

The “Political Beabá”

The Beabá da Política series gathered the main questions about elections in 22 videos and reports that answer these questions in a direct and easy to understand way. An increasing demand, especially among the younger Brazilian electorate. The reports are available on the website of State of Mines and on Portal Uai and the videos on our profiles on TikTok, Instagram, Kwai and YouTube.

About Abhishek Pratap

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