Evangelical religion plays a new role in the lives of Brazil's poor
Coping with Poverty
Pentecostals and Christian Base Communities in Brazil
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Cecília Loreto Mariz
Only by understanding the enduring poverty of Brazil can one hope to understand the recent growth of Protestant evangelical churches there, Cecília Loreto Mariz contends. Her study investigates how religious groups support individualism and encourage the poor to organize. Groups with shared values are then able to develop strategies to cope with poverty and, ultimately, to transform the social structure.
Interviews with members and leaders of religious groups, accounts of meetings, and close readings of religious literature contribute to a realistic account of Christian base communities and Assembly of God churches, folk Catholic tradition, and Afro Brazilian Spiritism.
Cecília Loreto Mariz, a Brazilian national, teaches Sociology at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil.