Holy War, coup plotters and merchants of faith in Brazil

There are a mystical-religious component, quasi-medieval, in the neo-fascist ideology of the pro-Bolsonaro coup leaders in Brazil. They talk about Holy War and are ready for anything. To what was seen in the invasion of the three powers of the State and much more. Absorbed in their world view of the world, fanaticizedThey unfilteredly spread their hatred through social networks, urged on by pastors who call them to take up arms. The renowned German theologian Dorothee Sölle (1929-2003) who worked in Brazil, would fit his case into what he called christofascism, a definition that he coined in the decade of the 70s of the last century. A Tik Tok video of the thousands that have been circulating since Sunday is a remarkable synthesis of that behavior. A bearded and shaken man, who appears to be about 40 years old, dressed in the yellow-green flag, shouts into the camera for almost a minute: “Come all the angels, Gabrieles and Rafaeles, join the people of the Lord, the people that do not deny the homeland and faith, and let’s go to war!”

The Pastor Mauro Sérgio Aiello from the Presbyterian Church of Brazil in Mogi das Cruzes, São Paulo, came out in defense of the coup plotters who, like a mob, destroyed Congress, the Planalto and the headquarters of the Superior Federal Court (STF). He said in his sermon broadcast on a YouTube channel on the same day of the attack, that the country is on the verge of a “civil war”.. Quoted by journalist Silvio Costa on the Congreso en foco website, the hate preacher asked Brazilians to take up arms to defend themselves.

“The rope has stretched and is breaking, my people. And I see a country on the brink of civil war and upheaval. We are not going to take up arms to attack, but if it is necessary to take up arms to defend ourselves, we will.. The real Brazilian does not run away from the fight. We are a peaceful and orderly nation, but there is a moment in which we must act,” said Aiello as if he were Torquemada in the middle of the Inquisition. He is not the only rebellious religious. There were those who supported the bus caravan to Brasilia and others who organized it.

Joshua Valandropastor of the Attitude Baptist Church in Barra da Tijuca – which was frequented by former first lady Michelle Bolsonaro – sympathetically followed the criminal acts in the capital from the networks and on Twitter asked that it was “time to fast for the homeland”. Silas Malafaiaperhaps the most influential cleric in Brazil and staunch ally of the former president, justified the coup attempt because “People’s patience has limits”. It is the same as last November and with a premonitory sense he said that if “Lula makes a mistake, the people will overthrow him.” He controls more than 130 temples, he is a billionaire and his congregation has the pompous name of Assembly of God Victory in Christ church.

“We can say that the religious discourse acted as an ideological motivator for the acts of violence seen in Brasilia, because it mobilizes moral guidelines, the conservatism of Brazilian society,” he explained. Nilza Valeriacoordinator of the Front of Evangelicals for the Rule of Law for a detailed report on the Public Agency site entitled: “The religious face of terrorism: Pastors organized caravans and called for attacks on BSB”. The acronym corresponds to Brasília.

The most daring accompanied their parishioners possessed by hate in the attacks on the main government installations. “Pastor Nubia Modista, from the Itaguaí Evangelical Apostolic Church in Rio de Janeiro, was among the group of invaders who went to Brasilia and posted videos inside public buildings. ‘I’m here inside Congress. The police wanted to let them in … look at this'”, she says from the place, quoted by the journalists Mariama Correia and Nathalia Fonseca.

Consecrated by the electronic churches to fulfill their role as guardians of evangelical fundamentalism. Politically empowered by the fugitive former president, now a resident of the US. Funded by agribusiness and armed like a zombie militia, the bolsonaristas more ultras have damage capacity, as was already verified in Brasilia.


The sabotage against three high tension towers in the states of Rondonia, Paraná and São Paulo –the first of which occurred on Sunday night– suggest that the federal government cannot ignore the Hypothesis of future attacks on the national electrical system. Also against the supply of fuels that placed the state-owned Petrobras on maximum alert.

The Brazilian extreme right should not be underestimated. It already happened when the serpent’s egg was incubating before Bolsonaro came to power in October 2018. The consequences are plain to see. The “genocidal” policy during the pandemic, as Lula himself defined it, is one of them.

Another aspect of the idiosyncrasy of these groups is that they prefabricate a parallel reality all the time. They believe in a version of history tailored to their faith, in a world of believers and disbelievers. They are racist, homophobic, McCarthyite. “The church is an emotional health agency, as important as hospitals” Malafaia said in 2020 when the Brazilian population died in clusters while Bolsonaro tried to stop the advance of Covid 19 with chloroquine.

“Fight now and be part of history”, was the slogan with which the merchants of the faith who led them to the promised land of the Planalto were summoned to march. Like they dipping into the ninth crusade (the eighth and last was in the 13th century) they found their Holy Sepulcher in Brasilia. Although this time they were not guided by the Catholic Church, but rather by a handful of pastors who vomit their coup creed, clinging to their Bibles.

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