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Religion is changing in Brazil: Where are we now?

Christ the Redeemer statue, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Credit: Artyominc/Wikipedia/Creative Commons 3.0

Education is history. Most of the things that we learn are things that happened, and now we can look back and analyze them. That usually works, but some experts claim that the world population today is equal to all the people who lived before, all the way back to the Stone Age. We can’t prove that, but we are living in history, and it’s good to know how the world is changing around us.

Whatever we think about religion, the old stories are being replaced by new ones. Religion, in the world, is nothing like what we saw in history. Modern people want something new now, and religion cannot be controlled. One example is China, governed by a Communist Party. In modern times, religion in China is supposed to be mostly for old people. The younger generation is supposed to be modern and secular, and mostly Atheist.

It’s not easy to track religion in an officially Atheist country, but experts estimate that about eighty percent of the population practices some religion, and about seventy-five percent officially belong to a religious organization. The Christians have not disappeared, and now they probably outnumber members of the Communist party. It is dangerous to be counted, but things are dynamic.

Among Christians, one of the fastest-growing Christian communities is in the Islamic Republic of Iran. People make their own choices.

Another place where religion is changing, and society is changing with it, is Brazil. While the world is looking in other directions, Brazil is changing on the inside. That country is huge, half of a continent, so what they do will affect us all.

Brazil was colonized by explorers from Portugal, centuries ago, and they brought their Portuguese language and their Roman Catholic religion.

That is history, and more history is being made now. The religion of colonial history is losing members rapidly, and new variations are taking over.

That part of the world is changing under our feet:

My own opinion is that change is happening, and the whole society is changing. It is not fair to say that everything new is good, and everything old is bad. It’s just true that our world is changing, and the changes are religious. The secular press, that gives us our news, is secular. They don’t have much interest in religion, and they don’t tell us what’s really happening, most of the time.

If you didn’t know, we already live in a new world. In a few years, it will be new again. There will be more Brazils. Modern people want new things.

One driving force of this huge change is youth. A large part of modern societies are young, and they are too busy to learn the old-fashioned values of their grandparents. The Internet and their friends have their attention, and old things don’t have a chance.

One of the most traditional countries in the world is Saudi Arabia, and you may have seen a video of the dancing boy:

Some others performances were mentioned, and it’s easy to see that teenagers are the same everywhere. It’s not easy to control them, probably it’s impossible.

That is a small picture of Brazil. The new generations want what they want.

So, how do we understand our world, as it changes?

It’s personal.

A country that is half a continent is changing, but it is changing one person at a time. We all want something new from God. The change that we cause might bother people who love tradition, but the change cannot be stopped.

As a Christian, I began by asking God to make a new person. I don’t like the old person that I used to be. One of the most basic lessons about God is new beginnings. The God of the Bible told us “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:18)

The desire for this is a basic human instinct, and we can expect new generations to change the world.

I hope we can see this truth about ourselves when we see huge countries like Brazil.

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. (Revelation 21:1-3)

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