Sunday, November 16, 2008

1st Annual Evangelical Week of Black Consciousness

As you have been able to see from the last two posts, and from many other posts over the years, one of the biggest strongholds of evil in Porto Alegre and Rio Grande do Sul is Spiritism. This Voodoo-like religion is a combination of African witchcraft and Catholicism and involves demon possession, spell casting and sacrifices.

However, in a positive development that has only come to fruition after many of you prayed for God to tear down the barriers of Spirtism, one of our local Baptist churches is holding a the "1st Annual Evangelical Week of Black Consciousness."

Please be praying that God will use the events of this week to show those involved in African spiritist religions that Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, that no one comes to the Father except through Him, and that Christ wants to bring them freedom from the shackles of witchcraft that bind them.

Here is the schedule for the week:
Tuesday - Non-violence workshop at the church
Wednesday - True Love waits at the local public school
Thursday - Tolerance workshop at the church
Friday - Workshop on cultural realization and self-discipline at the local public library.
Saturday - Drug prevention workshop at the church

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Book Fairs and Spiritism

Every year, Porto Alegre hosts the largest book fair in all of Latin America. Hundreds of book tables are set up in the praças and parks of the historic part of town. It is an opportunity for Porto Alegre to shine and flaunt its status as the most educated and literate state and city in all of Brazil. Besides some really good food (I won't even mention the delicious fresh strawberry and whipped cream creation that Cam and I ate the last time we were down there), there are a host of plays, book readings, concerts and cultural activities that go on. Many thousands of people will circulate through during the weeks that the book fair is in session.
Unfortunately, this year there is a "Congress celebrating the 100 years of umbanda in Rio Grande do Sul" going on during the book fair. It will be running until Tuesday. Umbanda is an African Spiritis religion that mixes Voodo-like African religion with Catholicism - it is witchcraft in its most base form. Umbanda and related Spiritist religions have blinded the hearts and minds of countless Gaúchos to the truth of the gospel.

Please pray that GOD would bind up the stronghold of Umbanda and Spiritism and that it would not be allowed a place of prominance in Rio Grande do Sul. Ask for God to send His Holy Spirit to open the eyes of the Gaúchos to the truth of the gospel that they might be saved and worship the one true God and Him alone. In the words of one of our Christian friends who wrote me about this "I got upset and thought, let's pray for God set our state free." Amen to that!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Religious freedom?

Here is the direct translation of an article that came out in our local secular newspaper recently talking about the official approval by city counsel to leave the remains of dead animals sacrificed in Spiritist witchcraft rituals on the city streets.

Despite the ruling of this secular authority we know that God is MUCH BIGGER than any false worship offered in Porto Alegre, and we give GOD all the glory, honor, power and praise for how HE is being glorified, and will be glorifed more and more as He brings about a tremendous revival in Porto Alegre as you pray!

"Porto Alegre: Sacrifice of animals in African worship is authorized
Approval Given by City Council

The sacrifice of animal in worship of African origin was authorized by the city council in the capital. The approved law decriminalizes (under the municipal sanitation code) the placing of dead animals usually used in the worship and liturgy of African religions in public places.

In April, a law was passed that established a fine for those who left dead animal remains in roads, rivers, drainage canals and streams. The law ended up creating controversy between religious groups.

At the time, the language of the law presented by city counsel member Almerindo Filho (PTB Party), and sanctioned by then interim mayor Eliseu Santos (PTB Party), who is linked to the Assembly of God, laid out a fine of up to R$330 (about US$175). Afro-brazilian religious followers protested the law on the grounds of religious prejudice.

Despite the fact that the law did not make any direct reference to creedal manifestations, they affirmed that the law was specifically targeted against African religious practices. In the practice of witchcraft, it is common to leave the remains of animals, such as chickens, on street corners after offerings to the African gods are made.

The author of the new law, city counsel member Guilherme Barbosa (PT party) said that it was necessary to correct the error brought about by the other law, because it would have caused negative consequences to the religious activities that use animal sacrifice. “The law determines that the city cannot hinder the functioning of worship, churches, or the exercise of the right of collective cultural manifestation” stated Barbosa."