Jesus has competition now. The business of religion is taking a hit because now there is a new crop of faith healers out there bringing in more money than even the Catholic Church. It seems that religion is big business in Brazil where there is no one to regulate the missionary. Literally anyone could just open a church and start collecting money, no degree in divinity school required. We all know that faith can be intoxicating and offer people hope. There are children in Brazil claiming to be able to heal people with a simple touch.
Injured soldiers and people from all over the world have been visiting these faith healers. When years of therapy and operations have not helped a person’s condition, sometimes faith is the cure. It has fueled a spiritual movement involving 40,000,000 people there. They call it Evangelical Christianity and is the fastest growing religion around the world. It has been so successful that many bogus people have opened up churches simply to get in on all those donations. There are Pastors in Brazil that will also offer counseling and chiropractic care.
Anyone can become a pastor and anyone can open a church and no chiropractic degrees needed either. It is their vision of prosperity and good health that attract people into these churches. Other religions dwell on heaven and hell , damnation and revelation. These churches always offer hope for a better life in the here and now on earth and not necessarily places called heaven or hell. Members of these evangelical churches typically hand over 10 to 30% of their salary not including offerings at Mass. Professor Eduardo Refkalefsky from the University of Federal Do Rio DeJaneiro says that the money goes directly from the member’s wallet to the Pastor of the Church. There is no control over the money.
Salvation is a booming business. In some neighborhoods there can be as much as 10 churches within a three block area. Yet they are all filling up with people. Even If your ailments are not healed people say they still feel better and more hopeful for a brighter future. Hope is all we all can ask for in this life.