The role of evangelical leaders in the election of President-elect Jair Bolsonaro was as historical as it was with President Trump in the United States. Strengthening the ties with the US and Israel was a promise he made while running for office, and he wants to deliver.
This week, a group of pro-Israel faith leaders from the United States were in Brazil. Bolsonaro’s name is well known abroad and they wanted an opportunity to show how much people in different places are supportive of him.
Mario Bramnick, President of the Latino Coalition for Israel led a team of evangelical leaders to meet with the President-elect as well as Brazilian political and religious leaders in the capital, Brasilia, where they met future cabinet members including Damares Alves, a pastor nominated to be Secretary of Human Rights.
Bramnick believes Damares “will do an amazing work as secretary, fighting for Human Rights and religious freedom in Brazil and abroad.”
On the December 20, Bramnick, along with American pastors Jim and Rosemary Garlow, Ramiro and Orphalina Pena, as well as Albert Veksler, CEO of Israel Empowerment Fund, had an opportunity to meet Bolsonaro and pray with him.
They also talked about pressing issues regarding Israel and world politics and how similar the scenario in Brazil is to the US.
Pastor Pena gave the president-elect a tallit, a prayer shawl brought from Israel, thanking him for all his support for Israel.
Veksler stated: “We are thankful for President [-elect] Bolsonaro’s stand for Jerusalem and his friendship with Israel.”
“We are very thankful for the opportunity to stand with President-elect Bolsonaro in solidarity with him. People of faith in the US are very aware of his role in the new political scenario in South America and are praying vigorously for his health and the prosperity of the nation,” celebrated pastor Garlow. His wife, Rosemary, said the “evangelical Christians of America are honored to visit Brazil and to stand with the elected government at this crucial moment.”
After the meeting, Pastor Pena commented: “We are very thankful to be here and to pray for Brazil. We love this nation and its people”. Pastor Bramnick stated the “we strongly believe that President [-elect] Bolsonaro’s decisions will change not only his nations, but also affect others in South America.
Brazilian pastor José Valandro, who leads the church in Rio de Janeiro that the Bolsonaro family attends, understands that “the moment Brazil lives is crucial for our future. I am very happy to see our future president taking bold stands in a country that suffered so long with corruption and leaders who tried to impose a socialist agenda.”
The Brazilian President-elect posted a picture of the meeting in his Instagram account commenting that he was thankful for all the support and prayers and “it is important for all of us to have faith.”
According to Rosemary Garlow, who penned this text but did not intend it for publication, “We were included as those who went to pray for President-elect Jair Bolsonaro. It was not for media attention but out of sincere concern and for support for our Christian brother who is bravely giving of himself to help his country prosper and end political corruption. He understands the importance of blessing Israel and plans move Brazil’s embassy to Jerusalem.”