Brazil may have lost its bid to win the World Cup, but they took advantage of the few days left to win the souls of soccer fans. Local Christians did not let the opportunity slip past them.
Brazil's Christian population is enormous — more than 90 percent of Brazilians claim to be Christian — making it the world's second-largest Christian population with 8 percent of the total (the USA 11.3 percent). Most of those are Catholic. Evangelicals are gaining on them expanding from 15 percent of the population in 2000 to 22 percent in 2010.
Brazilians have a history of traveling to witness when other countries host the world's most famous soccer tournaments, but this time they had a home field advantage. Around 100 evangelicals hit Copacabana Beach to hand out 15,000 booklets on the history of Brazil and soccer that included an article by Brazilian soccer star Kaka, who said "the true sense of victory is having Jesus in my life”. Volunteers for the Bible Society of Brazil passed out 20,000 copies of the Gospel of John in eight different languages.
The day before the World Cup final more than 1,000 Brazilian evangelicals circled the Maracana soccer stadium to “send a message of peace to the world”. From where they were standing they were able to see the iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer. The July-August 2014 issue of Christianity Today reported how Brazilians online search the Bible, and successfully made evangelistic efforts to connect with North Koreans at the 2010 World Cup that is now one of the top missionary-sending countries.
How blessed and fortunate I am to be asked to be part of the CPE (Church Partnerships Evangelize) team to go back to Brazil leaving here early morning of the 17th of July for five weeks. I cherish your prayers. Thank you. Joan