“The atmosphere was electric at Reborn in Christ Church on “Extreme Fight” night. Churchgoers dressed in jeans and sneakers, many with ball caps turned backward, lined a makeshift boxing ring to cheer on bare-chested jujitsu fighters.
They screamed when a fan favorite, Fabio Buca, outlasted his opponent after several minutes. They went wild when Pastor Dogão Meira, 26, took his man down, pinning him with an armlock just 10 seconds into the fight.
With the crowd still buzzing, Pastor Mazola Maffei, dressed in army pants and a T-shirt, grabbed a microphone. Pastor Maffei, who is also Pastor Meira’s fight trainer, then held the crowd rapt with a sermon about the connection between sports and spirituality.
“You need to practice the sport of spirituality more,” he urged. “You need to fight for your life, for your dreams and ideals.”
Reborn in Christ is among a growing number of evangelical churches in Brazil that are finding ways to connect with younger people to swell their ranks. From fight nights to reggae music to video games and on-site tattoo parlors, the churches have helped make evangelicalism the fastest-growing spiritual movement in Brazil.” – NYT (more on it here)
Special shout-out to Marginal Revolution (who started the “Why are books so expensive in Brazil?” conversation) for writing about this NYT story. When clicking on the “writing about” link, you will also find thoughtful commentary by MR’s readers.
I found one commentor’s words to strike a chord when he said that the common religious theme of sheep to the shepherd is also what is helping to bring in the youth of today by bribing them with ‘their own culture’. On a side note, I wasn’t sure if I should have placed this post under religion or business.