(Photo: Reuters/Paulo Whitaker)
More than 1 million evangelical Christians participated in the annual "March for Jesus" in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Saturday.
"The number of people participating is extremely high – at least 1 million," The Associated Press quoted Police Capt. Luis Fernando Otaviano as saying of the annual march in Sao Paulo.
Like each year, hundreds of Protestant churches and non-denominational groups took part in the march, which was organized by the Reborn in Christ Church and included religious music shows and messages from pastors and preachers, to, what organizers say, "lift up Jesus."
Brazil's evangelical population is exploding, jumping from 6.6 percent to 22.2 percent of the overall Brazilian population, according to the 2010 census. This means that evangelical Christianity is the fastest growing religious segment in Brazil.
The census results from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics published June 29 shows that the evangelical population of Brazil increased by 16 million people over the 10 year period from 2000 to 2010, to 42.3 million.
Meanwhile, the Catholic population – which is by far still the most populous in Brazil – has decreased over the same decade. In 2000, the Catholic population was 73.6 percent of Brazil's population, but in 2010, it had dropped to 64.6 percent.
As of the end of 2011, Brazil is now the world's second most Christian-populated country, according to Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.