A same-sex couple was arrested by Brazilian authorities earlier this month after they stood amid a large crowd gathered for an evangelistic event to embrace each other and share a kiss.
Upon seeing the two women, Pastor Marco Feliciano, who was speaking on stage at the time, stopped his message to order the pair to be arrested while the crowd of about 70,000 in attendance began to cheer in agreement.
"Those two girls have to leave here handcuffed" said Feliciano, who is also president of the Brazilian House Commission for Human Rights and Minorities, as shown in a video of the event. "No use trying to run, guards are headed there now. This here isn't a place where anything goes. It's the house of God." more >>
More than 3 million people gathered at Rio's Copacabana beach on Sunday for the final Mass of Pope Francis' trip to Brazil. The first Latin American pope used the occasion to urge the faithful to come out of their isolation and evangelize the world.
"The experience of this encounter must not remain locked up in your life or in the small group of your parish, your movement, or your community," pope told the crowd spread along the 2.5 mile crescent of the beach at the final celebration of the World Youth Day on Sunday. "That would be like withholding oxygen from a flame that's burning," the 76-year-old Argentine pope said, according to Rome Reports.
Among the attendees were Brazilian President Dilma Roussef, Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Bolivian President Evo Morales. more >>
Pope Francis addressed hundreds of thousands of young pilgrims at the celebrations marking the World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro this week, saying if the church did not spread the faith in the streets it would be reduced to a non-governmental organization.
"I would like to tell you what my expectations are regarding this World Youth Day," Pope Francis said on a rain-soaked Copacabana Beach. "I would like us to make noise, I would like those inside the dioceses to go out into the open; I want the Church to be in the streets; I want us to defend ourselves against all that is worldliness, comfort, being closed and turned within – parishes, colleges and institutions must get out otherwise they risk becoming NGOs, and the Church is not a non-governmental organization," The Vatican Today quoted him as saying in his native Portuguese on Thursday.
Francis arrived in Brazil on Monday, ahead of World Youth Day events. more >>
Pope Francis arrived in Brazil on Monday, ahead of World Youth Day events where as many as 2.5 million people are expected to participate. The Roman Catholic Church's leader began his first trip abroad with an open-air drive through Rio Janeiro's historic center.
"It's so exciting to see the pope in our country," said Antonio Dantas, a 24-year-old seminary student from northeastern Brazil, as reported by Bloomberg. "I hope he brings a message of peace to all of us who make up the Catholic religion, but also people of other religions."
Pope Francis' visit takes the initial enthusiasm expressed by Latin Americans about having the first non-European pope in more than 1,200 years to the next level. He is visiting the world's most Catholic region. His visit occurs on the first World Youth Day to be held in Latin America since the first World Youth Day, which was held in Latin America 26 years ago, according to Vatican Radio. more >>
The Brazilian edition of Playboy magazine recently announced that a model who claims to be evangelical will be on the cover of its September issue.
Aline Franzoi, who belongs to National Mission Evangelical Church in Brazil, was already under fire for being a ring girl for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) competitions, which some consider to be a violent sport. But now news of her upcoming Playboy cover adds additional oil to the heat she has received over her career choices.
Rio de Janeiro in Brazil is getting ready to host the Roman Catholic Church's World Youth Day, which begins on July 23 and is expected to attract 2.5 million people. Pope Francis has, meanwhile, promised indulgences to Twitter followers for that day.
"I joyfully look forward to next July in Rio de Janeiro! I will see you in that great city in Brazil! Prepare well, prepare spiritually above all – in your communities, so that our gathering in Rio may be a sign of faith for the whole world," the Vatican leader said in March of the upcoming trip.
The event will also mark Pope Francis' first international trip, as he is set to visit his home continent and participate in a number of events. The Vatican noted that the location for this year's celebrations was chosen by his predecessor Benedict XVI. more >>