The Brazilian Bible Society will distribute four million Bibles in an effort to reach the multitude of soccer fans that will trek to Brazil to attend the FIFA World Cup.
Leaders of the international outreach organization say over half a million fans from around the world will descend upon Brazil to join three million local fans, all of whom they hope to share the Gospel with.
"Brazilians are football-mad and their obsession with football will reach fever pitch over the next few weeks …," said Dr. Rudi Zimmer of the Bible Society of Brazil, reports the United Bible Societies. "We want the Bible to have a prominent presence amid all the excitement. It's an unprecedented opportunity for churches and Christians here to share God's Word with local and foreign fans, and we want to equip and encourage them to do that." more >>
Close to 3,000 families camped out near the World Cup stadium in Sao Paulo a day before the soccer tournament in Brazil begins, trying to raise global attention for what they say is a lack of support they have received from the government.
"I always liked the World Cup. I was Brazilian through and through," said one woman at the encampment, CNN reported. "But this Cup and the stadium are making people angry."
The World Cup, which begins June 12 and ends July 13, will bring together 32 nations to compete for the trophy. The organization has been plagued by protests from activists who have said that the country spent a total of $11 billion for the competition, while many social services have been neglected. more >>
The Catholic Archdiocese of Brazil is threatening to sue an Italian broadcasting company over a television commercial showing Rio de Janeiro's famous Christ the Redeemer Statue clad in an Italian soccer jersey.
The advertisement, which aired on the Italian broadcasting station Rai ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, shows children playing soccer in the streets, sporting the jerseys of Italy's national team, "Azzurri." The advertisement then ends with a digitally altered image of the Christ the Redeemer statue wearing a number 10 "Italia" jersey, with the caption "Brazil Awaits Us."
Rodrigo Grazioli, a lawyer for Brazil's Catholic Church, told the O Globo newspaper that the church is threatening to sue the Italian broadcasting company for $5.4 million, vowing to give the payment to charity if the Catholic church wins the lawsuit. more >>
Brazil's Catholic Church has condemned the country's hosting of the upcoming World Cup, pointing out the billions that have been spent on stadiums while the country still fails to advance basic public services, such as sanitation and education.
Brazil's Bishops Conference distributed brochures in the country's dioceses last week, encouraging government officials to allow Brazilians to publicly protest the FIFA World Cup, which begins June 12 and ends July 13. The brochures condemn the country's World Cup organizers for spending a total of $11 billion in preparation for the World Cup, instead of contributing such a massive amount of money to the country's notoriously poor public services.
"The Church wants to contribute to the public debate and express its concern with [...] the inversion of priorities in the use of public money that should go to health, education, basic sanitation, transportation and security," the red brochure reads, in part. The appearance of the brochure resembles the "red card" given to a soccer player from a referee that indicates he has committed a flagrant foul. more >>
Over half a million Christians gathered throughout Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, last week to partake in "March for Jesus," an annual event intended to showcase the country's growing evangelical population.
The march was held under the slogan "I belong to Jesus. I am a champion," in honor of the participants' faith and the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup, which Brazil is hosting beginning June 12. Many proclaimed the theme on jersey-style T-shirts, printed in the colors of the Brazilian flag and the national team's uniforms.
"We're here to represent our faith and show the strength of the evangelical population, which continues to grow," said Jardson Carioca, a 30-year-old bus driver who attended the march with 50 other members of his church, reports Hispanic news outlet Mundo Cristiano. more >>
Christ the Redeemer, the famous statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was struck by lightning Thursday night, resulting in some damage. Photos capturing the moment can be found here.
The thumb on the right hand of the 125-ft statue suffered damage during a storm that one of the most lightning strikes since 1999, when Brazil first began monitoring storms, according to BBC.
Christ the Redeemer, located on top of Corcovado's Mount, is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and is visited by some 2 million people every year. more >>