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Pres. Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil.Andressa Anholete / Getty Images

NEW YORK, October 6, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro called for nations worldwide to combat hostility toward Christians in a speech he gave at the United Nations on September 22.

“I call upon the entire international community to protect religious freedom and fight against Christophobia,” President Bolsonaro said.

Frances Marcel of Breitbart said Bolsonaro’s remark “likely was a reference to the escalating rates of anti-Christian violence and Christian persecution in majority-Muslim nations.”

Union of Catholic Asian News reports that “the pandemic has become a pretext to step up persecution against the Christians” for authoritarian governments. According to Paul Robinson, CEO of Release International, in China, Christians are arrested for holding online prayers, while in Eritrea, Christians fleeing persecution “are barred from accessing shelter camps and other UN support systems.”

Bolsonaro did not expand upon this statement in his recent U.N. speech, which he otherwise largely devoted to the discussion of COVID-19, economic issues, and environmental issues.

He closed his speech by saying, “Brazil is a Christian and conservative country, and has family as its foundation.”

Brazilian writer and cultural conservative Julio Severo noted that the official U.N. report covered much of what Bolsonaro discussed in his speech but did not mention his remark about “Christophobia” or his comment that Brazil is a “Christian and conservative country.”

“The United Nations mentioned nothing not to offend Saudi Arabia, Iran, China and other nations that persecute Christians,” remarked Severo.

Bolsonaro’s vocal support of Christians and conservatism recall his history of Christian and pro-family actions, such as his proclamation consecrating Brazil to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, his promotion of abstinence education, and his opposition to LGBT gender ideology. According to Severo, “[t]he fight against homosexual indoctrination of schoolchildren made Bolsonaro famous among conservatives — even though today his fight is not strong as it was in the past.”

To the conservatives’ dismay, only a few days after Bolsonaro’s U.N. speech, he chose to nominate Kassio Nunes Marques for the Brazilian Supreme Court. According to Severo, Marques is “praised by all the left in Brazil.”

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PETITION UPDATE (8/17/20)

Churches across the state of California are being forced to halt indoor worship services thanks to a decree issued by liberal Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom. But one Christian pastor is defying the state’s orders and literally risking his freedom for his sheep.

Rob McCoy of Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Newbury Park told LifeSite correspondent Lisa Stover today that the “draconian” measures imposed by the state are “an overreach” and that he has no intention of closing his church.

Please WATCH the interview with Pastor McCoy.

“If your doors are closed because you have a fear of man instead of a reverential fear of God, then you have to measure that and take a look at it,” said Pastor McCoy. 

“The supervisors and the counselors and all the folks that run government, they’re actors performing a script,” McCoy continued. “If we're not going to push back, they'll take everything we surrender to them. And we really have to stand because I know how government works. Most pastors don’t. I do.”

McCoy had been serving on the Thousand Oaks City Council until April when he resigned over religious objections he had with the state’s coronavirus orders. “I cannot submit to the authority that declares the church to be nonessential” he said in a sermon at the time.

LifeSite hopes that Pastor McCoy will be a role model for pastors of all Christian denominations.

Please continue to SIGN and SHARE this petition. Thank you and God bless!

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Religious freedom is again in the crosshairs of progressives across the country.

In some states, President Trump's declaration that houses of worship should be designated as "essential" during the COVID-19 pandemic has fallen on deaf ears.

In both Nevada and California, the state government is severely restricting the constitutional right to practise one's religion and attend church.

But now, pastors in both states are saying "Enough is enough!"

Please SIGN this petition in support of religious leaders who are challenging their state's oppressive restrictions against religious freedom.

In Nevada, Calvary Chapel of Dayton Valley challenged the state's draconian restrictions on houses of worship which placed an absolute cap of 50 congregants on every worship service.  At the same time, the government decided to allow casinos to operate at 50% capacity - so that many thousands of gamblers can continue to legally gather.

And, in California, pastors from two large congregations, the Grace Community Church in Los Angeles and Calvary Church Chino Hills (also, in Southern California), have vowed to keep their churches open in defiance of Governor Gavin Newsom, who recently closed churches in 29 of the state's most populous counties.

Although the Supreme Court of the United States just turned down Calvary Chapel's petition for redress in the matter of their state's discriminatory policy, their pastor and leadership should be congratulated for filing a lawsuit in defense of religious freedom.

It should be noted that 4 of the 9 justices agreed with Calvary Chapel. In his dissent, Justice Alito states the following, in part:

"The Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion...It says nothing about the freedom to play craps or blackjack...But the Governor of Nevada apparently has different priorities. Claiming virtually unbounded power to restrict constitutional rights during the COVID–19 pandemic, he has issued a directive that severely limits attendance at religious services...That Nevada would discriminate in favor of the powerful gaming industry and its employees may not come as a surprise, but this Court’s willingness to allow such discrimination is disappointing. We have a duty to defend the Constitution, and even a public health emergency does not absolve us of that responsibility."

Your petition signature will give the pastor and congregation of Calvary Chapel a morale boost just when they need it most.

And then, in the case of the two California churches, your signature will give them the support they need to continue to serve the people of God, even in the face of oppressive state directives which have closed churches.

In a letter posted to the Grace Community Church's website, titled 'Christ, Not Caesar, Is Head of the Church', Pastor John MacArthur stated that Governor Newsom's directives had "exceeded their legitimate jurisdiction," and that, "faithfulness to Christ prohibits us from observing the restrictions they want to impose on our corporate worship services."

They plan to keep open their churches so that they can continue to serve the people of God, and they are praying that other faithful Christian communities will stand with them.

Please SIGN this petition which supports religious leaders who are challenging their state's oppressive restrictions against the free exercise of religion.

FOR MORE INMFORMATION:

'US Supreme Court won’t intervene as Nevada limits church services but casinos can host thousands' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/us-supreme-court-wont-intervene-as-nevada-limits-church-services-but-casinos-can-host-thousands

'California Churches Defy Gavin Newsom's Lockdown Order: Christ is Head of the church.': https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/07/25/california-churches-defy-gov-newsoms-lockdown-order-christ-head-church/

Grace Community's statement on the Church's Duty to Remain Open: https://www.gty.org/library/blog/B200723

Supreme Court Decision in case of Calvary Chapel (Nevada): https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/19pdf/19a1070_08l1.pdf

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Brazilian lawyer Janaína Paschoal, known for requesting the impeachment of socialist former president Dilma Rousseff, “was perplexed that in a thesis about health, Marques adressed abortion as a women’s health issue, not as murder, not as a life or death issue,” Severo said.

Severo continued, “Perhaps the most important legacy of a president is his appointment for the Supreme Court. What a kind of legacy does Bolsonaro intend to leave for the future of Brazil in the Supreme Court?”

Bolsonaro had said in 2019, “The state is secular, but we are Christians. Or to plagiarize my dear [minister] Damares [Alves]: We are terribly Christian. And that spirit must be present in all the branches of government. Therefore, my commitment: I can appoint two ministers to the Supreme Federal Court. One of them will be terribly evangelical.”

While some evangelicals have expressed dismay at Bolsonaro’s nomination of Marques, Brazil’s president has reassured them that his next nomination will align with the “evangelical” identity he promised them in 2019.

Bolsonaro said on Monday, “We are going to have a very evangelical minister in the supreme court. More than somebody very evangelical, if God is willing, we will have a minister.”

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