By Matthew Cullinan Hoffman, Latin America Correspondent
October 6, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Google's YouTube service decided to give an “X” rating on Tuesday to a pro-life sermon given by a Brazilian pastor that has been seen by over four million people, and which appears to have had a serious impact on the Brazilian Presidential elections.
Viewers who attempt access to the link are now given a warning that “it is possible that the content of this video or group is inappropriate for some users in accordance with the way that the YouTube user community has indicated.” In order to see the video, users must now log in to YouTube and indicate that they are eighteen years of age or older.
The video depicts a sermon given by Paschoal Piragine Jr, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Curitiba, in which he denounces the pro-abortion and homosexualist policies of Brazil's ruling Labor Party. During the sermon Piragine shows a video to his audience that includes photos of aborted babies, and ends with a call to vote against the Labor Party.
During the same time as millions of Brazilians were viewing the video, the Labor Party's presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff saw her support from Evangelicals drop dramatically, provoking threats of legal action against Piragine by at least one high ranking government official.
In combination with similar statements made by Catholic bishops and priests and other Evangelical pastors, Rousseff lost several percentage points of voter support and failed to win the Brazilian presidential contest on the first voting round on Sunday. She will now face a runoff in early November.
Following Rousseff's defeat, which her party's leadership has blamed on “fascists,” YouTube announced the partial censorship of the video, without giving a detailed explanation.
Reinaldo Azevedo, a columnist for Brazil's Veja magazine, decried the measure, accusing YouTube of “a form of censorship against the Evangelical pastor,” and asking “who requested it?”
Quoting YouTube's message calling the video “inappropriate” for some users, Azvedo responded: “Well! You don't say! Inappropriate for whom? Especially for the Labor Party, huh?”
Azvedo said that the video “is not exposing anyone's privacy and it is not slander. It is political criticism, whether you agree with it or not.”
Previous LifeSiteNews coverage:
Brazilian Pastor Threatened by Government for Opposing Pro-Abortion Policies