Photo: "March for Jesus"
Some 2 million evangelicals took to the streets of downtown Sao Paulo Saturday, according to figures provided by organizers of the so-called “March for Jesus,” an event that attracted the faithful from around the country and abroad, winding up with a religious and artistic celebration in a public square.
Pastor Estevam Hernandes, leader of the churches organizing the march, said during his sermon that some 2 million people marched from the downtown Praca da Luz square to the Praca Herois da Forca Expedicionaria Brasileira square on the city’s north side.
“I believe that many people were also motivated by the demonstrations,” Hernandes said, referring to the fact that the march coincided with the wave of popular protests staged around Brazil for almost three weeks, sparked by resentment about social conditions.
Lawmaker and pastor Marcos Feliciano, president of the Human Rights Commission of the lower house and strongly criticized in popular protests for promoting a bill known as the “gay cure,” in which homosexuality is considered a sickness, was atop one of the floats in the procession.
The march of the evangelicals, an annual affair, equals and at times surpasses the number of participants in other street displays such as Sao Paulo’s Gay Pride Parade and the Salvador Carnival celebration.