Reading: Pentecostals and Human Rights Controversies in Brazil


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Pentecostals and Human Rights Controversies in Brazil


Maria das Dores Campos Machado


This article provides an analysis of the discourse of the Pentecostal leadership in Brazil with respect to the idea of human rights, which has served as a point of reference for collective actions on the part of civil society and in the design of public policy, ranging from the economy to public health, sexual education and social welfare. In particular, this article examines controversies surrounding the inclusion of sexual and reproductive rights on the list of human rights in the last decades of the twentieth century, and shows that, despite multiple interpretations within Pentecostalism, the current dominant account in Brazil privileges the right to freedom of expression and belief, and not the acceptance of proposals from social movements, namely, that reproductive and sexual questions should be addressed within the framework of human rights.

How to Cite: Machado, M. das D.C., 2018. Pentecostals and Human Rights Controversies in Brazil. Religion and Gender, 8(1), pp.102–119. DOI:
Published on 23 Nov 2018.
Peer Reviewed


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