Christian Leaders Meet With The Trump of Brazil

Christian Leaders Meet With The Trump of Brazil

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro not only met with President Trump this week, but he met with Christian leaders at the historic Blair House. Host Stephen Strang was among the various leaders who attended this meeting. Listen as he shares about the experience and the topics of conversation.

16 Minutes • 3 months ago

Episode Notes

The Strang Report

with Stephen Strang

 

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro not only met with President Trump this week, but he met with Christian leaders at the historic Blair House. Host Stephen Strang was among the various leaders who attended this meeting.

 

Listen as he shares about the experience and the topics of conversation.

 

Introduction

Hello everyone. This is Stephen Strang and my Strang Report today is coming from Washington D.C., literally. In fact, I'm at National Airport and I found a quiet place. You may hear some ambient noise in the background. But yesterday was such a great meeting. I wanted to give a report right away.

 

You may have heard about Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Some people have called him the Trump of Brazil. I was invited to the meeting with about 15 others and I felt it was important enough that I interrupted my schedule to fly here. Only a couple of times have I been able to meet with a head of state. It was a very interesting meeting, a very impressive meeting. Of course, I'm giving you my own perspective with a few notes that I took. I wasn't really able to record the meeting. It wasn't a press conference although my understanding was it was on the record. Here's what happened. President Bolsonaro came to Washington to meet with Donald Trump. He described the meeting in very positive terms and it was reported widely in the media. In fact, he had a couple of press conferences earlier in the day. They met on trade and a couple of other issues on which others can report. I'm wanting to give the Christian perspective of the fact that he asked just meet with some Christian leaders and to pray with them, which is very unusual for head of state. We talked of course, through a translator. He was very warm and specifically greeted everyone individually, including me, before the meeting and also after the meeting. He seemed very genuine. He talked about how he wanted to move the country in a different direction. He brought up things that we grapple with in our country and basically the left, socialism, has really taken a toll on Brazil the last couple of decades. A lot of it was economic, but also some of their laws having to do with abortion and some other things were what we Christians would consider moving in the wrong direction. We talked about Israel. Most everybody in the room was very pro-Israel. We knew that he was wanting to move the embassy of Brazil to Jerusalem. In fact, he said that he would, but he has not done it yet. We found out or at least as we were talking among ourselves, we were told that the that Brazil does a great deal of business with beef, which they call Hallel, a certain way that the beef is prepared for the Muslim countries, and they export it. He said that he was merely waiting, trying to work out some of these economic things ahead of time rather than to have it kind of blow up. But he did say that they would be moving the embassy to Brazil. He pointed out that Donald Trump also waited until the time was right to make the same move. We were very encouraged by that. He talked about going to Brazil recently and actually being baptized in the Jordan River. He identified himself as a Catholic. He did not really explain why he was baptized again. I could identify with it because I was baptized by immersion as a child and wasn't sure I wanted to be re-baptized. But, on one of my trips to Israel, I did the same thing. His wife is an evangelical Baptist and he apparently goes to church with her. From what I've read, he has a lot of influence on the president.

 

·         Read the Strang Report: Brazilian President Bolsonaro Tells Christian Leaders he Wants to Move Country in New Direction

 

But this was really not about his own faith or where he stood. He seemed open to talk about it and said it was very, very important. The two people that were probably the most prominent in the room were also the oldest. Pat Robertson ended up praying with the group. We had a very good and forceful prayer toward the end. We all held hands around the table. Several of Bolsonaro’s people … his foreign minister was there … they introduced several of them and also some of the people in the room, including Reinhard Bonnke, who talked about ministering in Brazil and preaching around the world and about when the gospel is proclaimed that countries, especially in Africa, where he ministered for so many years have actually made a shift. There were also people such as author Joel Rosenberg, Susan Michaels, of International Christian Embassy Jerusalem who talked about why the embassy was founded in the early 1980s, because all the other embassies had pulled out of Jerusalem. The Christians had this kind of informal embassy, which is had a very powerful impact in ministry in Israel, and also in this nation as well. They were kind of moving around the table. Each person able to ask a question. They ran out of time when it was my turn. I wanted to ask him the role that God played in his election. He had described his election as a miracle and that he was even alive. He was referring to the fact that during the campaign, he was stabbed and in the hospital bed the rest of the campaign yet he won. No one expected him to win. That was the other miracle. He talked about that. I was going to tell him that in our country, many Christians supported Donald Trump because we felt that God had raised him up to help make a shift in our country in a different direction. I was going to mention Winston Churchill, which I talked about in God and Donald Trump. He had a sense of destiny, apparently from the time he was a teenager. This has been documented, especially in some of the books that I've read about him. One called God and Churchill. He had this sense of destiny that he would save Western civilization. This is even though he was not a particularly religious person. And I wanted to just ask Bolsonaro if he also had this sense of destiny. I guess that's the question I'm going to have to ask later.

 

He actually invited all of us to visit him at the presidential palace if we came to Brazil. He was obviously being polite, he didn't have to say that. I don't know that I'll ever have an opportunity to take him up on it. But I certainly remembered it. If I do go to Brazil again, and I've been there three times, I think I'm going to make inquiry to see if I could go there and interview him. I know that CBN is flying down there. Matt Crouch had been invited to the meeting. I actually talked to Matt about something else earlier in the day and he told me that they're going to be flying down and doing an interview with him. Perhaps we can report on that interview when it appears on CBN. Gordon Robertson, who's the one who kind of pulled the group together, he also invited Bishop Harry Jackson, Rabbi Jonathan Bernis. I'm just going around the table in my mind thinking of some of the others that were there. Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America wants to actually start some chapters in that part of the world. Several of the people that are involved in political action back to the Reagan administration said they would be willing to help and serve in any way, even to help localize the Christians.

 

Now, the evangelical Christians in Brazil are a growing group. It has grown by millions. The Assemblies of God or their equivalent … it's a separate denomination down there … is huge, maybe second only to the Roman Catholics. So, everyone in Brazil tends to either be a Catholic, an evangelical or more specifically a Pentecostal, or they're agnostic or irreligious. But they have not really been a force in politics. However, in this election, 80 percent of the evangelicals voted for Bolsonaro, a very similar percent to the number here that voted for Donald Trump. I was encouraged by the meeting, I was honored to be invited. Gordon Robertson said that it's very unusual for a head of state to want to meet with Christian leaders and to pray. I felt that that was very significant. Several people in the room, particularly Pat Robertson, offered humanitarian help because of the situation events in Venezuela, which they talked about as well. Columbia is kind of in between Venezuela and Brazil, but Brazil has apparently been trying to help with the refugees and helping with humanitarian efforts.

 

For the rest of the Strang Report, please visit cpnshows.com.

 

Where to Find Stephen Strang on the Internet

·         The Strang Report on Charismamag.com

·         The Strang Report on cpnshows.com

·         On Twitter

·         On Facebook

 

Episode Notes

The Strang Report

with Stephen Strang

 

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro not only met with President Trump this week, but he met with Christian leaders at the historic Blair House. Host Stephen Strang was among the various leaders who attended this meeting.

 

Listen as he shares about the experience and the topics of conversation.

 

Introduction

Hello everyone. This is Stephen Strang and my Strang Report today is coming from Washington D.C., literally. In fact, I'm at National Airport and I found a quiet place. You may hear some ambient noise in the background. But yesterday was such a great meeting. I wanted to give a report right away.

 

You may have heard about Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Some people have called him the Trump of Brazil. I was invited to the meeting with about 15 others and I felt it was important enough that I interrupted my schedule to fly here. Only a couple of times have I been able to meet with a head of state. It was a very interesting meeting, a very impressive meeting. Of course, I'm giving you my own perspective with a few notes that I took. I wasn't really able to record the meeting. It wasn't a press conference although my understanding was it was on the record. Here's what happened. President Bolsonaro came to Washington to meet with Donald Trump. He described the meeting in very positive terms and it was reported widely in the media. In fact, he had a couple of press conferences earlier in the day. They met on trade and a couple of other issues on which others can report. I'm wanting to give the Christian perspective of the fact that he asked just meet with some Christian leaders and to pray with them, which is very unusual for head of state. We talked of course, through a translator. He was very warm and specifically greeted everyone individually, including me, before the meeting and also after the meeting. He seemed very genuine. He talked about how he wanted to move the country in a different direction. He brought up things that we grapple with in our country and basically the left, socialism, has really taken a toll on Brazil the last couple of decades. A lot of it was economic, but also some of their laws having to do with abortion and some other things were what we Christians would consider moving in the wrong direction. We talked about Israel. Most everybody in the room was very pro-Israel. We knew that he was wanting to move the embassy of Brazil to Jerusalem. In fact, he said that he would, but he has not done it yet. We found out or at least as we were talking among ourselves, we were told that the that Brazil does a great deal of business with beef, which they call Hallel, a certain way that the beef is prepared for the Muslim countries, and they export it. He said that he was merely waiting, trying to work out some of these economic things ahead of time rather than to have it kind of blow up. But he did say that they would be moving the embassy to Brazil. He pointed out that Donald Trump also waited until the time was right to make the same move. We were very encouraged by that. He talked about going to Brazil recently and actually being baptized in the Jordan River. He identified himself as a Catholic. He did not really explain why he was baptized again. I could identify with it because I was baptized by immersion as a child and wasn't sure I wanted to be re-baptized. But, on one of my trips to Israel, I did the same thing. His wife is an evangelical Baptist and he apparently goes to church with her. From what I've read, he has a lot of influence on the president.

 

·         Read the Strang Report: Brazilian President Bolsonaro Tells Christian Leaders he Wants to Move Country in New Direction

 

But this was really not about his own faith or where he stood. He seemed open to talk about it and said it was very, very important. The two people that were probably the most prominent in the room were also the oldest. Pat Robertson ended up praying with the group. We had a very good and forceful prayer toward the end. We all held hands around the table. Several of Bolsonaro’s people … his foreign minister was there … they introduced several of them and also some of the people in the room, including Reinhard Bonnke, who talked about ministering in Brazil and preaching around the world and about when the gospel is proclaimed that countries, especially in Africa, where he ministered for so many years have actually made a shift. There were also people such as author Joel Rosenberg, Susan Michaels, of International Christian Embassy Jerusalem who talked about why the embassy was founded in the early 1980s, because all the other embassies had pulled out of Jerusalem. The Christians had this kind of informal embassy, which is had a very powerful impact in ministry in Israel, and also in this nation as well. They were kind of moving around the table. Each person able to ask a question. They ran out of time when it was my turn. I wanted to ask him the role that God played in his election. He had described his election as a miracle and that he was even alive. He was referring to the fact that during the campaign, he was stabbed and in the hospital bed the rest of the campaign yet he won. No one expected him to win. That was the other miracle. He talked about that. I was going to tell him that in our country, many Christians supported Donald Trump because we felt that God had raised him up to help make a shift in our country in a different direction. I was going to mention Winston Churchill, which I talked about in God and Donald Trump. He had a sense of destiny, apparently from the time he was a teenager. This has been documented, especially in some of the books that I've read about him. One called God and Churchill. He had this sense of destiny that he would save Western civilization. This is even though he was not a particularly religious person. And I wanted to just ask Bolsonaro if he also had this sense of destiny. I guess that's the question I'm going to have to ask later.

 

He actually invited all of us to visit him at the presidential palace if we came to Brazil. He was obviously being polite, he didn't have to say that. I don't know that I'll ever have an opportunity to take him up on it. But I certainly remembered it. If I do go to Brazil again, and I've been there three times, I think I'm going to make inquiry to see if I could go there and interview him. I know that CBN is flying down there. Matt Crouch had been invited to the meeting. I actually talked to Matt about something else earlier in the day and he told me that they're going to be flying down and doing an interview with him. Perhaps we can report on that interview when it appears on CBN. Gordon Robertson, who's the one who kind of pulled the group together, he also invited Bishop Harry Jackson, Rabbi Jonathan Bernis. I'm just going around the table in my mind thinking of some of the others that were there. Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America wants to actually start some chapters in that part of the world. Several of the people that are involved in political action back to the Reagan administration said they would be willing to help and serve in any way, even to help localize the Christians.

 

Now, the evangelical Christians in Brazil are a growing group. It has grown by millions. The Assemblies of God or their equivalent … it's a separate denomination down there … is huge, maybe second only to the Roman Catholics. So, everyone in Brazil tends to either be a Catholic, an evangelical or more specifically a Pentecostal, or they're agnostic or irreligious. But they have not really been a force in politics. However, in this election, 80 percent of the evangelicals voted for Bolsonaro, a very similar percent to the number here that voted for Donald Trump. I was encouraged by the meeting, I was honored to be invited. Gordon Robertson said that it's very unusual for a head of state to want to meet with Christian leaders and to pray. I felt that that was very significant. Several people in the room, particularly Pat Robertson, offered humanitarian help because of the situation events in Venezuela, which they talked about as well. Columbia is kind of in between Venezuela and Brazil, but Brazil has apparently been trying to help with the refugees and helping with humanitarian efforts.

 

For the rest of the Strang Report, please visit cpnshows.com.

 

Where to Find Stephen Strang on the Internet

·         The Strang Report on Charismamag.com

·         The Strang Report on cpnshows.com

·         On Twitter

·         On Facebook

 

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Christian Leaders Meet With The Trump of Brazil