Rio de Janeiro elected an evangelical
bishop as mayor on Sunday.
Sen. Marcelo Crivella took 59 percent
of the vote in the municipal runoff election, easily beating his
opponent, socialist state Rep. Marcelo Freixo, who received 41
percent of the vote. Fifty-seven Brazilian cities held runoff votes
Crivella, 59, is a bishop of the
Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, an evangelical church founded
by his uncle Edir Macedo. He was first elected to the Brazilian
Senate in 2002. He unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2004 and 2008.
Two attempts to become governor of Rio de Janeiro state were also
“I pray to God that my public life,
as rocky as it has been, can teach all Cariocas that our time always
comes when we do not give up,” Crivella, using the name by which
Rio residents are known, told supporters of Sunday.
Crivella is opposed to the legal
recognition of gay and lesbian couples, but has said that he supports
equal rights for gay men and lesbians.
As a preacher, Crivella attracts very
large crowds. He wrote in a book after an evangelical mission in
Africa that gay people are victims of a “terrible evil.” He also
criticized the Roman Catholic Church, writing that it “preaches