The Dominance of Evangelicals in Right-Wing Extremism and Brazil's Security Frustrations

Thati

Hatched by Thati

May 15, 2024

3 min read

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The Dominance of Evangelicals in Right-Wing Extremism and Brazil's Security Frustrations

Introduction:

In a recent study, it was revealed that the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) is the most popular among extremists. Eight out of the top ten influential right-wing publishers on social media identify as evangelical. These individuals not only post the most but also have the highest reach among followers within this political spectrum. The study examined 191 right-wing social actors, including politicians, influencers, blogs, and anti-democratic groups. While evangelicals make up a minority in Brazil, their mobilization potential and influence are significant due to their media access, financial resources, and international connections. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind the dominance of evangelicals in right-wing extremism and discuss Brazil's frustrations with security.

The Rise of Evangelicals in Right-Wing Extremism:

The projection of evangelicals in online platforms is not coincidental. Traditionally, evangelical churches provide their members with communication skills, which gives them an advantage in public discourse. Although predominantly conservative from a political and moral standpoint, evangelicals did not have an extremist or militant position until recently. The intensification of right-wing think tanks' activities in Brazil, particularly those connected to American groups like the Tea Party and Capitol Ministries, has played a significant role in this shift. These alliances involve pastors, politicians, businessmen, theologians, and laypeople, aiming to mobilize specific segments, particularly the younger generation.

The Threat to Parental Authority:

Evangelicals often highlight the threat of the loss of parental authority over their children, which is a topic dear to them. They use this to insinuate the left's lack of values and spread misinformation. This tactic aims to attract politicians from the ruling party to block the passage of the Fake News Bill, a regulation of big tech companies that is criticized by most of these extremist profiles. By invoking biblical passages like "the truth shall set you free," they position themselves as the bearers of truth, perpetuating the idea that they are always persecuted. Consequently, any investigation by the justice system is seen as an attempt to obstruct this so-called "truth."

Brazil's Security Frustrations:

While Brazilians are among the happiest people in the world overall, they are also the most frustrated when it comes to personal security. Only 53% of Brazilians express satisfaction with their personal safety, illustrating a significant concern. Satisfaction with the social and political situation stands at 40%, and only 34% are content with the economic situation. This dissatisfaction reflects the challenges the country faces in addressing security issues, both at an individual and societal level.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Strengthening Digital Presence: To counter the dominance of right-wing extremism, it is crucial for the left, including intellectuals, artists, and civil society, to strengthen their digital presence. Effective communication and engagement on social media platforms can help convey alternative narratives and mobilize support.
  • 2. Addressing Root Causes: To tackle Brazil's frustrations with security, it is vital to address the root causes of social inequality, economic instability, and political unrest. Focusing on policies that promote social inclusion, economic growth, and political transparency can help build trust and improve the overall security situation.
  • 3. Broadening the Political Discourse: The polarization in Brazilian society cannot be solely addressed through religious and online influencers. It is essential to expand the political discourse beyond these platforms and engage in meaningful discussions that encompass a range of perspectives. This will help promote understanding, bridge divides, and create a more inclusive political landscape.

Conclusion:

The dominance of evangelicals in right-wing extremism and Brazil's frustrations with security reveal the complex dynamics shaping the country's political and social landscape. While evangelicals mobilize a minority segment, their media access, financial resources, and international connections give them a disproportionate projection. Additionally, Brazil's security concerns highlight the need for comprehensive measures to address the root causes of insecurity. Strengthening digital presence, addressing inequality, and broadening the political discourse are actionable steps that can contribute to a more inclusive and secure future for Brazil.

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