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FROM DECADENT CARNIVAL TO AN AMAZING
STATUE, SPOTLIGHT IS ON RIO, SPIRITUAL WAR
What is it about Rio de Janeiro in Brazil?
Of late it has entered into the limelight
due to the Olympics, which will be held there in 2016, and fascinating to us are its spiritual
them also "dynamics":
It is in Rio where lay Catholics have built a chapel for "Mary, Undoer of Knots"
-- fending off a nightclub that was across the street (complete with nude
dancers and pagan deities) to wage a global Marian campaign. After much prayer
the church group was able to take over the nightclub's land.
It is where 500,000 foreigners flock to the
annual carnival --
ending on Fat Tuesday, and even more risque than its competitor, the
Gras in equally dynamic New Orleans.
It is now where (speaking of pagan gods) they will have the next
It is also the location for the world's
most famous statue of Jesus -- standing 130 feet, so tall, on a mountain
next to Rio, that it is often surrounded
We recall a couple of years back when the statue was struck by lightning.
Are there forces that are pairing off here? Is it the new great open
It is the country with the most Catholics --
140 million (more than twice as many as in the U.S.) -- and where evangelicals are waging a
war to attract them.
There is a priest here who attracts tens of
thousands to Mass! Indeed, the cleric,
Padre Marcelo Rossi, once drew 2.4 million to
an event, and so many attend his
weekly liturgy that his church is
building a new sanctuary with a capacity of 60,000 inside and room for another
40,000 outside. It's expected to be ready sometime in 2010.
You are reading these
It is a country that has fought and halted
the defections to non-Catholic Christian sects. Perhaps the Church in North
America can learn lessons.
Intriguing it is that in this land of nude
or semi-nude beaches (you will see plenty of the lasciviousness, if the Olympics
take place as planned), is also this powerful Catholic current -- bolts from
One of its most famous beaches traces its name to a 17th-century image of Our Virgin Lady of Copacabana, brought by the Portuguese from a
small village around distant Lake Titicaca.
And it interests us in light of the
widely-circulated locution called the 1990 prophecy.
That alleged message ended with the words, "As
for the anti-christ, remember Europe, and especially Central Europe. Yet know
too that God's Hand will be evident in South America."
That was interesting because when the
statue was hit by lightning, on February 12, 2008, according to a newspaper report, "a
strange aura appeared around the 130-foot figure's head and chest before
disappearing in a flash. Shocked locals believe that Christ the Redeemer looked
as it had been illuminated by God's Hand. It has also been reported that the
statue, on the summit of Rio de Janeiros's Corcovado Mountain, was left
unscathed even after the uncanny event."
Tower of Light]
[Michael Brown retreat in New Jersey
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