Bolsonaro stresses Christian morals amid Rio’s pre-Carnival

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President Jair Bolsonaro addressed tens of thousands of evangelicals on a Rio de Janeiro beach Saturday, telling them Brazil’s government is working to restore morality in Latin America´s largest nation, just as pre-Carnival festivities get under way.

Brazil “is changing because it has a government that respects family, owes loyalty to its people, and believes in God,” Bolsonaro told the cheering crowd, across the bay from Rio’s Sugarloaf Mountain. “I´m Christian and I believe Brazil can reach its well-deserved place of prominence on the world stage,” the far-right politician later added.

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His address came days after a Cabinet shuffle that installed a general as his new chief of staff, boosting the number of military members in his administration that in 2019 was influenced more by the “ideological wing” of cultural conservatives.

The event in Rio, which celebrated the 40th anniversary of the International Grace of God Church, provided a stark contrast to pre-Carnival festivities that went into full swing this weekend, with revelers in skimpy costumes drinking and dancing at street parties throughout the city.

Most street vendors at the church’s bayside event weren’t selling beer.