Posted by Kendall Harmon

ESPN Films, creators of the critically-acclaimed 30 for 30 film series, will premiere a new series in April surrounding the 2014 FIFA World Cup on ESPN. 30 for 30: Soccer Stories will include a mix of standalone feature-length and 30-minute-long documentary films from an award winning group of filmmakers telling compelling narratives from around the international soccer landscape.

“With ESPN being the home of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, we know that sports fans will be looking forward to high quality content focused on what is perhaps the world’s most revered sport,” said Connor Schell, VP of ESPN Films and Original Content. “We feel this is the perfect time to expand upon the success of our 30 for 30 series by focusing this collection on some of the incredible stories of soccer’s legendary past.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationHistoryMediaMovies & TelevisionSports* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

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Posted April 10, 2014 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ed: Some are estimating that in the next couple of decades, they'll be more evangelicals in Brazil than in the United States. It's already the second largest mission-sending country in the world by some measurements. Honduras may be as much as half evangelical Christians now. With all these shifts of numbers of believers, what will that do in terms of global leadership? We've already seen the Anglican Global South assert its authority as the majority. How will this shift play out in the coming years?

Dr. Jenkins: So much of this change has happened very recently – within 30, 40, 50 years, which in the span of Christian history is not great. It's hardly surprising that some institutions have not adapted fully to take account of that. Other churches, however, recognize it. On a typical Sunday, there are more Assemblies of God worshippers in the greater San Paulo, Brazil area than in the United States. It's a radical change.

Let me suggest to you that in 30 years, there will be two sorts of church in the world. There'll be the ones that are multi-ethnic, transnational, and multi-continental. They are constantly battling over issues of culture, lifestyle, worship, and constantly in conflict, debate and controversy. And those are the good ones. The other churches will have decided to let all these trends pass them by. They'll live just like they've always done with an average age in their congregations of 80. Personally, I'd much rather be in one of the ones that is recognizing, taking account of the expansion with all the debates and controversies.

Read it all (and please note this is part three of a series and the links for the first two parts are provided in the top section introducing this interview).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalGlobal South Churches & Primates* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryEvangelism and Church Growth* Culture-WatchGlobalizationHistory* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Theology

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Posted April 6, 2014 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The original idea for a monument to Christ came from a group of Brazilians who, in the wake of World War One, feared an advancing tide of godlessness. Church and state had been separated when Brazil became a republic at the end of the previous century, and they saw the statue as a way of reclaiming Rio – then Brazil’s capital city – for Christianity.

The first proposal was for a bronze statue of Christ on Sugar Loaf - the giant lump of rock with a smooth, curved summit that rises out of the ocean at the entrance to Guanabara Bay. But it was soon decided that Corcovado (“hunch back”) - a peak in the forested hills behind the city - was a better location.

Da Silva Costa, whose design was chosen in February 1922, imagined the statue facing the rising sun: “The statue of the divine saviour shall be the first image to emerge from the obscurity in which the earth is plunged and to receive the salute of the star of the day which, after surrounding it with its radiant luminosity, shall build at sunset around its head a halo fit for the Man-God,” he wrote....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchArtReligion & Culture* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* TheologyChristology

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Posted March 11, 2014 at 4:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The fundraising activities of one of the world’s wealthiest evangelical churches have come under scrutiny after dozens of complaints.
Members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God went house-to-house raising funds this Christmas “to keep the church doors open”, despite accounts filed last month showing that it had £2.7 million in the bank. Globally, the rapidly expanding Brazilian-based Church has assets estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of pounds.
Its British arm has sent hundreds of thousands of pounds to Brazil to help to build an “exact replica” of the biblical temple of Solomon at a cost of £130 million.

Read it all (subscription required).

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryStewardship* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomy* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted January 14, 2014 at 9:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In the fall of 2012, Wilmington resident Mike Moran said a ‘see you soon’ goodbye to his son Brendan Moran as he stepped aboard a flight to Brazil to continue his work with a sex trafficking ministry there called Shores of Grace Ministries.

Brendan sent newsletters each month letting his friends and family know how he was doing in Recife, Brazil, producing music for Nic and Rachael Billman, a Pennsylvania couple who founded Shores of Grace. Brendan was working to record the work of the ministry there as one of their music directors.

The Billman’s moved to Brazil to work with the prostitute and street children populations there in late 2010, bringing their four children with them and building a ministry staff who speak Portuguese. The ministry holds church on the streets of Recife, organizes well water projects for communities in a desert region outside of Recife and hosts Father’s Love Banquets where they invite Brazilian prostitutes to a formal dinner. Another of the ministry’s goals was to open Project Bethany to house young girls who were leaving prostitution or trafficking situations. In the fall of 2013, Shores of Grace opened its first rescue house with 10 girls.

Now the Moran family is bringing the Billman’s to the Wilmington area to speak about their sex trafficking ministry.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeMissionsParish Ministry* Culture-WatchGlobalizationSexualityViolence* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

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Posted January 8, 2014 at 3:44 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On Friday, the faithful throngs crowded along Copacabana beach to walk the Stations of the Cross, life-sized constructions along Avenida Atlantica, at which the cross of World Youth Day and the Icon of Our Lady paused and the dramatization of each station was televised on the multiple big screens along the beach. At the end of the procession, the cross was raised on the stage from which the Pope delivered a sermon in a mixture of Spanish and Portuguese. For Oliver Petter from the Diocese of London, currently in his second year of seminary in Oxford, Friday evening’s events were particularly impressive. The difference in the symbolism in Brazil was of note for him – he commented that many countries perform the stations of the cross with a ‘body’ present, but: “…to process with an empty cross here with a crown of thorns… it symbolizes absence, loss… and yet 1 million people there on the beach, such a manifestation of resurrection, in stillness and reverence… that was very moving…”'

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchTeens / Youth* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

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Posted August 6, 2013 at 11:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

On his debut abroad the first Latin American pope put a spring in the church’s step in the world’s largest Roman Catholic country. He also—with a long, informal press conference—underlined the new style that his papacy has brought, heralding a softer tone on sexual issues, and a tougher line on Vatican cliques.

Humble and plain-speaking, Francis drew huge crowds despite the wet and cold of the southern winter. His energy and urgency was a marked break with the sense of drift that has afflicted the Latin American church. And it contrasted with two lacklustre visits by his cerebral predecessor, Benedict. A final mass on Rio’s Copacabana beach drew 1m people: a record rivalled only by John Paul II’s trips to Poland. He told them: “Do not be afraid to go and to bring Christ into every area of life, to the margins of society, even to those who seem farthest away, most indifferent.” At a meeting of bishops, he called for a new “missionary spirit” and decried “obsolete structures”. He led by example, visiting a favela (slum) and meeting the sick, young offenders and former drug addicts.

In word and deed, that was a rebuke to the church for its retreat from the poor urban peripheries, where Pentecostalist competitors have flourished. He also, by implication, challenged the Pentecostalists’ theology, often a gung-ho message of prosperity through piety, with a forthright attack on capitalism’s “disposable” culture.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

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Posted August 5, 2013 at 5:34 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Pernambuco Court of Appeal (Tribunal de Justiça do Estado de Pernambuco) has stayed a lower court decision giving ownership of church properties in the state to the minority faction loyal to the national Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil (IEAB). The effect of last week’s decision is to return custody of the church properties to the Diocese of Recife and its bishop, the Rt. Rev. Miguel Uchôa, while the court conducts a de novo review of the dispute.

On 31 July 2013 Bishop Uchôa told Anglican Ink the diocese was ready to turn over the properties to the IEAB but on “the 21st the state high court judged our appeal and gave us a positive answer. The state high court judges will now review the case. It means that they accepted [the case for study] and said ‘no’ to the first judge who had given the [properties] to the IEAB.”

Read it all.


Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

1 Comments
Posted August 1, 2013 at 9:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

But what do you remember?

Throngs of flag-waving, chanting, cheering, singing, praying, young people extending for as far as the eye can see? A motorcade moving slowly through a vibrating, pulsating mass of humanity while a smiling Pope gestures, waves, and dispenses blessings to left and right? All this against one of the most breathtakingly beautiful natural backdrops in the world: the beach of Copacabana and the mountain of Corcovado. And of course you remember the babies – babies and more babies, being kissed and cuddled and caressed by the Pope. But maybe you were paying particular attention and you also recall a visit to a slum and a hospital and a meeting with young prisoners and a prayer vigil and a papal pilgrimage to a Marian shrine…
But do you remember what he said?

“Promote justice and dialogue to hear the cry of the poor”, “Serve the community and a culture of encounter”, “Christ shares the crosses we carry in our lives”, “Is ours a Church that can still warm hearts?”, “Grandparents are important: the aged and the young build the future together”, “Faith isn’t a fruit-salad: don’t water it down”, “The Church is close to those suffering from addictions”, “Christian hope means being surprised by God”, “We cannot be part of a throwaway culture”, “Ours is a revolutionary Faith”, “Those who don’t go to Church are the VIP’s invited to the Lord’s table”, “We must learn how to embrace those in need”, “Jesus asks us to play on his team”…

Read and listen to it all.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & CultureTeens / Youth* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

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Posted July 30, 2013 at 3:52 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The second attitude: openness to being surprised by God. Anyone who is a man or a woman of hope - the great hope which faith gives us - knows that even in the midst of difficulties God acts and he surprises us. The history of this Shrine is a good example: three fishermen, after a day of catching no fish, found something unexpected in the waters of the Parnaíba River: an image of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. Whoever would have thought that the site of a fruitless fishing expedition would become the place where all Brazilians can feel that they are children of one Mother? God always surprises us, like the new wine in the Gospel we have just heard. God always saves the best for us. But he asks us to let ourselves be surprised by his love, to accept his surprises. Let us trust God! Cut off from him, the wine of joy, the wine of hope, runs out. If we draw near to him, if we stay with him, what seems to be cold water, difficulty, sin, is changed into the new wine of friendship with him.

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

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Posted July 26, 2013 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

By all accounts, Pope Francis has already won over many hearts in Brazil with his simplicity and message of caring for the poor. But as he travels the country on his first overseas trip as pontiff, he will be speaking to a group of young Catholics who hold far more liberal views than the church hierarchy on a number of issues, including female priests, homosexuality and abortion.

After arriving in Rio to enormous crowds on Monday, the pope spent Tuesday resting and having private meetings at the Sumare residence where Pope John Paul stayed in 1980 and 1997. Thousands of young pilgrims filled a rainy Copacabana beach to attend a series of religious-themed concerts that were part of World Youth Day, which, despite the name, is a five-day event that began Tuesday and is ostensibly the reason for the pope's visit to Brazil.

But the young people Francis encounters are not necessarily representative of young Catholics worldwide, and they hold some views that run sharply counter to those espoused by Francis and the Roman Catholic Church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchTeens / Youth* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

3 Comments
Posted July 23, 2013 at 6:24 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Christianity in Brazil is big business — not only are major superstar pastors represented at the convention, but businesses like Sony Music have booths as well.

Brothers Lucas and Renault Lourenço have been singing together since they were in their teens, and together they are the Brazilian evangelical version of the boy band. Now in their early 20s — sporting matching faux hawks and wearing jeans — they came to reach out to their established fans and sell records to new ones.

"This fair attracts many people, even people who are not evangelicals, which is essential because that way people will know the gospel and so every day there will be even more of us evangelicals," Renault says.

Read (or listen to) it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

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Posted July 23, 2013 at 6:57 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A month ago, hundreds of thousands of young people took to the streets of Brazil to protest corruption, wasteful government spending, bad schools and hospitals, police brutality, and other abuses of power. On Monday, Pope Francis, in his first venture abroad, will dive into the middle of that ferment when he begins a weeklong visit to the world’s largest Roman Catholic country.

“This is a crucial moment for the church, the nation, society and the people, heightened by the fact this is Francis’ first trip,” said Fernando Altemeyer Jr., a theologian and philosopher at the Pontifical Catholic University in São Paulo. “Brazil has changed and things are bubbling, but there is no clarity. Everything is new and unknown, in the country and the church, even for the bishops.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis * TheologyAnthropologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted July 20, 2013 at 11:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Anglican-Catholic dialogue is back on the agenda this week as a team of ecumenical experts from both sides meet in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro from April 30th to May 6th.
This 3rd meeting of the current Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission will continue its work on the relationship between local and universal Church, as well as the way in which both communities respond to the most pressing ethical issues of our time.

To find out more about the meeting, Philippa Hitchen talked to Mgr Mark Langham from the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity who serves as Catholic co-secretary of ARCIC III…..
She also spoke, during the recent enthronement of the new Archbishop of Canterbury, to an Anglican member of ARCIC III, Bishop Christopher Hill who chairs the Church of England's Council for Christian Unity. He told her that Pope Francis’ emphasis on his role as the Bishop of Rome is extremely encouraging for the whole ecumenical endeavor…

Listen to it all (about 8 1/2 minutes).

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Religion News & CommentaryEcumenical RelationsOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

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Posted May 1, 2013 at 6:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

It was once the case that Brazilians worshipped as one in the thousands of Catholic churches spread around this vast country. But a religious revolution is taking place, and a new dynamic form of charismatic Evangelical Christianity is taking over. A quarter of Brazilians now worship in Evangelical churches, many of them practicing the Prosperity gospel which promises them happiness and fulfilment in return for a proportion of their wealth. And its wealth, along with power and influence, which the Catholic Church previously claimed as its own, is the result of this increased membership. Paulo Cabral investigates why Brazilians are turning form the Catholicism which has had a presence in Brazil for over 500 years, and how the charismatic churches have become so popular changing the way many Brazilians in some of the poorest areas of the country profess their faith and accumulating this vast wealth and political power along the way.

Check it out (27 minutes via listening link or download).

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

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Posted December 5, 2012 at 11:12 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Here’s a quiz: Google received more than 1,900 requests from governments worldwide to remove content from its various services last year. Which country led the planet in this dubious category, with 418 such demands?

China? Iran? Syria?

No. It was democratic, pluralistic, economically vibrant Brazil.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchBlogging & the InternetLaw & Legal Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

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Posted October 5, 2012 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Jeronimo de Castro Abreu Magalhaes was born in Mage, and Zelia Pedreira Abreu Magalhaes in Niteroi. They were married on July 27, 1876, in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

He was a civil engineer and she was a lawyer, with a fine artistic, literary and scientific formation, so that at 14 she translated the work of Cesare Cantu Il Giovinetto from Italian to Portuguese.

From the moment they met, Jeronimo and Zelia always wanted to please God, when in their exchange of looks it was already clear that their falling in love would be different, said Father Roberto Lopes, who is in charge of the processes of canonization of the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

0 Comments
Posted May 3, 2012 at 4:06 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Not far from Copacabana Beach here is a control room that looks straight out of NASA.

City employees in white jumpsuits work quietly in front of a giant wall of screens — a sort of virtual Rio, rendered in real time. Video streams in from subway stations and major intersections. A sophisticated weather program predicts rainfall across the city. A map glows with the locations of car accidents, power failures and other problems.

The order and precision seem out of place in this easygoing Brazilian city, which on this February day was preparing for the controlled chaos that is Carnaval. But what is happening here reflects a bold and potentially lucrative experiment that could shape the future of cities around the world.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesPolice/FireScience & TechnologyUrban/City Life and Issues* Economics, PoliticsEconomyCorporations/Corporate Life* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

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Posted March 6, 2012 at 4:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishop John Ellison, the former Bishop of Paraguay who is now an assistant bishop in the Winchester diocese, told The Times: “I have known Bishop Cavalcanti for over 30 years, from when he was involved in student ministry in the South American scene. He was held in high regard as a Christian leader across South America. He was regarded as a key person by political leaders across the continent.”

Bishop Henry Scriven, the South American mission director for the Church Mission Society, said: “It is with great shock and sadness that we heard the news this morning of the death last night of Bishop and Mrs Cavalcanti. Bishop Robinson was a fearless defender of the faith and had a heart for the poor and the disadvantaged. His wife Miriam was a great support at all times and they were known for their hospitality. The Diocese experienced significant growth in Bishop Robinson’s episcopate.”

Read it all (requires subscription).

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

2 Comments
Posted February 28, 2012 at 6:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A truly horrible story--read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchChildrenMarriage & Family* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

2 Comments
Posted February 28, 2012 at 6:11 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

European leaders have reached a "three-pronged" agreement described as vital to solve the region's huge debt crisis.

They said banks holding Greek debt accepted a 50% loss, the eurozone bailout fund will be boosted and banks will have to raise more capital.

Shares on European markets rose sharply on news of the deal.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsEuroEuropean Central BankG20 Stock MarketThe Banking System/SectorThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Foreign RelationsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaChinaEurope--European Sovereign Debt Crisis of 2010FranceGermanyGreeceSouth AmericaBrazil

0 Comments
Posted October 27, 2011 at 6:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Wow.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchSportsWomen* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.EuropeGermanySouth AmericaBrazil

4 Comments
Posted July 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Archbishop Maurico José Araújo de Andrade is a genial huggy-bear of a man who has been called to the helm of the Episcopal Church of Brazil in uncertain times.

Brazil is the world’s fifth-largest country, both by mass (8.5 million square miles) and population (more than 200 million people). Most Brazilians call themselves Roman Catholic, but these days Pentecostals worship in about equal numbers. The presence of high-profile Pentecostals on the national football team is just one sign that the star of Pentecostalism continues to rise.

Roman Catholic parishes in Brazil are large, plentiful and highly visible. Most stay open all the time. Dotted all over cities and towns are tiny chapels of various Pentecostal affiliations. In the daytime they tend to be shuttered, but they come alive at night as people punctuate boisterous sermons with amens and pray fervently for promised material blessings.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Latest News* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

7 Comments
Posted April 26, 2011 at 3:54 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa also called for stronger regulation of commodity derivatives to dampen excessive volatility in food and energy prices, which they said posed new risks for the recovery of the world economy.

Meeting on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, they said the recent financial crisis had exposed the inadequacies of the current monetary order, which has the dollar as its linchpin.

What was needed, they said in a statement, was "a broad-based international reserve currency system providing stability and certainty" -- thinly veiled criticism of what the BRICS see as Washington's neglect of its global monetary responsibilities.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. GovernmentPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryAsiaChinaIndiaEuropeRussiaSouth AmericaBrazil

0 Comments
Posted April 15, 2011 at 5:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With great sadness we have been witnessing a day of tragedy in a school environment, at Tasso da Silveira elementary school, in Rio de Janeiro.

It is time for us to discuss our security system, especially the security in our public schools. It was a beautiful day, which looked like a normal day, just one more day of school for so many young students of Tasso da Silveira elementary, in Rio de Janeiro.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal- Anglican: Primary SourceAnglican ProvincesAnglican Episcopal Church of Brazil* Culture-WatchEducationViolence* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

0 Comments
Posted April 8, 2011 at 4:20 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The number of people who see Brazil as having a positive influence in the world is rising rapidly, according to a BBC World Service poll of 27 countries.

The country is now regarded positively by 49%, compared to 40% last year - the largest jump by any of the 16 nations respondents are asked to comment on.

South Africa, host of the 2010 World Cup, posted the second biggest rise.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* International News & CommentaryAfricaSouth AfricaSouth AmericaBrazil

0 Comments
Posted March 6, 2011 at 2:33 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

All I can do when I look at this is burst into tears--the dog stayed there for two days.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* General InterestAnimals* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

14 Comments
Posted January 16, 2011 at 3:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Bishops must guide their faithful to use their vote to oppose efforts to legalize abortion and euthanasia, Pope Benedict XVI told bishops from Brazil.

"Dear brother bishops, to defend life we must not fear hostility or unpopularity, and we must refuse any compromise or ambiguity which might conform us to the world's way of thinking," the pope said Oct. 28 during a meeting with bishops from northeast Brazil.

The bishops were making their "ad limina" visits to report on the status of their dioceses.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesLife EthicsReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Benedict XVI

10 Comments
Posted October 31, 2010 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This is a story about how an economist and his buddies tricked the people of Brazil into saving the country from rampant inflation. They had a crazy, unlikely plan, and it worked.

Twenty years ago, Brazil's inflation rate hit 80 percent per month. At that rate, if eggs cost $1 one day, they'll cost $2 a month later. If it keeps up for a year, they'll cost $1,000.

In practice, this meant stores had to change their prices every day. The guy in the grocery store would walk the aisles putting new price stickers on the food. Shoppers would run ahead of him, so they could buy their food at the previous day’s price....

Read or better yet listen to it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchHistory* Economics, PoliticsEconomyConsumer/consumer spendingCorporations/Corporate LifeCredit MarketsCurrency MarketsThe Banking System/SectorPolitics in General* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

1 Comments
Posted October 6, 2010 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

China is pouring another $7bn (£4.4bn) into Brazil's oil industry, reigniting fears of a global "land grab" of natural resources.

State-owned Sinopec clinched the deal with Spain's Repsol yesterday to buy 40 per cent of its Brazilian business, giving China's largest oil company access to Repsol Brasil's estimated reserves of 1.2 billion barrels of oil and gas. The whopping price tag for Repsol Brasil – which values the company at nearly twice previous estimates – is a sign of China's willingness to pay whatever it takes to lock in its future energy supplies and avoid social unrest. It will give the company enough cash to develop all its current oil projects, including two fields in the Santos Basin.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyEnergy, Natural Resources* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaChinaEuropeSouth AmericaBrazil

4 Comments
Posted October 2, 2010 at 5:26 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In an earlier post, I wrote about the emergence of Turkey and Brazil on the world stage. Since then, the ‘terrible twins’ voted against the Security Council’s latest set of (almost certainly ineffective) sanctions against Iran. The Obama administration had worked hard to get both countries on board; their rebuff dramatized the limits of President Obama’s clout — but their isolation on the Security Council (the sanctions carried 12-2-1, with only intimidated Lebanon abstaining) dramatically illustrated something else: the impotence of the terrible twins. Brazilian President Lula and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan spoke out, but nobody listened.

Brazil and Turkey are learning something that more experienced world players already know: it is easier to make a splash than to make a change, easier to grab a headline than to set an agenda. Both countries can expect a rocky ride for some time; the democratic forces propelling new parties and new movements to the fore reflect domestic constituencies, domestic ideas and, in some cases, domestic fantasies about how the world works. Developing viable foreign policies that take those interests and values into account, but also respond to the realities and necessities of the international system will take time and take thought. At this point, it seems clear that neither the Brazilian nor the Turkish administrations have mastered the challenge.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Economics, PoliticsForeign Relations* International News & CommentaryEuropeTurkeySouth AmericaBrazil

0 Comments
Posted June 17, 2010 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

When the U.S. government imagines the global future, the term BRIC features prominently. The concept was created in 2001 when researchers at Goldman Sachs identified four critical emerging powers—Brazil, Russia, India and China. By 2050, claimed these experts, the BRIC powers would be challenging the U.S. for worldwide economic supremacy. U.S. officials have taken this forecast very seriously. Hillary Clinton recently listed these four "major and emerging global powers" as vital partners in any future attempts to solve the world's problems.

The BRIC theory has political, strategic and military implications, but it also raises intriguing questions about the world's religious future. The BRICs will be the scene of intense debates about faith and practice—about coexistence and rivalry between different faiths; about the proper relationship between religion and state power; and, conceivably, about the use of religious rhetoric to justify an imperial expansion.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalizationReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryAsiaChinaIndiaEuropeRussiaSouth AmericaBrazil

3 Comments
Posted November 30, 2009 at 4:24 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

There are new problems on the horizon, just beyond those oil platforms offshore. The real has gained almost 50% against the dollar since early December. That boosts Brazilians’ living standards by making imports cheaper. But it makes life hard for exporters. The government last month imposed a tax on short-term capital inflows. But that is unlikely to stop the currency’s appreciation, especially once the oil starts pumping.

Lula’s instinctive response to this dilemma is industrial policy. The government will require oil-industry supplies—from pipes to ships—to be produced locally. It is bossing Vale into building a big new steelworks. It is true that public policy helped to create Brazil’s industrial base. But privatisation and openness whipped this into shape. Meanwhile, the government is doing nothing to dismantle many of the obstacles to doing business—notably the baroque rules on everything from paying taxes to employing people. Dilma Rousseff, Lula’s candidate in next October’s presidential election, insists that no reform of the archaic labour law is needed (see article).

And perhaps that is the biggest danger facing Brazil: hubris. Lula is right to say that his country deserves respect, just as he deserves much of the adulation he enjoys. But he has also been a lucky president, reaping the rewards of the commodity boom and operating from the solid platform for growth erected by his predecessor, Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Maintaining Brazil’s improved performance in a world suffering harder times means that Lula’s successor will have to tackle some of the problems that he has felt able to ignore. So the outcome of the election may determine the speed with which Brazil advances in the post-Lula era. Nevertheless, the country’s course seems to be set. Its take-off is all the more admirable because it has been achieved through reform and democratic consensus-building. If only China could say the same.

Read the whole thing.


Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyPolitics in General* International News & CommentarySouth AmericaBrazil

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Posted November 15, 2009 at 5:45 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Last week the four leaders of the Bric countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) formally met together in their first summit. I have been asked a number of questions about the event. First, did I really think this would ever happen? Second, would it have happened if I hadn't created the acronym? Third, what real purpose did it serve, and fourth, where do I think the Bric path is heading?

I've also beeen asked a couple of supplementary questions: why these four countries and why not Indonesia, Turkey or indeed Iran? And do I think the global credit crisis has changed the picture from our prediction a number of years ago, that the combined GDP of the Bric economies could exceed that of the G7 countries before 2040?

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomy* International News & CommentaryAsiaChinaIndiaEuropeRussiaSouth AmericaBrazil

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Posted June 23, 2009 at 5:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

With public hugs and backslaps among its leaders, a new political bloc was formed yesterday to challenge the global dominance of the United States.

The first summit of heads of state of the BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China — ended with a declaration calling for a “multipolar world order”, diplomatic code for a rejection of America’s position as the sole global superpower.

President Medvedev of Russia went further in a statement with his fellow leaders after the summit, saying that the BRIC countries wanted to “create the conditions for a fairer world order”. He described the meeting with President Lula da Silva of Brazil, the Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and the Chinese President, Hu Jintao, as “an historic event”.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaIndiaEuropeRussiaSouth AmericaBrazil

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Posted June 17, 2009 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Their stories kept him awake through much of the night. The expectant father in his 20s who was to be a witness at his brother's wedding Saturday. The disbelieving teens who had come to Charles de Gaulle airport expecting to greet family members arriving from Brazil. The woman in her 60s who grabbed his hands, begging him to say there was still hope of finding her child.

"I had to tell them the truth, that in my opinion there was no hope," said Guillaume Denoix de Saint Marc, weariness evident in his voice.

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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryDeath / Burial / Funerals* Culture-WatchTravel* International News & CommentaryEuropeFranceSouth AmericaBrazil

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Posted June 3, 2009 at 5:46 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Brazil and China will work towards using their own currencies in trade transactions rather than the US dollar, according to Brazil’s central bank and aides to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Brazil’s president.

The move follows recent Chinese challenges to the status of the dollar as the world’s leading international currency.

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchGlobalization* Economics, PoliticsEconomyThe U.S. Government* International News & CommentaryAmerica/U.S.A.AsiaChinaSouth AmericaBrazil

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Posted May 19, 2009 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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