BRAZIL - Thousands Gather to Support Israel

Arno Froese

More than 1,000 people gathered on Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach in order to march in solidarity for the state of Israel.

Demonstrators held signs saying “Hamas is terrorism” and “Free the hostages,” attendees noted.

Multiple Brazilians were killed in the terror attack, including 24-year-olds Ranani Glazer and Bruna Valeani, as well as Karla Stelzer Mendes, 41. While some Brazilians survived by playing dead under other bodies, many Brazilians are still missing. 

More than 3,000 gathered in a similar fashion in Sao Paulo. “Israel had its sovereignty invaded by terrorists from the Hamas. This demonstration aims to show the unity of the Jewish community and everyone who values Israel and who also values peace,” said Marcos Knobel, president of the Sao Paulo Jewish Federation.

Brazil is home to around 120,000 Jews, according to data provided. Sao Paulo is home to half of them, and Rio gathers another 30,000. The Brazilian diaspora in Israel holds a population of around 15,000 Brazilians, according to the Brazilian embassy in Tel Aviv., 17 October 2023

Arno's Commentary

Population-wise, Brazil is the 2nd largest nation on the American continent (North and South). The geographic size is slightly smaller than the USA. Present population is about 219 million. Wikipedia states that in 1970, 90% of the population considered themselves Catholic; that changed in 2020 to about 50%. In the meantime, Evangelical Protestantism has reached 31%. Prognosis for the future shows Catholic membership dropping below 38% by 2030, while the various Protestant memberships will rise to nearly 40%.

As an overwhelmingly Catholic country until the Second World War, we note the Vatican’s unsympathetic position toward Israel: “Until 1948 the Pope was motivated by the traditional Vatican opposition to Zionism. Vatican opposition to a Jewish homeland stemmed largely from theological doctrines regarding Judaism.”

When did the Vatican recognize the State of Israel? “The relationship between Catholics and Jews is marred by centuries of troubles, including doctrinal polemics, Crusade-era massacres, and forced exiles of Jews. The Vatican moved to improve relations with Jews in 1965, although it did not formally recognize Israel until 1993.”

One of the unique characteristics of the Protestant movement is the encouragement to read the Scripture. The Bible is our ultimate authority, giving detailed instructions as to our behavior within a geopolitical identity. For two millennia, the Jewish people were dispersed over all five continents, but remarkably kept their identity as Jews. Today, despite vehement opposition from terrorist groups like Hamas in the south and Hezbollah in the north (among many others), the country continues to prosper and, rather surprisingly, is establishing diplomatic relations with an ever-increasing number of Arab and Islamic nations.

The bottom line is Israel’s future: “Then shall they know that I am the Lord their God, which caused them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there” (Ezekiel 39:28).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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