08 nov
2016

News: Kércia Morais em site internacional

Olá!

Fiquei muitíssimo feliz em ser escolhida para participar de uma pesquisa sobre comportamento do consumidor (segmento evangélico no Brasil), realizada pela jornalista Cecília Bergamaschi do site de Londres, Canvas 8 (é uma das principais agências de conhecimentos comportamentais para profissionais de mídia e marketing do mundo).

Como a matéria é para assinantes da plataforma, colocarei o texto no formato original (em inglês), com minhas citações traduzidas para o português para vocês darem uma conferida!

Amo compartilhar conquistas!

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Tradução das minhas citações:

(…) Para Kércia Morais, consultora de imagem e estilo, as igrejas evoluíram e estão agora mais interessantes. “Não é algo monótono, e vem em uma linguagem que atinge uma parte maior da sociedade “, diz. A partir dos anos 90, os evangélicos começaram a ter mais acesso à informação, e hoje em dia as mensagens são contextualizadas e colocadas em prática, não apenas ouvidas. “Pastores procuram conhecimento nas universidades, em psicologia, filosofia e direito, tornando os serviços mais dinâmico e explicativo. “…

(…) Um dos mercados mais promissores é a moda. As mulheres evangélicas querem usar roupas elegantes, mas muitas das peças de vestuário que encontram nas lojas são de comprimento curto, têm decotes profundos ou são muito justas, diz Morais. Para ela, a maioria das lojas especializadas em moda evangélica ainda têm limitações em termos de estilo, não levando em conta a individualidade de seus clientes. “Ambos homens e mulheres dão importância à aparência, e o mercado precisa evoluir em termos de qualidade “, diz ela. (…)

(…) Enquanto as marcas estão cada vez mais conscientes do mercado evangélico, elas ainda estão frequentemente ausentes na mídia e campanhas publicitárias. De fato, diz Morais, muitas empresas apoiam comportamentos que se opõem a princípios bíblicos. Entretanto, os Gen Yers vêm trabalhando na difusão de ideias da Internet, aproveitando os blogs de moda, YouTube e canais de TV, além de lojas, eventos e feiras para promover valores evangélicos. “Em breve veremos mais empresas interessadas em atrair esta parcela significativa do mercado, que continua a crescer “, diz Morais. (…)

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REPORT 08 Nov 16

BRAZILIAN EVANGELICALS: FINDING COMMUNITY

THROUGH COMMUNION

There are over 42 million evangelical Christians in Brazil, forming a diverse group who don’t just attend church to pray, but also to socialise and form relationships. So what does it mean to be an evangelical? And why are churches attracting so many people in this day and age?

Location Brazil

Scope

Journalist Roseane Guimarães and lawyer Rafael Guimarães first met in the evangelical church Sara Nossa Terra in Brasília. They started dating in 2006, got married four years later, and now have a daughter named Rafaella. The pair were originally Catholics, but decided to join a Neo-Pentecostal church motivated by the feeling of belonging to a group. “On my second day attending Sara [Nossa Terra] everyone already knew my name,” notes Roseane. “Our pastor dresses like us and mingles,” adds Rafael. [1]

In Brazil, the term evangelical is mainly used to address Pentecostals and Neo-Pentecostals, with the former group emphasising the miraculous aspects of faith (i.e. the healing power of the Holy Spirit), and the latter group focusing on spiritual, physical healing and the theology of prosperity. As of 2010, there were over 42 million evangelicals nationwide – 22% of the population – a figure that increased 61% over a decade. [2][3] So with the number of evangelicals higher than ever, how are brands and the media seeking to engage with them?

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Who are they?

The term evangelical is broad, covering those who follow the millennial Baptists lines to those who go to churches that have only been popular since the ‘70s. But what does it mean? Pentecostalism was brought to Latin America from the US in the early 20th century. [4] “It’s a Protestant revolution within the Protestant revolution, and appears in the Wesleyan Methodist Church,” explains sociologist Roberto Dutra. “John Wesley is one of the great founders of Pentecostalism, but other leaders also helped to promote the religion. It is characterised by a belief in the strength of God to change everyday problems. It’s what we call magic religiosity.” [5] According to the World Christian Database, Brazil is home to the largest number of Pentecostals globally, with 26.9 million in 2016. [6]

In the ‘70s, Neo-Pentecostal churches started to spring up in Brazil. These are more liberal, meaning that churchgoers are allowed to wear fashionable clothes and make-up, as well as go to the beach, cinema, watch TV and listen to different musical styles. However, alcohol, tobacco and homosexual sex remain banned by the denomination. [7]

The proliferation of evangelicals across Brazil increased in the ‘80s, when urban centres couldn’t absorb the masses coming from rural areas. According to political scientist Cesar Romero Jacob, it created the ideal conditions for a discourse of salvation brought by these churches. He suggests that Pentecostalism has grown where there has been a lack of inclusivity and poor education policies. [8]

The state of São Paulo boasts the highest number of evangelical constructions in the country, funded by the tithes paid by millions of followers. Cidade Mundial dos Sonhos de Deus (World City of God’s Dreams), part of the Neo-Pentecostal Igreja Mundial do Poder de Deus (World Church of God’s Power), is among one of the world’s largest, capable of hosting up to 150,000 people. [9]

Meanwhile, Templo Salomão was erected by Pentecostal Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus (Universal Church of the Kingdom of God). For Rodrigo Franklin, professor of religion sciences at Mackenzie Presbyterian University, the buildings represent a commodification of faith. “If the pastor wants to show that his power is real, he needs to continue to build extravagant stuff,” he says. [10]

As evangelical churches become grander and the number of worshippers increases, Catholicism is seemingly in decline in Brazil – Catholics made up 95% of the population in the ‘40s, but represented just 57% in 2013. [11] According to Agnaldo Cuócco Portugal, a specialist in religion, this is because the evangelical churches speak the language of the people and are extremely effective in opening new churches and support services, such as nurseries, schools and care homes. “From a psychological point of view, it can rescue lives,” he says. [12]

Unlike other Christian churches, evangelicals customise their speeches to reach different audiences. Bola de Neve (Snowball) Church, for example, is famous among surfers. For evangelical Kércia Morais, an image and style consultant, churches have evolved and are now more interesting. “It’s not something boring, and it comes in a language that reaches a larger part of society,” she says. From the ‘90s, evangelicals began to have more access to information, and nowadays the messages are contextualised and put into practice, not just heard. “Pastors seek knowledge in the universities, in psychology, philosophy and law, making the services more dynamic and explanatory.” [13]

 

What they do and what they love

Evangelicals don’t just go to church to pray, but also to make friends and start romantic relationships. Indeed, a study conducted by the government of the Federal District in Brazil found that the most active group is aged 18 to 35. [14] Churches are increasingly attractive for young people because they provide the opportunity to do extracurricular activities, develop new skills and make friends.

Sandra Duarte de Souza, professor of social sciences and religion at the Methodist University São Paulo, points out that evangelicals have a utilitarian relationship with religion. “If there is no return – material, most of the time – the person seeks another church,” she says, with research suggesting that around 40% of Pentecostals and Neo-Pentecostals switch churches. [15]

Evangelical churches vary widely. Some are more inclusive, others are traditional, but have a warm policy for minorities, explains journalist Ricardo Alexandre, a member of the Baptist church Água Viva. Among Brazil’s evangelical churches, some only believe in marriage and not civil partnerships, while others defend the integration of homosexual couples if they’re celibate. [16]

“If there is no return – material, most of the time – the person seeks another church”

Sandra Duarte de Souza, professor of social sciences and religion at the Methodist University São Paulo

A growing number of Brazilian businesses are aware of the consumer potential that the evangelicals represent. Marcelo Rebello, president of the Brazilian Association of Business and Professional Evangelicals, notes that the market has been expanding over the past few years due to the increasing number of churchgoers, estimating that evangelicals now spend around R$21.5 billion (£5.4 billion) per year. “It’s a public with good purchasing power, because they live a more regimented life and don’t spend on drinks, cigarettes or nightlife. The market began to realise that and the number of companies geared to them is growing,” he says. [17]

One of the most promising markets is fashion. Evangelical women want to wear stylish clothes, but many of the garments they find in stores are either short length, have deep cuts, plunge necks, or are too tight, says Morais. For her, the majority of the stores specialising in evangelical fashion still have limitations in terms of style, not taking into account the individuality of their customers. “Both men and women give importance to appearance, and the market needs to evolve in terms of quality,” she says. [13] With eyes on this demand, Simone Carvalho and Renan Santos opened evangelical fashion store Saia Bella in August 2015, selling their first franchise in April 2016. [18]

Another potentially lucrative market among Pentecostals and Neo-Pentecostals is music. CD sales of religious artists in Brazil have been growing 15% per year, and it is estimated that the segment generates around R$1.5 billion (£382.3 million) annually. [19]

Insights and opportunities

Brazilian evangelicals are increasingly influential outside of churches. While Catholicism still maintains dominance among the older population, evangelicals hold great power among young people, who tend to be more active, contributing more towards the churches. Additionally, evangelical voters have a growing say in political affairs. The 2016 municipal elections showed a rise in religious conservatism across the country, leading to evangelical bishop Marcelo Crivella becoming mayor of Rio de Janeiro. [20] They also have their largest representation in history, occupying 75 of the 513 seats in the lower house of congress. [21]

While the politicians come from different parties and defend varied issues, their agendas include traditional ideals, such as opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion. “They have more political influence than ever, and they are going through a moment in which they’re asserting their power,” says Paulo Baía, a political scientist and sociologist at Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University. [22]

Last year, the Evangelical Parliamentary Front in congress had its say on one of the staples of Brazilian culture, the telenovela. A group of politicians released an official statement of repudiation of a gay kiss in the first episode of Babilônia, shown of Rede Globo, the country’s largest TV network. The note called on evangelicals to not follow the telenovela or consume products advertised during the programme. [23] While Babilônia had a drop in audience, telenovela Os Dez Mandamentos (The Ten Commandments), which was aired on Rede Record – the second-largest TV network, owned by the bishop Edir Macedo – saw an increase in audience.

They have more political influence than ever, and they are going through a

moment in which they’re asserting their power

Paulo Baía, a political scientist and sociologist at Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University

 

Besides commercial initiatives run by evangelicals, like Saia Bella, large brands have started to venture into the market independently or by establishing partnerships. In June, MasterCard launched Amigo do Pastor (Pastor’s Friend), a credit card that allows users to make purchases at over two million establishments nationwide while contributing to initiatives in the evangelical community. [24] And in 2015, Assembleia de Deus Church, which has around 18 million members, launched mobile network Mais AD. The service, which uses the capacity of Vivo, one of the largest operators in the country, offers apps with content approved by evangelical leaders, requests for prayers and church addresses. [25]

While brands are increasingly aware of the evangelical market, they’re still often absent in media and advertising campaigns. In fact, says Morais, many companies support behaviour that opposes biblical principles. Meanwhile, Gen Yers have been working on spreading religious ideas through the internet, harnessing fashion blogs, YouTube and TV channels, in addition to stores, events and fairs to promote evangelical values. “Soon we should see more companies concerned in attracting this significant share of the market, which continues to grow,” says Morais. [13]

Sources

  1. ‘Evangélicos somam mais de 830 mil no Distrito Federal’, Correio Braziliense (January 2016)
  2. ‘Conheça as capitais mais (e menos) evangélicas do Brasil’, Consciência Cristã (March 2016)
  3. ‘Crescimento de evangélicos impulsiona despertar da Igreja Católica, diz Damasceno 211’, UOL (July 2013)
  4. ‘Em profundidade: Evangélicos’, Veja
  5. ‘Há cegueira da esquerda para entender a nova classe trabalhadora’, El País (June 2016)
  6. ‘Extremismo evangélico’, Superinteressante (December 2015)
  7. ‘Expansão pentecostal no Brasil: o caso da Igreja Universal’, Estudos Avançados (December 2004)
  8. ‘Como a ascensão evangélica está mudando as relações sociais e políticas no país’, Zero Hora (April 2015)
  9. ‘Dez maiores templos do Brasil comportam mais de 500 mil pessoas’, Último Segundo (July 2014)
  10. ‘Novo megatemplo ilustra disputa de igrejas em SP para ‘mostrar poder”, BBC Brasil (February 2016)
  11. ‘Ser brasileiro e ser católico não é mais a mesma coisa. Quais serão os impactos desta mudança?’, Zero Hora (April

2016)

  1. ‘Fé em expansão. Cresce o número de evangélicos no Distrito Federal’, Metrópoles (November 2015)
  2. Interview with Kércia Morais conducted by author
  3. ‘Número de evangélicos supera 830 mil no Distrito Federal’, IESB (April 2016)
  4. ‘O novo retrato da fé no Brasil’, Istoé (January 2016)
  5. ‘Afinal, quem são ‘os evangélicos’?’, Carta Capital (September 2014)
  6. ‘Mercado evangélico cresce ao apostar em consumidor fiel’, Terra (December 2015)
  7. ‘Público fiel garante resultado de moda evangélica’, Pequenas Empresas & Grandes Negócios (June 2016)
  8. ‘Venda de CDs de cantores da música gospel supera ídolos da MPB’, O Dia (October 2015)
  9. ‘Marcelo Crivella é eleito prefeito do Rio e diz que venceu ‘onda de preconceito”, G1 (October 2016)
  10. ‘Como a bancada evangélica se posiciona na economia e nos costumes’, Folha de São Paulo (November 2015)
  11. ‘In Brazil’s political crisis, a powerful new force: Evangelical Christians’ , The Washington Post (May 2016)
  12. ‘Frente evangélica da Câmara lança nota de repúdio a beijo gay em Babilônia’, Estadão (March 2015)
  13. ‘MasterCard Lança o Primeiro Cartão voltado ao público Evangélico. Sem Burocracia’, MasterCard Amigo do Pastor

(June 2016)

  1. ‘Assembleia de Deus lança operadora de celular’, O Dia (August 2015)

Canvas8 Member : ceciliabe@gmail.com

 [ Canvas 8 – Brazilian evangelicals: finding community through communion ]

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Kercia Morais

Kercia Morais

Administradora, Mercadóloga e Consultora de Imagem.

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