Edir Macedo

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Edir Macedo
Edir Macedo2007.jpg
Edir Macedo in 2007, during grand opening ceremony of Record News.
Born (1945-02-18) February 18, 1945 (age 69)
Rio das Flores, RJ, Brazil
Nationality Brazilian
Occupation Preacher and theologian

Edir Macedo Bezerra (born February 18, 1945) is a Brazilian religious leader[1][2] and businessman; he is the owner and chairman of the second-largest television network in Brazil, Rede Record, since 1989 with its parent Central Record de Comunicação who also founded after he bought the network. Macedo was raised Catholic, but by 1970 converted to a Pentecostal. He founded with others the "Neo-Pentecostal" Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil in 1977.

His rapidly growing religious movement and his teaching of prosperity theology have been a source of controversy. His views about other faiths, particularly Catholicism, are also controversial. In 1992, he spent eleven days in jail on accusations of charlatanism. There were several protests, with his religious followers camping in front of the place he was held (a police precinct) as he confirms it in his autobiography "Nothing to Lose".[3]

According to Forbes and Business Week he is continuously involved in scandals, mostly due to allegations that the UCKG illegally channelled donations of billions of US dollars intended for charity overseas, then returned the money to Brazil where, according to São Paulo's public prosecutor, there was evidence that it was used in the personal interests of the church leaders, including Macedo, being accused. There have also been official charges of fraud and money laundering.[4][5][6] As of January 2013 Macedo was still under prosecution by US and Venezuelan authorities.[4]

In March 2013 Macedo was on the Forbes billionaires list with a reported US$1.1 billion.[4][7]

Criticism[edit]

Macedo has been criticised, especially after the 'kicking of the saint' incident (in which ex-bishop Sérgio Von Helder kicked a Catholic icon in a TV program for which he was imprisoned 2 years after)[8] and his teachings about tithe and offerings, which many say is an exploitation of the followers.

Edir Macedo was indicted by the Federal Justice for fraudulent import of equipment and use of false public documents and legal proceedings, but not convicted. Ten years later he was prosecuted again by the prosecutors of the State of São Paulo. On 19 October 2010 the São Paulo Justice Court (TJ-SP) annulled all accusations made by the São Paulo Public Ministry against the UCKG and its principal representatives by a majority vote. The judges deemed that the São Paulo prosecutors did not have jurisdiction to investigate the case, as the accusations were of a type that fell into the federal jurisdiction.[9]

Other[edit]

Macedo also leads Rede Record[1] (the second biggest television network in Brazil), Rede Família, Record News, Line Records, 64 radio stations of Rede Aleluia and Universal Produções. He has authored several religious books including the polemical best-seller Orixás, Caboclos e Guias, Deuses ou Demônios. According to Macedo's Web site [10] he holds a doctor's degree in Theology and in Christian Philosophy, and an Honorary degree in Divinity from the Faculdade de Educação Teológica do Estado de São Paulo.[11][not in citation given]

Edir Macedo was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1945. In 1963 he began a career as a civil servant, initially working with the state-run lottery of Rio de Janeiro, Loterj, and also at the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, IBGE, as a researcher in the economic census of 1970. After 16 years he left the civil service to set up the UCKG.

Married to Ester Bezerra for 41 years, he has two daughters: Cristiane, Viviane and an adopted son, Moises.

Macedo has degrees in Theology from the Evangelical School of Theology "United Seminar” and the Faculty of Theological Education in the state of São Paulo (Fatebom). He received a doctorate in Theology, Christian Philosophy and an honorary degree in Divinity, in addition to a Masters in Theological Science received through the Federación Evangélica Española de Entidades Religiosas (F.E.E.D.E.R.) in Madrid, Spain.

Ten million copies of evangelical books by Macedo have been sold, and over 34 titles published. Titles include "Orixás, Caboclos and Guias" and "In the Footsteps of Jesus", both of which sold more than three million copies in Brazil.

Macedo has held evangelical crusades that have gathered more than a million people.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "O ateu que não vive sem Deus". The Blog of Edir Macedo. Retrieved 2013-11-21. 
  2. ^ "O céu e o inferno não são folclore". istoe.com.br. Retrieved 2013-01-29. 
  3. ^ From favelas to Spanish parliament: Nothing to Lose: Book launch
  4. ^ a b c Forbes: The Richest Pastors in Brazil, 17 January 2013
  5. ^ Guardian newspaper: Brazilian evangelical leader charged with fraud, 13 August 2009
  6. ^ Business Week: Edir Macedo, Brazil's Billionaire Bishop, 25 April 2013
  7. ^ Forbes profile of Edir Macedo as of March 2013
  8. ^ Kicking off the catholic simbol
  9. ^ Universo Politico: Accusations against UCKG recognised as illegal, 24 October 2010 (Portuguese)
  10. ^ Edir Macedo's Web site: biography
  11. ^ FATEBOM - Distance Learning Doctoral Program in Theology

External links[edit]