Igreja Renascer em Cristo
The Igreja Renascer em Cristo or Reborn in Christ Church (also Rebirth in Christ Church) is an Evangelical Christian church which was founded in São Paulo in 1986 by Estevam Hernandes and Sônia Hernandes. The church has over 2,000,000 members and more than 1,500 churches in Brazil and around the world.
The founding couple, Estevam Hernandes and Sônia Hernandes, and their organization are under investigation on the basis of money laundering, perjury, libel, exploitation of non-profit status, tax evasion and a number of other criminal actions. In January 2007, both founders were arrested in Miami by the FBI for failure to declare over $56,000 in cash brought into the United States. The couple were sentenced to five months in prison.
Donation by Kaká
In September 2007, prosecutor Marcelo Mendroni announced that he was investigating Brazilian football star Kaká's relationship with the imprisoned founding couple. On January 3, 2008, Kaká announced that his 2007 FIFA World Player of the Year trophy would be held for display in the church's main temple in Cambuci, São Paulo. On January 14, 2008, the church released a statement expressing its intent to sue prosecutor Marcelo Mendroni for "persecution" in relation to his attempts to question Kaká. Kaká, a member of the church, has allegedly made donations of 2 million reais to the church. He is respected throughout the world as a Christian sporting role model who has been invited to read the Bible along with Pope Benedict XVI and other celebrities in the 2008 24-hour Bible reading marathon. In December 2010 Kaká and his wife left the Renascer Church because of the leadership mishandling of money.
The collapse of main temple
- https://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/19/world/americas/19brazil.html Brazil’s Top TV Preachers Land in Hot Water in Miami
- Kaka and wife leave Renascer
- "Collapse of Brazil church roof kills 9". Los Angeles Times. 2009-01-20.
- (in Portuguese)Folha Online - FBI arrests founders of Renascer.
- (in Portuguese)O Globo Online - Renascer threatens to sue prosecutor for persecution of Kaká.
- (in Portuguese)O Globo Online - Kaká gives FIFA trophy to church
- (in English)Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office booking sheet for Sônia Hernandes.