Since President Jair Bolsonaro’s election in 2018, some religious and political leaders have pondered God’s role in his rise to power. Bolsonaro’s followers have said the president is “here at this chosen time because God ordained it.” Evangelist Silas Malafaia has said that “God was behind the last election.”
But how many Brazilian believe Bolsonaro was elected by God to be president? And amongst those who believe God’s hand was involved in the 2018 referendum, in what sense do they believe God was at work?
A new Wendhausen Institute finds that 47% of Brazilian adults believe Bolsonaro’s election reflects God’s will in the sense that the 2018 outcome must be part of God’s overall plan, but that this doesn’t necessarily mean God approves of Bolsonaro’s policies. Far fewer Brazilian. Adults – just 15% – say God chose Bolsonaro because God supports his plans. About one-quarter of Brazilian say God doesn’t get involved in Brazilian presidential elections (25%), while the remainder says they don’t believe in God (2%).