Catholic church fights for faithful lost to evangelicals

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Catholic church fights for faithful lost to evangelicals

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Catholic church fights for faithful lost to evangelicals

by AFP Videos 1:56 mins

Catholic church fights for faithful lost to evangelicals

by AFP Videos 1:56 mins

SCRIPT: With all the singing and dancing in this Sao Paulo suburb you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in a nightclub…. but this is, in fact, a Catholic mass. This is the Charismatic community Aliança de Misericôrdia. It was founded in 2000 by two Italian missionaries in Brazil and now boasts 3000 worshippers. SOUNDBITE 1, Eliana Rocha, churchgoer (Portuguese, 6 sec) “This community is very joyful, very young, I feel the love of God a lot here” [In Portuguese: "A comunidade é muito alegre, è muito jovem, sinto muito o amor de Deus aqui"] SOUNDBITE 2, Ranulfo Rodrigues da Silva, churchgoer (Portuguese, 6 sec) “It’s great here, it’s really cheerful, I really like that, I don’t like sad churches. That’s why I come here” [In Portuguese: "Aqui é muito bom. Muita alegria e eu gosto muito de alegria, não gosto de tristeza. E por isso que eu venho aqui"] Brazil has the world’s biggest Catholic population – 123 million – but statistics say it’s lost 15 million regular churchgoers in the last ten years. Many have left to join evangelical churches – who now boast some 43 million members in South America's largest country. In an attempt to win back those put off by the perceived stuffiness of the Catholic church, many Catholic priests are starting to copy the evengelicals’ straighforward style of worship. SOUNDBITE 3, Father José Custodio, parish priest of Aliança da Misericôrdia (Portuguese, 33 sec) “It’s not about changing our doctrines, but we change our language, explain our doctrine, our Faith, our morals in different language that can reach people better, the language of the people, simple language” [In Portuguese: "Não se trata de uma mudança de doutrina mas uma mudança de linguagem, mostrar a nossa dotrina, a nossa fè, a nossa moral com uma linguagem diferente que possa atingir as pessoas, a linguagem do povo, a linguagem simples"] Father Pedro is one of the youngest priests here – he’s enthusiastic about the new, more dynamic services, and doesn’t see evangelicals as competition. SOUNDBITE 4, Father Pedro Mariano, priest at Aliança da Misericôrdia (Portuguese, 12 sec) “We can’t be afraid of the growth of the evangelicals, we should want the Gospel to be spread” [In Portuguese: "Do crescimento dos evangelicos nos nao podemos ter medo, devemos ter o desejo que o evangelio possa ser anonciado"] These Catholic priests are hoping the election of the first Latin American Pope will give the Catholic church a boost throughout the region – and help bring some of those 15 million lost worshippers back into the fold. SHOTLIST: SAO PAULO, BRAZIL, 14 MARCH 2013, SOURCE: AFPTV -VAR of worshippers at a service at Aliança da Misericôrdia SOUNDBITE 1 SOUNDBITE 2 -VAR of worshippers at a service at Aliança da Misericordia SOUNDBITE 3 -VAR of Father Pedro Mariano officiating at Mass -VAR of Fathers Pedro Mariano and José Custodio praying in church SOUNDBITE 4 -VAR of worshippers at a service at Aliança da Misericordia

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