A bishop, who believes homosexuality is caused by failed abortions, has just been sworn in as the new Mayor of Rio de Janeiro.
Marcelo Crivella, who preached in the evangelical Universal Church of the Kingdom of God and previously said being gay was a “terrible evil”, took office on New Year’s Day.
He beat left wing candidate Marcelo Freixo of the Workers Party by nearly 20 percentage points in October.
Previously, as a bishop in the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, he told his congregation that the trauma of an unsuccessful abortion may be the reason why people are gay.
“Imagine being in your mother’s womb and your mother, for a number of problems, trying to kill you—and not being able to,” he said.
“How are you going to face the world later? It’s difficult.”
The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God has grown to become one of the largest faith groups in Brazil with over eight million members.
It has faced frequent accusations of corruption, money-laundering and racketeering.
In a book published in 1999, as well as calling homosexuality evil, Mr Crivella said the Roman Catholic Church was “demonic”.
Brazil is a predominantly Catholic country, though evangelicalism has grown rapidly over the last three decades and now makes up around a fifth of the population.
Although Brazil has been progressive in regards to LGBT issues, a growing number of fundamentalists have seized power and prevented anti-discrimination laws from being passed.
The country also has the highest number of trans murders anywhere in the world – almost half of all those committed.
It does, however, recognise same-sex marriage and celebrates one of the largest pride parades anywhere in the world.