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The devil, the new problem for Lula and Bolsonaro in the campaign in Brazil

The devil emerged this Tuesday as a new problem for the two candidates for the Presidency of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Jair Bolsonaro, at a time when the religious issue has gained weight in the electoral campaign.

Former President Lula, the most voted candidate last Sunday in the first round of elections, was forced to deny false news that accused him of having “a pact with the devil” and to reiterate that he is a Christian and believes in God.

“Lula has no pact and has never talked to the devil,” says a message posted on the progressive leader’s social networks after false news was spread to that effect, promoted by groups favorable to Bolsonaro.

Religion has entered the campaign mainly because of Bolsonaro, who has built a strong base of support among evangelicals, who make up about 30% of the electorate, thanks to a discourse focused on defending Christian and conservative values.

The far-right leader has also accused Lula several times of intending to close churches if he regains power, something that has been repeatedly denied by the former president.

LULA RECEIVES FRANCISCAN FRIARS

Later, Lula made a new gesture to the religious by receiving a group of Franciscan priests at his campaign headquarters on Tuesday, the day of Saint Francis of Assisi.

After receiving the blessing of the friars, the progressive leader stressed that he does not like to play politics with religion, because he understands that “faith is a very sacred thing.”

He also praised Pope Francis, whom he said has “exemplary courage” for ruling on “all issues”, from the time the former president spent in prison to the war in Ukraine.

“He is not afraid to defend people,” Lula said of the supreme pontiff.

THE MASONS AND BOLSONARO

Bolsonaro himself has been the center of a huge uproar on social media among Bolsonarists, with an old video, apparently from 2018, in which he appears giving a speech in a Masonic temple.

On the altar where Bolsonaro speaks, images and symbols typical of Freemasonry are seen, which Catholics and evangelicals usually associate with Satan.

Many of those who commented on the images said they had supported and voted for Bolsonaro because of his religious beliefs, but expressed their surprise at the video, to the point of launching the label “what a disappointment” to express their disgust.

Many also questioned the slogan “God, Homeland, Family” that Bolsonaro has adopted for this campaign and went so far as to ensure that the president is actually “one of the false messiahs” warned about in the Bible.

Unlike Lula, Bolsonaro has not yet commented on the controversial video, released hours before the president resumes his campaign activities after the first round of elections.

Precisely this Tuesday, Bolsonaro plans to attend a convention of evangelical churches and, later, a meeting of pastors of the Assembly of God church.

Lula won the first round of the elections last Sunday with 48.4% of the vote, compared to 43.2% obtained by the far-right Bolsonaro.

Both will compete for the Presidency in a second round that will take place on October 30.

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