Population: 200.4 million (2013)
Major religion: Roman Catholicism
Official language: Portuguese
IFES movement: Aliança Bíblica Universitária do Brasil (ABUB)
Brazil is a country that is very diverse culturally and with great social inequality. Few have the chance of receiving higher education. In recent years, there has been an impressive growth in evangelical Christianity, but biblical and Christ-centred teaching is still scarce. Brazil has a Christian majority, but universities tend to over-estimate the importance of science and look down on those who believe in Christ.
- 2377 institutions of higher education, 127 ABUB-affiliated groups with an estimated 3 to 6 core groups in each city (small Bible study groups)
- 14 full-time staff,2 part-time, approximately 40 volunteers
- 100 university groups, 22 secondary school groups, 5 graduate groups
ABUB has grown greatly in the last seven years, from three regional and three national workers to 17 staff today. The number of groups has also grown, with a significant increase in the number of cities with ABUB groups. The movement is aware of many challenges, primarily financial, but they rejoice in the evidence of God’s provision.
Student initiative is the major asset of ABUB. Brazil is a very large country and without their initiative, and the support of volunteers, it would be impossible to see such growth.
View from the inside
Reinaldo Percinoto Jr., the General Secretary of ABUB, tells us: ‘It’s an honour to serve the Lord in the student ministry. The commitment and passion of students, staff and volunteers inspire us. Yes, there are many challenges! And yet, the achievements for my life and my ministry are infinitely greater.
2 Corinthians 5:17-18 motivates him: “therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”’
Reinaldo is also grateful to God for the training space in ABUB that is centred on scriptures. Hundreds of students recently gathered in regional training meetings to study together the second letter of Paul to the Corinthians and to think through the implications of our mission of reconciliation in the university, in the church and in society.
- for the challenge of growth, that ABUB continues to be a movement united in Christ and balanced to grow in number and in organization;
- for students to maintain their faith in Jesus and their love for the scriptures.