Intervozes–Coletivo Brasil de Comunicação Social (Brazil)


The research aims to map and analyze the role of religious ideas, practices, and institutions in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil, focusing on the speeches produced by Christian religious leaders in the mass media and social networks, in addition to the use of public TV for political and religious proselytism. The research is justified by the growing public role played by Christian churches in the country, exacerbated during the Covid-19 pandemic. To this end, the churches intensified a practice they had already exercised before the pandemic: an intense use of mass media and new information and communication technologies. The research aims to answer questions such as: What religious and secular discourses about the pandemic are disseminated in religious media, and how do they align or not with the guidelines proposed by international organizations such as the World Health Organization and national health authorities? How do these discourses influence public policies and other responses to the pandemic that are being adopted in Brazil? How do churches intensify the use of media and new information and communication technologies in a context of social distance, given the ban on opening temples? How do Christian worldviews influence the population’s perception of the crisis we are experiencing? Thus, it intends to contribute to the understanding of the particular ways in which the pandemic is seen, experienced, and managed in Brazil.

Principal Investigator

Olivia Bandeira

Executive Coordinator, Research and Training, Intervozes–Coletivo Brasil de Comunicação Social

I am responsible for the research and training area of Intervozes–Coletivo Brasil de Comunicação Social, an organization that has been developing research and actions for the democratization of communication and the defense of freedom of expression for 16 years. I was one of the researchers of Media Ownership Monitor, a project developed in partnership with Reporters Without Borders Germany that mapped the owners of the country's most popular media outlets and their economic, political, and religious interests. I am also a researcher at the Laboratory of Anthropology of Religion at Unicamp and at the Research Group on Religion, Gender, and Politics (Grepo) at Pontifical Catholic University of Sao Paolo. At Lar/Unicamp, I developed research on religion and Covid-19, and published some texts on the topic. PUC-SP studies how religious leaders act politically to influence education policies in the country. I have been studying evangelicals since my PhD degree at Universidade Federal do Rio do Janeiro. My thesis analyzes the Brazilian gospel music market, the second most consumed musical genre in the country, and the relations of this musical genre with media and politics. The thesis received an honorable mention in the Brazilian ANPOCS Competition for Scientific Works and University Theses in Social Sciences.