A recent report by Forbes magazine listing the richest pastors in Brazil has sparked criticism of evangelical leaders in the country.
One of the pastors mentioned in the list, Silas Malafaia, has promised to file a lawsuit against the magazine for its "shamless" report. Other evangelical leaders have also spoken out against the news saying it presents religion as a profitable business and infringes on the private finances of individuals.
Forbes carried out an investigation into the net worth of the most popular evangelical leaders in Brazil, allegedly basing the figures on numbers reported by Brazil's Public Ministry of the Union and Federal Police.
The magazine said it also used estimates of the value of each pastor's private holdings, Brazilian media has reported, including magazines Veja, Exame, IstoÉ, IstoÉ Dinheiro and newspapers Folha de S. Paulo, O Globo and O Estado de S. Paulo.
The investigation listed the five wealthiest ministers as: Edir Macedo, leader of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God ($950 million); Valdemiro Santiago, of the World Church of the Power of God ($200 million); Silas Malafaia, president of Victory in Christ Assembly of God ($150 million), RR Soares, of the International Church of the Grace of God ($125 million) and the married couple Estevam Hernandes and Sonia, of the Reborn in Christ Church ($65 million).
Pastor Silas Malafaia, who was included in the list, has denied that the information reported is anywhere near accurate, claiming that all the money from his church, as well as other ministries and companies he is connected with, and offerings and donations received by them, would not even reach half of the amount ($150 million) listed by Forbes as his personal wealth.
"All my personal wealth and income are stated in the Brazilian IRS. I have nothing to fear or to owe. To say that my income information was given by the Public Ministry of Brazil and Federal Police is a serious affront to these institutions because they do not have legal authority to provide this kind of information", he said, according to his church's website.
Malafaia has since promised to file a lawsuit against Forbes Brazil to prove that the information is a lie and wholly inaccurate.
The president of the Brazilian Association of Evangelical Jurists (ANAJURE), Dr. Uziel Santana expressed his concern about a possible infringement of the confidentiality of the pastor's banking and tax information.
Uziel said, "whatever the merits of the issue, it is serious the fact that there was possible infringement of the data protected by bank and tax secrecy. This is so violent as to turn faith into a market, deceiving those who have less discernment of the reality”.
Latest Nigeria News
- Army Releases Arrested Tompolo Associates
- Governor Fayose Blasts President Buhari In New Fierce Attack
- Pastor Enoch Adeboye Finally Speaks On Slain Abuja Preacher
- See What Man Did To His Teenage Daughter After Catching Her In Bed With Lover (video)
- July 29, 1966: 7 Things You Should Know About The Second Military Coup in Nigeria
- Budget Padding Scandalous, Rubbishes Buhari?s Anti-Graft Crusade Says Afenifere
- 35 FRSC Crushed To Death By Drivers, 1 Loses Manhood
- Man Stoned And Burnt To Death For Stealing 3 Month Old Baby
- Stephen Keshi?s Burial Rites Commence Today
- Dogara Fights Back : Jibrin Smuggled Fake Projects Into The Budget
- Panic In Owerri Over Bombing Threat, Security Beefed Up
- I Have Not Been Paid For 5 Months Says Siasia
- Nnamdi Kanu: Biafra Restoration Not Personal Decision But Call From God Almighty
- Buhari Spits Fire: This Is What I Will Do To Corrupt APC Members
- NSCDC Rescues 9 Year Old Boy Chained For 2 Weeks Without Food In Celestial Church
- Breaking: Buhari?s Minister Reveals How Much His Government SavesMonthly
- Troops Nab Suspected Boko Haram Terrorists PMS Suppliers
- Nigerian Navy Arrests Niger Delta Avengers? Major Logistics Supplier
- Buhari Says Nigerians Still Love Him? See Fresh Poll Shows PMB?s Real Popularity
- Another Top Supplier To ND Avengers Arrested
- Bishop In Police Net For Allegedly Sponsoring Niger Delta Avengers
- What This Boko Haram Member Was Caught Doing Will Shock You (photos)
- Bola Ige: This Is What President Buhari Told IGP To Do Immediately
- Pilot Tells EFCC: How I Transported Over N1.219bn To Fayose On An Aircraft
- EFCC Interrogates Doyin Okupe Over N162m Illicit Payment
- My Boyfriend Refused To Use Condom: Police Arrests Lovers Fighting Over S3x
- Revelations : I Drove The Bribe Money To Fayose?s Hotel Says Driver
- Fear Of Buhari: Senate Makes Very Crucial Statement
- Reuben Abati: Theresa May, Melaye and the Leader?s Wife
- How Bullion van Driver Delivered N1.2bn To Fayose?s Hotel
- 2 soldiers Killed, 7 injured in Boko Haram ambush
- PENGASSAN, NUPENG call off strike
- IPMAN urges FG To Reopen Investigation Into Alleged N10.9bn Subsidy Fraud
- Pipeline Bombings: Militant Group Announces 2 Week Ceasefire
- IPMAN Urges FG To Reopen Investigation Into Alleged N10.9bn Subsidy Fraud
- Many Feared Dead As Communal Clash Resurfaces In Benue Coomunity
- Student Stabs Landlord To Death, You Wont Believe What He Did Next
- Sen. Ben Murray-Bruce Hangs Out With His Lookalike Son, Cody (Video)
- Eid-el-Fitr: Gov. Ugwuanyi And Ogun Speaker Urge Muslims Faithful To Promote Peace And Unity
- Oduah Has No Female Domestic Staff