South America - Brazil
In 1822, the South American country of Brazil gained independence from Portugal, becoming the largest and most heavily populated country on the continent. Coffee exporters and military leaders dominated the country’s political landscape until the military peaceably turned power over to civilian leaders in 1985.
Rich in natural resources, Brazil today is “South America’s leading economic power and a regional leader, one of the first in the area to begin an economic recovery,” according to CIA Factbook.
While the majority of Brazil’s population (73.6%) cites Roman Catholicism as their religion, it is believed that this is largely nominal in nature. Protestants make up just over 15% of the people, with Spiritualists (1.3%), Bantu/Voodoo (.3%) and those citing no religion (7.4 %) rounding out the rest.
MIWC’s founder, John Benham, began investigating the possibility of ministry in Brazil in 2013. He met with ethnic minority groups, missionaries, missionary agencies and the Christian University of Brazil to explore a potential partnership with Liberty University to provide ethnomusicology training to Brazilian nationals.
Ethnomusicology is the study of music from different (especially non-Western) cultures. At MIWC, missionary associates study the music to understand the culture, which helps to understand how to communicate the Gospel message to people from that culture.
While meeting with leaders at AMI Bible College near Chapada, Brazil, Benham learned the college works with a variety of indigenous minorities and would like to see minorities affirming their own ethnic identity through their worship practices.
In response, Benham presented a variety of seminars on the role and importance of indigenous music in worship, discipleship and evangelism, and as a means of preserving cultural identity.
As MIWC forges new relationships in Brazil, we are excited to be challenged to discern MIWC's future involvement throughout Latin and South America.
Source: CIA Factbook - https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/br.html
Are you a music teacher interested in serving in a foreign country?
MIWC partners with local mission agencies in Central and South America, providing educational and cultural consulting information. The growth in Christian education is astounding, and MIWC is currently looking to connect music educators with the opportunity to serve in foreign countries for short- or long-term assignments. Please contact us if you are interested.