In Intimidation War Against Press Brazilian Church Loses 58 Court Cases

Brazilian journalist Elvira Lobato Every lawsuit that has been brought by members of the Universal Church (Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus, an evangelical denomination founded by Brazilian pastor Edir Macedo) against journalist Elvira Lobato, who works for the daily Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, has thus far been won by the journalist.

Winner of the 2008 Esso Journalism Award, the most important prize given to Brazilian news people, the reporter was targeted with a series of legal complaints for her report, "The Universal completes thirty years as a business empire." The number of complaints filed against her was previously unheard of in the history of the Brazilian press.

Of a total of 105 lawsuits filed against the newspaper and Lobato, the decision in 58 cases has come out in favor of the newspaper and journalist. Decisions on the remaining 47 lawsuits are still pending.

"Some of these lawsuits were not only dismissed as inadmissible by the judges, but were also characterized as having been filed in bad faith, cases in which the court decided that the Church was liable to be fined in favor of the newspaper," Ornaldo Molina, the head of the newspaper's juridical counsel, said.

When receiving the journalism award, Lobato said in her acceptance speech that she understood that her selection for the award was related to the lawsuits. In an interview with ABRAJI, the Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism, Lobato said she has been following the growth of the Universal Church's assets over the last thirteen years, as well as the assets of some people connected to the church.

In her opinion, the lawsuits were part of a concerted effort aimed at intimidating her so that she would be stopped from speaking out publicly. "Taken together, the lawsuits represented a huge financial cost for Folha de S. Paulo and an equal emotional cost for me," Lobato said.

The 105 lawsuits were filed in several Brazilian states, in cities that are far away from one another and often with arraignments set for the same day. The states where the lawsuits were filed are: Bahia, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Rio Grande do Norte, Paraí­ba, Tocantins, Paraná, Amazonas, Acre, Roraima, Goiás, Ceará, Pará, Pernambuco, Alagoas, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Piauí­, Espí­rito Santo, Santa Catarina, Mato Grosso do Sul and Rio Grande do Sul.

The process was further complicated by the fact that some of the legal complaints were filed in several cities within a state. In the state of Amazonas, for instance, the legal procedures are being carried out in the cities of Maués, Coari, Tefé and Manicoré. "Many of these places can only be reached by boat," Molina said.

Lobato attended many of the court proceedings to which she was subpoenaed, but it was impossible for her to attend all of them. However, a newspaper representative was present at all of them.

When the legal complaints started to pile up, ABRAJI published a note condemning the intimidation strategy. "All of these legal processes constitute a joint action and, beyond their immediate goal of intimidating news people, they show that the church has a broader, more long-lasting and deleterious, objective."


  • Show Comments (9)

  • dnbaiacu

    Just went there Joao.. Made my comment. 😀 😀
    I’m back for a visit. The articles haven’t been about much lately. As nothing really new is happening until lately with the Middle East crises CONVENIENTLY during a “lame duck” session in the White House and Congress. So predictable everything is these days. 😀 😀 😀
    I think Isreal is in the deliberate process of being isolated. Remember,, FALSE RELIGION will be destroyed. CHRISTIAN, JEWISH , MUSLIM and otherwise.. The WHORE that it is and how it has been used will be and is being EXPOSED. No one is going to feel sorry for “ISREAL’ anymore. The people are going to watch a disproportionate number of Palesstinians being slaughtered and react at some point. Notice how neutral the U.S appears right now. LIke I said,, perfect timing … ALL OF IT. 1,000 Palestinians will be dead before Obama can take any position on the matter. And THAT is if the “Stimulus Plan” doesn’t eclipse all of that.
    But what is funny is WHICH event is supposed to eclipse the other???????…… 😉
    This is where ACT 1 for 2009 begins.
    Stay tuned 😉 🙂

  • dnbaiacu

    Religion WIll Soon Be Destroyed
    [b] REVELATION 17:16,17[/b]

    [quote]À‚ And the ten horns that you saw, and the wild beast, these will hate the harlot and will make her devastated and naked, and will eat up her fleshy parts and will completely burn her with fire. 17À‚ For God put [it] into their hearts to carry out his thought, even to carry out [their] one thought by giving their kingdom to the wild beast, until the words of God will have been accomplished.[/quote]

    [b]tHANK GOD FOR THIS[/b]

    The truth of the matter is,, IF you are a believer you NEED to study your copy of the Bible CAREFULLY to see what it REALLY teaches. All the FAKES in religion were PROPHECIED to come. So one has to take responsibility for examining whether what they are being taught wherever they are going to learn about God is really BIBLE BASED. Or are just believing some TRADITIONS or some PAGAN dressed up to look CHRISTIAN doctrines.

    YES False Religion is a SCAM and will be judged by GOD

    [b]And I heard another voice out of heaven say: À¢€œGet out of her, my people, if YOU do not want to share with her in her sins, and if YOU do not want to receive part of her plagues. 5À‚ For her sins have massed together clear up to heaven, and God has called her acts of injustice to mind. 6À‚ Render to her even as she herself rendered, and do to her twice as much, yes, twice the number of the things she did; in the cup in which she put a mixture put twice as much of the mixture for her.[/b] [b]Revelation 18:4[/b]

    This event is the coming looming event of ALL events in history.

  • Jay Bauman

    As a pastor, I find that the both the most of the beliefs and practices of the Universal Church in Brazil are heretical and contrary to Scripture and to the teachings of Jesus. The Universal Church is prosperity theology in it’s worst form. Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of followers follow a false Gospel that is extremely man-centered and bring disgrace to all of the God-centered churches throughout Brazil. Christianity is about following Christ, not about one’s personal prosperity, financial or otherwise. As a result of this false gospel, an institution has been constructed that reduce Christianity to a new low – making a profit in unseemingly unbelievable ways.

    Fortunately, many are seeing that there is more to a relationship with God than personal empowerment or financial success. They are leaving Universal and are exploring the truths of historical Christianity. Concepts like the Cross, Christ, and the Gospel.

  • João da Silva

    You are ordered back to report at:


    😀 😉

  • ch.c.

    Have I not said a few times that Brazil is a Banana Republic….disguised in a Democracy ????
    Even more funny when Robbing Hook wants to export the BR Economic Model….to the World Over.
    Including…the World Famous BR Courts of (IN)Justice, of course.

  • Gringo

    [quote]at least a few judges are looking out for someone [/quote]

    Yes, although most judges are corrupt fools, there is the odd serious legal sage willing to follow the law, to the letter, and work for society’s benefit. I can’t say the say the same for those who preach about talking snakes.

  • Forrest Allen Brown

    BINGO any one
    as far as i know you cant buy your way into heven if its there ???

    like blowing your self up to get 79 virgins ?????

    the church should not be a business , should pay taxes on property not used for
    child care , hospitals , schools , sermonds on a regular basice.

    other than that tax the shite out of them , limit there homes and cars to the avarag of thet country in whitch they live

    at least a few judges are looking out for someone

  • Gringo

    A familiar tactic
    Drowning journalists in a sea of legal challenges is a text book intimidation tactic borrowed from the Church of Scientology. Anonymous is correct in stating this church it is nothing but a scam, as are most churches and religions. Whenever you find slow witted desperate people willing to part with dollars to talk with God, you’ find religion in one form or another.

  • anonymous

    This Universal Church in is a mafia.
    This Universal Church (Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus) is a total MAFIA.

    They use the church to do money laundry for corrupt money. I have myself seen it myself and also asked to help and become one of them.
    they receive money from many politicians and corrupt business, in exchange of a commission to do “wash” that money.

    They are business, not a church.
    They make clear that everyone should give money to the church, if you don’t do it once, its fine, but if u dont do it many times they will ask you to do so.

    Just search in google for her articles: Elvira Lobato she uncovers every detail of their mafia business

    They are greedy bastards crazy for money and driving mercedes around in USA.

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