The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God is an evangelical church, founded in 1977, in Rio de Janeiro, by Edir Macedo and Romildo Ribeiro Soares (aka R.R. Soares), among others. The church is present in about 172 countries around the world. Edir Macedo, who is a self-proclaimed bishop, leader of the church, also is president of honor of Record TV Network, that the church bought in 1994. The church also owns Record News, the first 24-hour terrestrial news channel in Brazil. The programming of Record News is based on Fox News.
In 1992, Edir Macedo was arrested in São Paulo, accused of quackery and fraud. He was acquitted and released from prison.
In 2007, to remember the 15th anniversary of his prison, the authorized the publication of a biography, “O Bispo - A História Revelada de Edir Macedo” (The Bishop - The Revealed Story of Edir Macedo), published in Brazil by Editora Larousse and written by journalists Douglas Tavolaro, director of Journalism at Record TV Network, and Christina Lemos, politics correspondent of the network in Brasília. The first edition came out with 700 thousand copies.
The fist chapter of the book talked about his arrest. Macedo accepted to go back to the precinct where he stayed for 11 days. In the book he explains why he “celebrates” his arrest: the days he spent at the precinct represented suffering but also a swerve to the church. “I knew the arrest would bring me great benefits. Do you know why? Because I was the victim, and the victim always wins. Never the executioner.”
In October 13, 2007, Brazilian newspaper “Folha de S.Paulo” published an interview with Edir Macedo. He accepted to give an interview by e-mail with no restrictions to any subjects. The interview was made by journalist Daniel Castro.
In one of parts of the interview, Castro said that, in his biography, bishop Macedo defends abortion. Both his television networks were campaigning for abortion. He asked why. Macedo answered he supported the decriminalization of abortion for many reasons. Some of most important reasons for him were:
[LIST=1]*]Many women die in illegal clinics. If abortion was legalized, they would not risk death.
*]What’s more painful: abortion or having kids living as rats in landfills in our cities, with no childhood, no health, no school, no food and no perspective of a better future? And what about the children commissioned by drug dealers?
*]Who’s interested in a legion of children with no parents, no love and nobody?
*]What have people who are against abortion done for abandoned children?
*]Why the resistance to family planning? I do believe that abortion would reduce much of the violence in Brazil, since there’s no serious policy towards children.[/LIST]
Castro said that, according to the Bible, “God gave life and only He can take it.” He asked if it wasn’t contradictory a Christian leader defending abortion. Macedo answer, “Children aren’t born by God’s will. Would a child born from a rape be from God? Not my God! The child is simply born from a sexual relationship, nothing else. God gave life to the first man and the first woman. The others were generated by them. What Bible teaches is that ‘if a man beget a hundred children, and live many years, so that the days of his years are many, but his soul be not filled with good, and moreover he have no burial; I say, that an an abortion is better than he’ (Ecclesiastes 6:3). I don’t believe something, still unformed, is a life”, he answered.
During a church service in Belo Horizonte on October 5, 2007, which gathered 114,515 people at a soccer stadium in Belo Horizonte, the capital city of Minas Gerais, Mr. Macedo had already defended abortion even in cases of unwanted pregnancy. “I approve it because I think it’s absurd for a woman to have an unwanted child. She has the right to abort. That’s what the law allows”, he said. He claimed to be “radically in favor of the law” and against “abortion for abortion.” “Not indiscriminately”, he added.