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In Brazil

Country update

This video was released in July 2022.
The video references sexual abuse and exploitation. Discover how Compassion is tackling this issue here.

Pray for Brazil

Pray with us for:

Wisdom and strength for those in positions of leadership in Brazil

God's sustenance as the country deals with the lasting effects of the pandemic

The health and safety of vulnerable children and families

Did you know?

Brazil is the fifth-largest country in the world! The only countries bigger than Brazil are Russia, Canada, the United States of America and China.

Sponsor a child in Brazil

Child sponsorship with Compassion is a unique opportunity to provide a child with food, clean water, shelter, clothing and medical care.

Life in Brazil

Official Country Name: Federal Republic of Brazil

Capital City: Brasilia

Population: More than 215.3 million

Official Languages: Portuguese

Life expectancy: Male 70 years, female 76 years

Population with access to basic drinking water: 97%

Infant mortality rate: 13 deaths / 1,000 live births

Percentage of children under the age of 5 underweight: 2.2%

Adult literacy rate: Male 94%, female 95%

Religion: Approximately 49% of the population are Catholic, 26% are Protestant, 14% have no religion, and 11% identify as another/unspecified religion.

Percentage living on less than $2.15 a day: 5.4%

Source: World Bank and International Religious Freedom Report, released in 2022 by the Office of International Religious Freedom, U.S. Department of State Religious Freedom, U.S. Department of State

Portuguese sailors arrived on Brazil’s shores in 1500 and promptly established a colony. The settlers tried to use the local people as labourers, but much of the indigenous population quickly fell sick with diseases brought by the travellers while others retreated inland. It’s estimated that, prior to Portuguese arrival, the indigenous population numbered more than three million; today, there are fewer than 200,000.

Without local people, the Portuguese turned to the African slave trade to provide labour on plantations. As a result, nearly 3.6 million individuals were shipped from Africa to work the land. Slavery was finally abolished in 1888.

A republican government was established in 1889 with the first president. Brazil continued to develop, gaining wealth from the coffee and rubber industries. The country has been governed by many political parties, and in 1964 the military took control through a bloodless coup.

Power was returned to a democratic government in 1985. Since then, Brazil’s presidents have attempted to control inflation and continue development.

Brazilians treasure family and traditional values. Relationships are valued above all else and people take care in being gracious in their conversations and communications.

Brazil enjoys a rich tradition of wood carving and sculpture.

The Bossanova, a ballroom dance, originated in Brazil. Other popular music includes the Samba, Pagode and MPB (Brazilian popular music, which uses a mix of Brazilian rhythms). African rhythms have a strong influence in Brazilian music, too.

Portuguese: ¡Bom dia! (Good morning!), Até logo. (See you later.), Tchau (Goodbye), Boa tarde (Good afternoon), Boa noite (Good evening/good night), ¿Como vai você? (How are you?), Oi (Hi)

Sports and Games
Football is hugely popular in Brazil. Every town has a professional team, and the season lasts all year. Volleyball and futsal (a form of football with five players per side, usually played indoors) are also very popular.

Typical Foods
Common foods in Brazil include rice, beans, pasta, chicken, sausage, beef, vegetables, tropical fruits, and coffee. There is at least one typical food from each of Brazil's five regions. For example, Brazilians who live in the northern region may eat pato no tucupi (duck with sauce) while those in the northeast region may eat shrimp.

In recent years, Brazil has made slow progress guaranteeing education for all children and adolescents. There was modest growth in the number of girls and boys aged four to 17 who were enrolled in school from 2016 to 2019.

However, inequality remains a problem in the country. In 2019, almost 1.1 million school age children and adolescents were out of school in Brazil, most of whom were aged four to five and 15 to 17.


Source: UNICEF

Approximately 49% of the population are Catholic, 26% are Protestant, 14% have no religion, and 11% identify as another/unspecified religion. The constitution recognises freedom of religion, and the government generally respects the right of individuals to practice this. There is no favoured or state religion in Brazil. However, the government maintains a formal agreement with the Vatican, and Brazil is the largest Catholic country globally, according to the Brazilian Geography and Statistic Institute. The number of evangelicals in the country is growing, however.
The law prohibits discrimination based on religion, and foreign missionary groups operate freely throughout the country. All faiths are free to establish places of worship, train clergy, and proselytise.
There are many Catholic religious holy days in Brazil, including Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, Corpus Christi, Assumption Day, Our Lady Aparecida, All Souls Day and Christmas. Additionally, each city has at least one Catholic holy day.
Statistics from the International Religious Freedom Report, released in 2022 by the Office of International Religious Freedom, U.S. Department of State

Providing support in Brazil

Josiele aged 13 explains her story. "At the Compassion project, I met Jesus and gave my life to Him when I was only seven years old. What helped me make this decision was the testimony of everyone who was part of

Compassion UK Christian Child Development, registered charity in England and Wales (1077216) and Scotland (SC045059). A company limited by guarantee, Registered in England and Wales company number 03719092. Registered address: Compassion House, Barley Way, Fleet, Hampshire, GU51 2UT.