The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in Brazil has gathered more than 400,000 signatures in hopes of forming its own political party.
According to the Sao Paulo daily “Folha,” the sect, which was founded by Edir Macedo, is collecting signatures at the entrances of its buildings throughout the country.
As one of the largest sects in Brazil, the Universal Church has been seeking out ways to have more political influence, reports Folha, especially by supporting political candidates from the Liberal Party.
However, some analyists maintain that in recent years, while the Liberal Party’s base has expanded, Protestant churches have not had as much influence. This is leading some denominations to create new political parties.
In Brazil, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God operates a television network, published a newspaper and owns various radio stations.
The announcement comes just days after an official study revealed that the number of Catholics in Brazil has decreased. While in 1990 84% of the country was Catholic, in 2000 this figure dropped to 74%. During this same period Protestants grew by 9% to 15% of the population.