New Apostolic life in Brasília

Six metropolises – six continents – six congregations. How do New Apostolic Christians live in these huge cities? Today we will take a trip to South America, to Brasília, the national capital of Brazil.

South America – Brasília – Taguatinga

Brasília is the national capital of the huge country of Brazil. The city is young, only 55 years old, and big, very big. The Região Metropolitana de Brasília is spread over more than 55,000 square kilometres. Some 3.5 million call the region home. The city was designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987 on account of its unique city plan and architecture. Although situated very centrally in this huge country, it is fairly isolated. Other big cities are far away: São Paulo (870 kilometres), Rio de Janeiro (930 kilometres), Recife (1,600 kilometres), and Belém (1,600 kilometres). 20.7 °C is the average annual temperature. Brasília is situated on a central plateau at an altitude of over 1,000 metres.

The planning for a new national capital started in 1891. It was to be new, modern, large, and central. In 1960 Brasília was officially founded and given the rank of national capital. Thirty administrative zones are arranged around Brasília, so-called satellite cities. One of these satellites is Taguatinga with a population of 270,000.

Many different cultures

Taguatinga is derived from tabatinga, an indigenous word for a white clay found on a hill near the city. The indigenous peoples who lived here were the Acroás, Xacriabás, Xavantes, Kayapos, and Javaés. Still today the city is multicultural: the inhabitants come from all regions of the country and live their own culture. Living standards, style, religion—everything is very different.

The New Apostolic Church is a vital part of the Christian landscape. The New Apostolic congregation in Taguatinga is situated in the northern part of the city of Brasília. The building offers enough seating for 100 people. Currently there are about 35 brothers and sisters who attend the services regularly. In addition to Taguatinga, there are five additional congregations in the district of Brasília.

Taguatinga, official seat of the Church

Since 2013, Taguatinga has been the official seat of the New Apostolic Church in Brazil. The work is still in a beginning phase and much still has to be organized. One of the aspects requiring work is the development of the congregations. There is growth potential, District Apostle Raúl Montes de Oca says, who is responsible for Brazil. A lot of work is going into the forming and teaching of choirs, both adult and children’s choirs. There are also annual youth conventions and other activities, such as courses for those wishing to help with the altar decorations.

In order to make the Church better known and increase the membership, it is concentrating on family visits and inviting people to Church events. Poverty is an issue. The people's material needs play a greater role for them than the gospel of Christ, a fact which the ministers of the New Apostolic Church have to deal with every day. Progress is slow, but the brothers and sisters do the work with a great deal of joy.

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Peter Johanning
South America, Brazil, Congregational life