Fight Nights and Reggae Pack Brazilian Churches
The atmosphere was electric at Reborn in Christ Church on “Extreme Fight” night. Churchgoers dressed in jeans and sneakers, many with ball caps turned backward, lined a makeshift boxing ring to cheer on bare-chested jujitsu fighters.
The church, whose name means snowball in Portuguese, was founded 10 years ago by avid surfers. It now claims some 100 chapters and has thousands of members.
They screamed when a fan favorite, Fabio Buca, outlasted his opponent after several minutes. They went wild when Pastor Dogão Meira, 26, took his man down, pinning him with an armlock just 10 seconds into the fight.
With the crowd still buzzing, Pastor Mazola Maffei, dressed in army pants and a T-shirt, grabbed a microphone. Pastor Maffei, who is also Pastor Meira’s fight trainer, then held the crowd rapt with a sermon about the connection between sports and spirituality.
“You need to practice the sport of spirituality more,” he urged. “You need to fight for your life, for your dreams and ideals.”
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