Monte dos Evangélicos


Pentecostalism. Evangelical Hill. Prayers and Exorcism. North Zone of Rio de Janeiro

Monte dos Evangélicos


Pentecostalism. Evangelical Hill. Prayers and Exorcism. North Zone of Rio de Janeiro


Monte dos Evangélicos

To be closer to God, to be near that which is sacred, to be in communion with brothers and sisters. Making sacrifices, fasting, with grace-worthy devotion. With the faith that Christ will return to seek their church, several Evangelicals hike up hills across Brazilian cities every day in order to pray.

It was on top of a hill that Moses was given the tablets of the Ten Commandments, and it was in regions like these that Jesus would retire to prepare for important moments during his earthly history. For those who claim to seek a life of profound relationship with the teachings of the Gospel, the repetition of this Biblical act means re-living traditions carried in words and having the experience of this space, a source of power and connection between earthly and spiritual worlds.

“If you pray

If you cry

There is an angel nearby”

Worship song at Monte dos Evangélicos

Baptized by the Holy Spirit – the third trinity of the Christian world -, believers have the gift of tongues: they express in angel language the feelings of great love and teachings passed down through God’s presence. The content of worship services and prayers is sensitive to translation.

They proclaim prophecies, utter cures, clamor adorations and supernatural phenomena. During the discharge sessions, evil spirits – encostos – are exorcised.

Screams. Chants. Catharsis.

“You may cry for the night,

but there’ll be joy in the morning”

Prayer at Monte dos Evangélicos

Pentecostal churches were first identified in Brazil in the early 20th century along with the arrival of European and North American missionaries. Since then, it has expanded to the point of being the second largest religious group in the country: practitioners from all regions, ages, and social backgrounds have identified with the rituals that resemble litanies from Kardecism, Catholicism, and Afro-Brazilian rituals.

In Rio de Janeiro’s metropolitan region, the number of topographic pilgrimage locations, known as Montes dos Evangélicos, keeps growing. The hikes up and down are already considered part of the scenery, and prayers become the audible landscape. Sentences painted in stone and walls may signal the emergence of a gospel kind of urban art. Street vendors set up their stands with DVDs, shirts, and food.

And a new faith also becomes integrated with Rio’s cartography: with the daily up and down flow of Evangelicals, the city and the hills become closer and are mutually touched and transformed by one another.

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