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World News

Brazil's Bolsonaro hopes to appoint evangelical minister to supreme court

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro gestures after attending the launching ceremony of the New Credit of the Housing by settlers at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, September 30, 2020. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro said on Monday at an event with conservative evangelical Christians that he hopes to appoint an evangelical minister to the supreme court next year.

“We are going to have a very evangelical minister in the supreme court,” Bolsonaro said. “More than somebody very evangelical, if God is willing, we will have a minister.”

Bolsonaro, who describes himself as a Catholic, rose to power with strong support from conservative evangelicals, whose influence has grown in Latin America in recent decades, winning over Catholics, particularly in Brazil.

Bolsonaro’s wife, Michelle, is an evangelical Christian.

He recently faced a backlash from evangelicals for appointing a moderate to the first supreme court vacancy to come up during his presidency.

Bolsonaro acknowledged the criticism at the event on Monday, but said it would have been “perhaps a bit rushed” to nominate an evangelical minister as the first supreme court pick of his presidency.

He did not name any potential candidates for the next vacancy, which he said is expected next July.

Bolsonaro also said he hoped the court’s sessions will in future start with prayer.

Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Sonya Hepinstall

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