Brazilian police investigate TV network acquisition by sect leader

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Brazil’s Federal Police have reopened their investigation into the purchase of TV network Record by Bishop Edir Macedo, leader of the sect known as the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG), local media reported on Friday.

The police questioned the origin of the money Macedo used in his 1989 acquisition of the TV network, which is headquartered in Sao Paulo.

Earlier investigations showed that Macedo probably used money from UCKG tithes to build his personal empire, which includes Record, its affiliated broadcasters, a publisher and several other companies.

Universal Church of the Kingdom of God

Controverial movement, based in Brazil. UCKG – the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God – also uses the name “Stop Suffering.”

Promotes word-faith theology, with a particular emphasis on the seed-faith doctrine (i.e. if you want to receive money, healing or another blessing, you first must give or ’sow’ money). See also: prosperity theology

Since its theology and practices are far outside those of normal, biblical Christianity, this movement is considered to be, theologically, a cult of Christianity.

Record now legally belongs to Macedo and his wife.

The case was first opened in January 2004 when the bishop was charged with embezzling 3.2 million U.S. dollars from the church’s tithes.

In 1997, Macedo collected the money by asking the UCKG followers to help him pay his debts to Brazil’s Internal Revenues Service.


The money was allegedly used to pay debts generated by his acquisition of Record instead.

The police will also investigate Macedo on other charges, such as identity theft.

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Source

(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
Xinhua, via People's Daily, China
Oct. 20, 2007
english.people.com.cn

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This post was last updated: Oct. 20, 2007