This website is the junction of a group of journalists from around the globe who are interested in finding out what, in fact, is the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG).
The institution was born in the suburb of the city of Rio de Janeiro. In just 40 years, it has grown exponentially, crossed borders, oceans and continents. It spread through the world like an anemone that feeds on the most vulnerable people, with lower level of education and income.
UCKG’s success trajectory is marked by a succession of problems. Financial scandals, accusations of charlatanism, the glamorisation of greed. Sacks of money, disregard of sacred statutes, ostentatious feats that made fun of the public opinion. In spite of that, the church has arrived where it is today.
It has 9 million faithful followers, is established in 105 countries, has so much money that can afford to build the largest urban temple in the world in the heart of the city of São Paulo.
Last December, two reporters from TVI, Portugal’s largest television network, discovered that UCKG’s top leaders had transformed a children’s home near Lisbon into a clandestine refuge of children for adoption.
Alexandra Borges and Judith Franca, the two obstinate and courageous reporters, spent seven months clearing a story so cruel and inhumane that seemed implausible. After having obtained more than a thousand documents and collected dozens of testimonies, the truth about what happened in Camarate can finally be unravelled – and all the elements point to a series of illegal procedures.
While settling in Lusitanian lands, the sect relied on the frailty of women addicted to heroin, prostitutes, victims of domestic violence to steal their children. Children who were taken to the UCKG’s home in Camarate by these mothers in despair, by helpless relatives or by the social services disappeared into the air.
All this as a way to mitigate the consequences of one of the canons of the great theologian of the UCKG. In the late 1980s, the bishop prohibited his pastors from having children. He had vasectomized all the clergy. Young men under the age of 20 were deprived of the right to paternity. Among those who were sterilized, two who would soon afterwards marry Edir Macedo’s own daughters.
The two descendants of the supreme leader of the UCKG could not get pregnant. And if the successors of the Pope of the UCKG could not have children, no one could.
But the daughters of the owner of the UCKG wanted to have children. He tried to please them.
Edir Macedo used the home of Camarate to obtain “perfect” children to satisfy the maternal instinct of his heirs.
The youngest, Viviane, decided to stay with two of three brothers who were taken into the children’s home. But she was not interested in the youngest.
The eldest daughter opted for the eldest of another pair of brothers and, likewise, did not hesitate to separate the siblings forever. One of them was not perfect, for he had a dark, hairy spot on one of his arms.
The rejected children were assigned to the UCKG’s leaders. According to witnesses’ accounts of the events, the adoptions were compulsory – express orders of the high priest of the UCKG.
No one knows how many children were illegally adopted. No one knows how the home run by the UCKG, which operated clandestinely between 1994 and 2002 *, was never questioned by the Public Prosecutor’s Office or Social Care (…)
Unveiling how the adoption of the children of Camarate’s home took place is the mission of this consortium of journalists. Our job is to reconstitute what has happened and reveal the effects of the stratagem used so that this plan could work.