Edir Macedo (born February 18, 1945) is a Brazilian evangelical bishop, writer, billionaire businessman,[2][3] and the founder of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG).[4][5] He is the owner and chairman of the third-largest television network in Brazil, Record, along with Grupo Record since 1989, which he founded after he bought the network.

Edir Macedo
Edir Macedo in 2007
Born (1945-02-18) February 18, 1945 (age 79)
Occupation(s)Businessman,[1] preacher, theologian, and author

Early life


Edir Macedo was born on February 18, 1945, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He was the fourth child born to Henrique Bezerra and Eugenia de Macedo Bezerra - Dona Geninha. [6]

Macedo's website stated that he has degrees in theology from the Evangelical School of Theology "United Seminar", and the Faculty of Theological Education in the state of São Paulo (Fatebom); a doctorate in theology, Christian philosophy, an honorary degree in Divinity, a Master's degree in Theological Science received through the Federación Evangélica Española de Entidades Religiosas (F.E.E.D.E.R) in Madrid, Spain.[7]

The reference to FEEDER may be an error; it is cited with a question mark in the biography, and there is an organisation called Federación de Entidades Religiosas Evangélicas de España (FEREDE). FEEDER appears only to be referenced in association with Macedo. The FEREDE in 2021 refused membership to the Comunidad Cristiana del Espíritu Santo, also known as Familia Unida or "Christian Help Centre", associated with the UCKG.[8]



In 1963 he began a career as a civil servant, initially working with the state-run lottery of Rio de Janeiro, Loterj, and also at the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, IBGE, as a researcher in the economic census of 1970.[citation needed]

Macedo was raised Catholic, but by 1965 converted to Pentecostalism, after an invitation from his sister to Igreja Cristã de Nova Vida.[9][10]

In 1975, Macedo founded a Pentecostal church with Romildo Ribeiro Soares, Cruzada do Caminho Eterno. After an argument, the two separated.[citation needed]

In 1977, Macedo founded with others the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God in Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil.[11]

In 1989 he bought the free-to-air commercial television network Record and in the same year he founded Grupo Record. In 2007 he founded the 24-hour free-to-air news channel Record News.

His rapidly growing religious movement and his teaching of prosperity theology have been a source of controversy. His sermons partly focus on freeing his followers from unclean spirits that oppress them, which manifest in them, and are cast out in the name of Jesus, for them to overcome their problems.[12] His views about other faiths, particularly Catholicism, are also controversial. In 1992 he spent eleven days in jail on accusations of charlatanism. There were several protests, with his religious followers camping in front of the police precinct he was held in, according to his autobiography "Nothing to Lose".[13] His prosperity theology is used by church leaders to justify his lifestyle, "If I preach prosperity and my clothes are ragged, who will follow me?"[12]

From March 2013 to 2015, Macedo was on the Forbes billionaires list with a reported US$1.1 billion, and $1.24 b for Macedo and family, making him by far the richest pastor in Brazil and the world.[2][3][14] He was not on the list for 2016[15] or later years[16]

The UCKG built a US$300 million replica in São Paulo of Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem,[17] with an $8 million contract to import stones from Jerusalem like those used to build the 3,000-year-old original.[18]

Personal life


Macedo is married to Ester Bezerra, and has two daughters, Cristiane and Viviane, and an adopted son, Moises.[7]

Opinions and controversies


Opposition to interracial marriage


Macedo was criticized for writing an article opposing interracial marriage. He tried to justify his views claiming that multiracial children should be avoided because they will suffer discrimination.[19][20] This led to several accusations of racism and misogyny.[21]

Religious intolerance


Macedo has been criticised, especially after the 'kicking of the saint' incident in which UCKG bishop Sérgio Von Helder, who later left the Church, kicked a Catholic icon in a TV program, for which he was later imprisoned for two years.[22][23] He also authored a book called Orixás, Caboclos and Guias in which he attacks Afro-Brazilian religion, accusing it of Satanism and "the root of all of Brazil's troubles". The book was first prohibited as hate speech, but after legal efforts from Macedo's church it was allowed for the sake of free speech.[24]

Status of women


Edir Macedo stated in a 2019 sermon that daughters should not be allowed to seek out higher education, because if they do they will be "smarter than their husbands", and that he personally would not allow his daughters to go to college because he believes that an educated woman cannot have a happy marriage: "When they [my daughters] went out, I said they would just go to high school and they wouldn't go to college. My wife supported me, but the relatives found it absurd. Why don't you go to college? Because if you graduate from a particular profession, you will serve yourself, you will work for yourself. But I don’t want that, you came to serve God. Because if (…) she was a doctor and had a high degree of knowledge and found a boy who had a low degree of knowledge, he would not be the head, she would be the head. And if it were the head, it would not serve God's will. I want my daughters to marry a male. A man who has to be head. They have to be head. Because if they are not head their marriage is doomed to failure."[25]

Federal Justice indictment


Edir Macedo was indicted by the Federal Justice for import of equipment and use of public documents and legal proceedings, but not convicted. Ten years later he was prosecuted again by the prosecutors of the State of São Paulo. On October 19, 2010 the São Paulo Justice Court (TJ-SP) annulled all accusations made by the São Paulo Public Ministry against the UCKG and its principal representatives by a majority vote. The judges deemed that the São Paulo prosecutors did not have jurisdiction to investigate the case, as the accusations were of a type that fell into the federal jurisdiction.[26]



Macedo also leads Record[4] (the second biggest television network in Brazil), RFTV, Record News, Line Records, 64 radio stations of Rede Aleluia and Universal Produções.



Ten million copies of evangelical books by Macedo have been sold, and over 34 titles published. Titles include Orixás, Caboclos and Guias and In the Footsteps of Jesus, both of which sold more than three million copies in Brazil. He has also sold his trilogy called Nada a perder (Nothing to lose), with millions of copies sold worldwide. He has written several religious books including the polemical best-seller Orixás, Caboclos e Guias, Deuses ou Demônios.



His broadcasting company Record financed the 2018 movie Nada a perder (Nothing to Lose) about Macedo's life, which is based on his autobiography. Reviews were negative, called it a glorification. Tickets were given out free of charge at the churches to make it a box office success,[27] a practice already known from a previous movie by Record, The Ten Commandments: The Movie.[28] A film version of Macedo's autobiography, named Nada a Perder (Nothing to Lose) like the book, was released in 2018, with massive attendances claimed and massive exaggeration reported.[29][30] A sequel was released in August 2019.[31]

See also



  1. ^ Antunes, Anderson (July 22, 2013). "Brazilian Billionaire Bishop Edir Macedo Is Now A Banker, Too". Forbes.
  2. ^ a b Antunes, Anderson (January 17, 2013). "The Richest Pastors in Brazil". Forbes.
  3. ^ a b "2015 Billionaires NET WORTH: #1638 Edir Macedo & family". Forbes. March 2, 2015. a Brazilian media mogul
  4. ^ a b "O ateu que não vive sem Deus". The Blog of Edir Macedo. Retrieved November 21, 2013.
  5. ^ "O céu e o inferno não são folclore". istoe.com.br. November 23, 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2013.
  6. ^ https://www.postposmo.com/en/edir-macedo/
  7. ^ a b "Biography – Bishop Macedo". bispomacedo.com.br. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  8. ^ "La Federación de Entidades Evangélicas rechaza la integración de la Comunidad Cristiana del Espíritu Santo" [The Federación de Entidades Evangélicas refuses integration of the Comunidad Cristiana del Espíritu Santo (connected with the UCKG)]. Europa Press (in Spanish). March 24, 2021.
  9. ^ CORTEN André, DOZON Jean-Pierre, ORO Ari Pedro, Les nouveaux conquérants de la foi-L'Eglise universelle du royaume de Dieu (Brésil), KARTHALA Editions, France, 2003, p. 46
  10. ^ Leonard, Jim (May 8, 2009). Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (PDF). Ankeny, Iowa: Faith Baptist Theological Seminary. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 4, 2016.
  11. ^ Patrice de Plunkett, Les évangéliques à la conquête du monde, Éditions Perrin, France, 2009, p. 110
  12. ^ a b Preston, Julia (August 3, 1991). "Brazil's Pastor of Prosperity Accused of Misusing Funds". The Washington Post.
  13. ^ "uk – UCKG HelpCentre". uckg.org. Retrieved November 5, 2018.
  14. ^ Anderson Antunes (March 2, 2015). "Brazil's Richest People: Facts and Figures". Forbes. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  15. ^ Kenneth Rapoza (July 17, 2016). "Who Wants To Be A Brazilian Billionaire?". Forbes. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  16. ^ "Forbes Billionaires 2022: The Richest People In The World". Forbes. Retrieved July 29, 2022. List updated annually.
  17. ^ "Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus inaugura empreendimento faraônico de R$685 milhões" [Universal Church of the Kingdom of God inaugurates R$685 million Pharaonic enterprise]. Ariquemes Online (in Portuguese). August 1, 2014. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  18. ^ GIL STERN STERN SHEFLER (July 27, 2010). "First Temple replica to be built in Sao Paulo". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  19. ^ Dia, O. (August 18, 2014). "Bispo Macedo não recomenda casamento entre pessoas de 'raças diferentes'". O Dia – _legado_Brasil. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  20. ^ "Macedo: homens não devem casar com mulheres de raças diferentes". Notícias Gospel. July 16, 2012. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  21. ^ "Edir Macedo, racismo e misoginia: cadê os ministros da Igualdade Racial e das Mulheres? – Reinaldo Azevedo". VEJA.com. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  22. ^ Epstein, Jack (November 24, 1995). "Kicking of icon outrages Brazil Catholics". The Dallas Morning News.
  23. ^ "Church makes airwaves". BBC News. August 3, 2000.
  24. ^ "TRF libera circulação do livro de Edir Macedo". Jusbrasil. Retrieved February 1, 2019.
  25. ^ Ingrid Soares, "Bispo Edir Macedo diz que mulher não pode ter mais estudo que o marido", Correio Braziliense, September 24, 2019 [1], translated to English on the Patheos website [2]
  26. ^ Universo Politico: Accusations against UCKG recognised as illegal, 24 October 2010 (in Portuguese)
  27. ^ "'It is strange': Brazilian church blockbuster plays to empty cinemas". the Guardian. May 16, 2018. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
  28. ^ 'It is strange': Brazilian church blockbuster plays to empty cinemas, Dom Phillips, The Guardian, May 16, 2018
  29. ^ Filme sobre Edir Macedo se torna a maior bilheteria do cinema brasileiro, Tiago Dias, Folha de S.Paulo, May 7, 2018 (Portuguese)
  30. ^ Turner, Alix (July 20, 2018). "Nothing to Lose (Nada a Perder) review". Ready Steady Cut.
  31. ^ Schenker, Daniel (August 15, 2019). "'Nada a perder 2': crítica" ['Nada a perder 2': review]. O Globo (in Portuguese).