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Edir Macedo
Edir Macedo2007.jpg
Edir Macedo in 2007
Born February 18, 1945 (1945-02-18) (age 76)
Rio das Flores, RJ, Brazil
Nationality Brazilian
Occupation Businessman, preacher, theologian, and author
Net worth US$1.1 billion as of 2015

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

Early life

Edir Macedo was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1945 (one of seven surviving children).

According to Macedo's website he holds a doctor's degree in Theology and in Christian Philosophy, and an honorary degree in Divinity from the Faculdade de Educação Teológica do Estado de São Paulo. He also received a masters in theological science through the Federation of Evangelical Religious Entities of Spain in Madrid, Spain.

Career

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.

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

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

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

In 1989 he bought the free-to-air commercial television network RecordTV 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. 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". 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?"

From March 2013 to 2015, Macedo has been 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. He was not on the list for 2016.

The UCKG built a US$300 million replica of Solomon's Temple in São Paulo. Macedo and the UCKG have an $8 million contract to import stones from Israel like those used to build the temple in Israel.

Personal life

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

Companies

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

Books

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.

Movies

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 are given out for free at the churches to make it a box office success, a practice already known from a previous movie by Record, The Ten Commandments: The Movie. A second part is announced for 2019.

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