The Attitude Baptist Church of Brasília, attended by First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro, has a cell (Shalom Bilingual Cell) that performs clandestine services inside the Palácio do Planalto, seat of the Presidency of the Republic.
The meetings at the Federal Executive’s premises have taken place at least since January 2020 and were not interrupted with the onset of the pandemic, in March of last year. Therefore, they infringed the rules imposed by the Federal District Government on religious events in the pandemic.
In addition, the same church identifies in its pages on social networks internal dependencies of the Palácio da Alvorada, official residence of the President of the Republic, as if it were the headquarters of the “Shalom Bilingual Cell”
O Brazil in fact obtained dozens of photos and videos that indicate the holding of at least 11 services at the headquarters of the federal government. In some of them, the meeting of the faithful has more than 30 people – all without masks -, including the first lady, as shown in the image below, from December last year. Michelle Bolsonaro is standing between center and right, wearing a purple T-shirt.
In the “Célula Bilíngue Shalom”, the services are given in voice and in Libras (Brazilian Sign Language), one of the main flags of Michelle Bolsonaro, who is a constant presence at the events. Videos published on social networks show that chants, prayers and religious rituals take place at the meetings.
The pastor who commands the group’s religious works is a trusted servant of the General Secretariat of the Presidency, called Francisco Castelo Branco. He is married to President Jair Bolsonaro’s Libras translator, Elizângela Castelo Branco (another who usually attends services in Planalto), and worked in the Personal Cabinet of the Chief Executive (read more at the end of this article).
Church and Plateau try to hide the holding of services in the public building
O Brazil in fact collects a series of testimonies from servers and images that prove the use of the Planalto Palace as the seat of the church linked to Michelle.
Despite this, neither the Presidency of the Republic (contacted via the Secretariat for Social Communication – Secom) nor the Baptist Church Attitude responded to the contacts in the report, which had been persistently tried since the beginning of the week. Two pastors from the religious association were contacted, who did not respond to messages and phone calls, as well as an electronic communication channel from the church.
The image below is of a contact between the Brazil in fact and Pastor Francisco. As noted, the contact date is August 16, and remains unanswered. If there is a presidential or church demonstration, it will be included on this page.
In reality, there is very little evidence on websites and public spaces of clandestine cults being held in the Planalto. The Attitude Baptist Church, in its publications on social networks, prominently informs the address of its services, meetings and events, except when it comes to the “Shalom Bilingual Cell”.
Even so, it is a fact – and not a hypothesis – the use of the Planalto Palace as a church headquarters and place of worship, before and during the pandemic.
In addition to the federal employees who confirmed the information to the Brazil in fact, the images analyzed by the article bring a map that has the property of the Presidency of the Republic fixed at the top, on the right (see the top of this page).
In addition, it is also possible to see images of the traditional internal silver columns of the Palace. Below, a publicity photo of the Presidency, with the columns and, soon after, two images of the cults, highlighting the columns.
According to the norms of the Federal District Government, small chapels and religious cells could also open for online prayer and celebration of services and masses. They were prevented from organizing face-to-face meetings, as was done within the Presidency’s premises.
The law also determined that people could only enter religious establishments if they were wearing a mask and with the guarantee of a minimum distance of 1.5 m between people, with demarcation of space. Both points were also breached.
Church and faithful also enjoy the Alvorada Palace and identify it as the headquarters
In the same way as what happens with the offices of the Planalto Palace, the official pages of the Baptist Church Attitude have published photos of meetings of the faithful held at the Palácio da Alvorada, the official residence of the President of the Republic, identified as the “Bilingual Cell Shalom”.
In the image below, which makes up the official collection of the Presidency of the Republic, you can see the Alvorada movie theater, with its walls covered in wood and curtains and armchairs in shades of red.
The images that follow were published by the Baptist Church Attitude, identified as being the “Célula Shalom Bilíngue DF”. It’s the same movie theater, with its red armchairs and curtains and wood-paneled walls.
Pastor holds a position at Planalto and works as a tourism agent
In June, the Brazil in fact showed that Pastor Francisco Castelo Branco, appointed by Bolsonaro to work in his personal office in the Presidency in September 2020, has been working as a travel agent during office hours – in addition to leading the services of the “Shalom Bilingual Cell”.
According to the Transparency Portal, Castelo Branco has received R$10,217 monthly since February this year, when it was transferred to the General Secretariat of the Presidency. Before, in Bolsonaro’s personal office, he received five times the salary of R$ 5,685. In total, it has already earned more than R$75,000 from the federal government.
During office hours, however, Francisco Castelo Branco continues to work as a travel agent at the Bereshit Viagens agency, a company registered in 2017 in the name of a relative named Juceli Lima de Castelo Branco.
See, more photos of the palace cults of the Baptist Church Attitude of Brasília
Edition: Leandro Melito and Vinícius Segalla