Updated information on 12 largest Presbyterian and Continental Reformed denominations in Brazil

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Daniel Silva Mendanha

Puritan Board Freshman
1. Presbyterian Church of Brazil:
Statistics: 649,510 members and 5,058 churches (2016).
Trend: Rapid growth (Between 2004 and 2016, the denomination grew by 37.14%. In the same period, the Brazilian population grew 10.69%).
Positioning: Evangelical, conservative, does not ordain women and does not support same-sex marriage.
Affiliations: World Reformed Fellowship (WRF).

2. Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil:
Statistics: 96,396 members and 553 churches (2019).
Trend: Stable. Between 2008 and 2017, the denomination showed steady growth. In 2018 it declined and in 2019 it grew again.
Positioning: Evangelical, ordaining women and not supporting same-sex marriage.
Affiliations: World Council of Churches (WCC) and World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC).

3. Conservative Presbyterian Church of Brazil:
Statistics: 4,371 members and 92 churches (2018).
Trend: Rapid growth (Between 2006 and 2018, the denomination grew by 22.16%. In the same period, the Brazilian population grew 11.31%).
Positioning: Evangelical, conservative, does not ordain women and does not support same-sex marriage.

4. Evangelical Reformed Churches in Brazil:
Statistics: 2,700 members and 13 churches (2015).
Trend: Unknown.
Positioning: Ordain women and does not supporting same-sex marriage.
Affiliations: WCRC.

5. United Presbyterian Church of Brazil:
Statistics: 2,350 members and 44 churches (2020).
Trend: Rapid decline. In 2011 it had 3,466 members and 48 churches.
Positioning: Liberal, ordain women and does not celebrate same-sex marriage (yet), but supports state permission to do so and has a relationship with the Presbyterian Church (USA) and campaigns in favor of leftist politicians. One of his churches openly advocated the acceptance of same-sex marriage in previous decades.
Affiliations: WCC and WCRC.

6. Fundamentalist Presbyterian Church of Brazil:
Statistics: 1,639 members and 37 churches (2020).
Trend: Rapid growth (Between 2008 and 2017, the denomination grew by 30,5%. In the same period, the Brazilian population grew 11.16%).
Positioning: Evangelical, conservative, does not ordain women and does not support same-sex marriage.

7. Reformed Churches of Brazil:
Statistics: 1,038 members and 19 churches (2020).
Trend: Growth.
Positioning: Evangelical, conservative, does not ordain women and does not support same-sex marriage.

8. Presbyterian Indigenous Church of Brazil:
Statistics: 873 members and 37 churches (2020).
Trend: Stable. It peaked in membership in 2014. It declined in 2017 but has grown since then.
Positioning: Evangelical, conservative, does not ordain women and does not support same-sex marriage.

9. Presbyterian Church in Taiwan:
Statistics: 12 churches in Brazil (2017).
Trend: Unknown.
Positioning: Ordain women and does not supporting same-sex marriage.
Affiliations: WCC and WCRC.

10. Reformed Presbyterian Church of Brazil:
Statistics: 7 churches (2018).
Trend: Unknown.
Positioning: Unknown. This denomination was formed by former members of the Presbyterian Church of Brazil, for unknown reasons.

11. Korean-American Presbyterian Church:
Statistics:3 churches in Brazil (2021).
Trend: Growth, since foundation.
Positioning: Evangelical, conservative, does not ordain women, and does not support same-sex marriage.
Affiliations: NAPARC.

12. Cumberland Presbyterian Church:
Statistics: 1 chuch in Brazil (2018).
Trend: Unknown.
Positionings: Evangelical, ordained women and does not support same-sex marriage. The denomination does not subscribe to the Westminster Confession of Faith and is Arminian.
Affiliations: WCRC.

Note: In Brazil (the country with the largest number of Pentecostals in the world), there are several denominations that are called "Presbyterian" because they came from one of the traditional Presbyterian denominations or just because they adopt the Presbyterian system of government, but do not subscribe to the Confession of Westminster Faith, they are Credobaptist, Arminian, Dispensationalist, generally ordaining women, and in no way different from the assemblies of God. And others are neo-Pentecostals who adopt the name "Presbyterian" because they find it beautiful.

Among them we can mention:

1. Renewed Presbyterian Church in Brazil:
Statistics: 154,048 members and 1,140 churches (2016).
Trend: Rapid growth.

2. Living Presbyterian Church.
Statistics: 130 churches (2015).
Trend: Growth.

3. Revived Reformed Presbyterian Church of Brazil.
Statistics: 24 churches (2009).
Trend: Unknow.

4. Grace Presbyterian Church:
Statistics: 21 churches (2016).
Trend: Unknow.

5. Pentecostal Presbyterian Christian Church:
Statistics: 17 churches (2011).
Trend: Unknow.

6. Evangelical Presbyterian Christian Church:
Statistics: 12 churches (2016).
Trend: Unknow.

7. Pentecostal Presbyterian Church:
Statistics: Unknow. There is at least 1 church in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais.
Trend: Unknow.
 

ChiliDog

Puritan Board Freshman
Regarding Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Brazil , After the civil war thousands of southern confederates moved to brazil which still allowed slavery. I wonder how many of these people are in the Presbyterian churches. Maybe alot of these people were Baptists too

Look at the town Americana in Brazil It is fascinating history. These Confederados are now assimilated but they still cherish their history and forbearers.
 

Geneapo

Puritan Board Freshman
Regarding Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Brazil , After the civil war thousands of southern confederates moved to brazil which still allowed slavery. I wonder how many of these people are in the Presbyterian churches. Maybe alot of these people were Baptists too

Look at the town Americana in Brazil It is fascinating history. These Confederados are now assimilated but they still cherish their history and forbearers.

You're correct, the confederates are mostly assimilated now. Though the first generation of American immigrants was mostly isolated from Brazilians and married among themselves, it didn't take long until their descendants started mixing with local Brazilians (which were at the time a mix of Portuguese, Native American and Black people). Also the city of Americana received an ever larger wave of Italian immigrants a few decades after the Americans. Today most of the city's inhabitants are descended from all those groups, which makes them just like any average southeastern Brazilian. Some of the buildings made by Americans are still there though. And there are still some celebrations held by descendants.

Regarding religion, it seems to me this is rarely mentioned in the USA (unfortunately, I don't know why), but Brazil is by far the most successful mission field God has built through Americans. And most of this, if not all, can be traced back to the Confederate migrants. Both the largest Presbyterian denomination and the largest Baptist denomination in Brazil can be directly traced back to American missionaries who arrived in Brazil after formal requests made by confederate migrants. That was the first relevant effort to preach the Gospel in Brazil, and it worked. At the time Brazil was 99% Roman Catholic (literally, no exaggeration). Today Brazil is 25% Protestant. Of course not all of these are healthy Christians or Reformed Christians, but many are. The last Supreme Court judge nominated is a Presbyterian pastor. One of Brazil's cabinet members is also a Presbyterian pastor. Both Presbyterian (usually truly Reformed) and Baptist (sometimes TULIP, rarely truly Reformed) churches can be easily found even in small rural towns, especially Baptist ones.
 
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ChiliDog

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks for the update. I did not know that these southern confederates had been instrumental in gospel outreach. Do you know if the Methodist Church was involved? There were tons of Methodist in the South.
 

Geneapo

Puritan Board Freshman
Thanks for the update. I did not know that these southern confederates had been instrumental in gospel outreach. Do you know if the Methodist Church was involved? There were tons of Methodist in the South.

Yes. Many of the Confederate migrants were indeed Methodists. The Methodist church in Brazil is somewhat big today and can also be traced back to the Confederados.
 

Daniel Silva Mendanha

Puritan Board Freshman
In fact, many Confederates migrated to Brazil, but before that missionaries from the Presbyterian Church of the United States of America (North) and the Presbyterian Church of the United States (South) came here and the work performed by the Brazilians themselves later made the PCB (number 1 on the list) spread very evenly across the country.

In Brazil there is no racial division in churches or families. Everywhere you find people of all colors. There are almost no ethnic churches here, because assimilation is very rapid. I myself, for example, have Portuguese, African and perhaps Dutch descent. My wife is of European, indigenous and African descent. This is totally common here.

Today, Presbyterianism is more than 0.1% of the population in almost all states (except for two) and in two of the states we are 1.2% of the population.

In Americano, Presbyterians are 10% of the population, but in most of Brazil the Presbyterians that exist today are converts from other groups. Most of the youth in my previous congregation were ex-Roman Catholics and ex-Pentecostals.
 
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