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If I Give My Soul – Faith Behind Bars in Rio de Janeiro - Oxford Scholarship Online
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If I Give My Soul: Faith Behind Bars in Rio de Janeiro

Andrew Johnson


Prisons and jails in Rio de Janeiro are violent and crowded; they are governed by narco-gangs and are also intensely religious spaces. Rio's penal institutions reflect the social world of the poor neighborhoods where most of the inmates lived before their arrests. They are places where the state has a weak presence and residents organize around nonstate entities, primarily gangs like the Comando Vermelho or the Pentecostal churches. Inside of prison Pentecostal inmates form churches that resemble the gangs in organization and leadership structure. The gangs allow the churches to function auton ... More

Keywords: prison, Brazil, Pentecostalism, gangs, dignity, Rio de Janeiro, ethnography

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780190238988
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190238988.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Andrew Johnson, author
Metropolitain State University in St. Paul, Minnesota