Last modified: 2006-12-30 by rob raeside
Keywords: iurd | igreja universal do reino de deus | universal church of the kingdom of god | heart | dove |
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by Jorge Candeias
One of the most spoken about religious phenomena of the 90's in Portugal was an emergent church or sect that originated in Brazil and quickly was implanted in Portugal. The church was (is?) called Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus (IURD), which translates into God's Kingdom Universal Church, a protestant group with a kind of histrionic preaching involving miracles, and trances. That was part of its appeal but it also came to the news when one of its bishops destroyed in front of the Brazilian TV cameras an image of the Holy Mary by kicking it, punching it, jumping on it, etc., in an attack against idolatry. After that, the church went into media oblivion, and I don't know if it still exists or not.
The IURD displayed a flag in a prominent fashion: white with a large red heart charged with a white stylized dove, centered. Both symbols are deeply rooted in the Christian tradition and their symbolism is clear enough (purity, love of and for God, peace, etc.). I don't know how official this flag was, but I saw it many times in TV reports of IURD activities, so I gather it was pretty much official. The flag looked like 2:3 in proportions. The symbol appeared also in IURD publications, sometimes over the initials IURD in black gothic capitals. I have no idea if it spread to other countries or stayed a lusophonous phenomenon.
Jorge Candeias, António Martins-Tuválkin, 28, 30 December 2001