The Portuguese-Speaking Church
What Is the Opportunity?
The Portuguese church has been deeply influenced since its beginning by an imperialistic Roman Catholic church with a greater interest in colonization than in orthodoxy, which left the door open for a the prosperity gospel to take deep root. In recent years, however, strong, Reformed teaching has multiplied, and the Portuguese world, like Latin America, is seeing her first taste of reformation.
Portuguese is spoken by 203 million people in twelve countries, primarily Brazil, Portugal, and Mozambique, and second after the English-speaking world, Brazil leads as the largest market for Christian literature. Now is the time to strengthen local churches with sound, biblical resources as they pioneer the doctrines of grace.
How Is Ligonier Meeting These Needs?
In the following outreach efforts, we strive to reach Portuguese-speaking pastors, unbelievers, and laypeople in varied walks of life.
The Reformation Study Bible
Several years ago, Ligonier was excited to release our revised Reformation Study Bible, and it is now our great privilege to partner with Editora Fiel in the translation of this seminal work into Portuguese. As with the English edition, there are over 1.1 million words of verse-by-verse commentary and topical explanations, award-winning maps and visual aids, contributions from 75 distinguished theologians, theological summaries from R.C. Sproul, and nearly 2,000 years of creeds, confessions, and catechisms. As R.C. Sproul has said, “The light of the Reformation was the light of the Bible”—and the same is still true today.
The Ligonier Statement on Christology
The Ligonier Statement on Christology seeks to encapsulate the historic, orthodox, biblical Christology of the Christian church in a form that is simple to confess, useful in helping to teach the church’s enduring faith, and able to serve as a common confession around which believers from different churches can rally for mission together.
- 2,000 copies of The Ligonier Statement on Christology were distributed at the annual Ministério Fiel pastors and leaders conference in 2016, plus additional copies by the publisher Vida Nova elsewhere.
- Ligonier’s 2017 National Conference in Orlando, FL, translated into Portuguese, was released live on Facebook and reached more than 212,000 people.
Growing interest in the Reformed faith has sparked an eagerness for the teachings of R.C. Sproul and Ligonier Ministries. In the coming year, our goals include translating, printing, and distributing the following Reformation Trust titles:
- A Time for Confidence by Stephen Nichols (Editora Fiel plans to release this at their upcoming conference in Brazil, where Drs. Stephen Nichols and Derek Thomas will be speaking)
- Everyone's A Theologian by R.C. Sproul
- The Legacy of Luther, ed. R.C. Sproul and Stephen Nichols (this is slated for release before the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in the fall)
- The Donkey Who Carried a King by R.C. Sproul
- None Other by John MacArthur
Our variety of teaching series help promote theological education in the Portuguese-speaking world, and the accompanying study guides encourage students to interact with the material. Three of these series have already been translated into Portuguese, and we plan to make the following available on YouTube:
- The Lord’s Prayer
- Calvinism and the Christian Life
- The Reformed Pastor
- The Book of Job
- Marks of a Healthy Church
- A Survey of Church History, Parts 1-6
- Pleasing God
- Because Portuguese-speakers are among the lead consumers of social media, our online presence is a particularly effective means of disseminating teaching, and with this in mind, we maintain several social media channels, including a Portuguese Facebook page.
- We also regularly translate Tabletalk articles into Portuguese for distribution in churches and seminaries.
- In partnership with Ministério Fiel, we plan to produce a Portuguese version of the Ligonier Statement on Christology video which can be used at conferences and events.
In 2014, Ligonier Ministries partnered with Ministério Fiel, based in Brazil, for an outreach initiative to distribute the two booklets God Is Holy and We’re Not and Can I have Joy in My Life?, both by R.C. Sproul, at the FIFA World Cup. Two years later, we again partnered with Fiel and local churches across the city of Rio de Janeiro in a massive initiative to strategically distribute nearly a million booklets of The Race of Faith, written by R.C. Sproul for the occasion and translated into nine languages.
Recently Translated Books
Strong interest in Reformed doctrine in the Portuguese world has opened the door for the translation of twenty Reformation Trust titles, the series A Long Line of Godly Men, the Ligonier Statement on Christology, two teaching series, and our Crucial Questions series.
Recently Translated Teaching Series (All by R.C. Sproul)
What Is Needed?
- Translation of selected teaching series — $24,000 USD (annual)
- Translation of Tabletalk articles — $6,000 USD (annual)
- Digital outreach — $5,000 USD (annual)
How Do Your Gifts Help?
These are a few of many international outreach projects underway, and we ask you to prayerfully consider supporting this effort through financially giving or simply through praying for the Portuguese-speaking and global church. Your generosity helps us translate, print, and distribute trustworthy resources, providing countless opportunities to reach people of varying ages and callings.
“There is a need, not just for good theology, but for leaders who set an example in word and action of the priesthood of all believers. Ligonier’s resources not only train leaders, but equip all believers to be living, active members of the body of Christ.”
—Editora Fiel, Portuguese Publishing Partner
Our policy is to apply gifts given toward a specific program. If we receive more contributions than can be wisely used for a given project, we apply these funds to meet other pressing needs in our outreach efforts. We are committed to stewarding all gifts wisely toward the goal of proclaiming the holiness of God to as many people as possible. Ligonier Ministries is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.