‘Historic’: 18 years in prison for Brazilian preacher who called for murder of Jews

Jewish community says ruling sets important precedent against antisemitic hate speech.

By World Israel News Staff

An antisemitic hate preacher in Brazil who called for a second Holocaust and massacre of Jews was sentenced to 18 years and six months in prison on Tuesday for hate speech, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported on Tuesday.

Tupirani da Hora Lores, the lead pastor of the Pentecostal Generation Jesus Christ Church in Rio de Janeiro, has a long history of making hateful remarks and calling for violence against minority groups.

In 2020, da Hora Lores was filmed giving an impassioned speech to his congregation in which he urged God to kill the Jews.

“Massacre the Jews, God, hit them with your sword, for they have left God, they have left the nations,” he said, according to a translation of the video by the JTA.

“They contrived, went with prostitutes, and when they were told to repent they said they’d do it but they lied. God, what you have done in World War II, you must do again, this is what we ask for in our prayers to you: Justice, justice, justice!”

Portuguese language media reported that da Hora Lores has also called for the death of other Christian congregations that don’t follow his specific interpretation of the Bible, along with Brazilians who incorporate traditional African spiritual beliefs into their religious practices.

In March 2022, federal Brazilian police raided da Hora Lores’ church, seizing literature and arresting him, in an operation named “Shalom.”

Da Hora Lores has been behind bars since then.

“The circumstances of the crime are serious because the violence of the speech is repeated with the express mention of the massacre of Jews, a massacre that, in the defendant’s view, ‘they deserve,’” Judge Valéria Caldi Magalhães said, according to Brazilian outlet Globo.

“The defendant used his condition as pastor of a religious community” to promote hateful rhetoric, “which increases the potential to induce followers to act similarly,” she added.

The lengthy prison sentence was praised by local Jewish advocacy groups, who said it set an important precedent regarding antisemitic hate speech in the South American country.

“A historic sentence in the fight against anti-Semitism. It is the largest penalty applied in Brazil for this type of crime, which will help to inhibit this odious practice,” said Ricardo Sidi, legal director at the Brazilian Israelite Confederation, in a statement.