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 Protestant rally draws 3 million in Brazil

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SAO PAULO, Brazil - About 3 million evangelical Protestants staged a huge rally Thursday in the heart of Brazil's biggest city, demonstrating their growing influence in the world's largest Roman Catholic country.

Crowding next to sound trucks blasting religious music, marchers wore T-shirts in the green and yellow colors of Brazil's flag advertising their annual "March for Jesus."

The hymn-singing evangelicals walked to skyscraper-lined Agenda Palest, Brazil's version of Wall Street, then gathered around a stage to hear bands play.

Sao Paulo police estimated the crowd swelled to 3 million, double last year's estimate.

The march is held each year on the same day the Catholic Church celebrates the Corpus Christi holiday, which is not observed by evangelical Protestants but is a national holiday in Brazil.


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