Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil
(Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil, IEAB)
Expatriate Anglican chaplaincies were established in Brazil in 1810, with missionary work beginning in 1889, after the separation of church and state. The province, which is one of the few Portuguese-speaking churches in the Anglican communion, became autonomous in 1965. Today the Episcopal Church has established communities and educational and social institutions in the main urban centres of Brazil. Besides the eight dioceses, the church has two missionary districts, Amazon and West. The ministry is open to women; there are currently 30 female priests. In the present situation of the country, which is facing serious economic and social problems, the church has an important contribution to make to the spiritual life of the Brazilian people, and it works with other ecumenical organizations and Christian groups in seeking to fulfill the gospel's commandments.
The church synod meets every three years, and is composed of clergy and lay people from all the dioceses. In the intervals between synods, decisions are taken by the executive council of the synod, composed of two bishops, two clergy and two lay elected by the synod; it is chaired by the primate, assisted by the general secretary and national treasurer. The council meets generally twice a year. The councils of each diocese elect their own representatives (three clergy and three lay) to attend the national synod together with the bishop of the diocese.
The National Commission on Theological Education (JUNET) supervises theological education in the seminary in Porto Alegre, Recife and in various theological centres scattered throughout the dioceses. In 1998 JUNET founded the Centre for Anglican Studies to promote study and research of Anglican theological and pastoral thought in Brazil. It provides assistance to the diocesan centres and the seminaries of IEAB for theological education.