|Birth Day||February 18, 1945|
|Age||75 YEARS OLD|
|Occupation||preacher and theologian|
Edir Macedo was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1945 (one of seven surviving children). In 1963 he began a career as a civil servant, initially working with the state-run lottery of Rio de Janeiro, Loterj, and also at the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, IBGE, as a researcher in the economic census of 1970. After 16 years he left the civil Service to set up the UCKG.
His rapidly growing religious movement and his teaching of prosperity theology have been a source of controversy. His sermons partly focus on freeing his followers from unclean spirits that oppress them, which manifest in them, and are cast out in the name of Jesus, in order for them to overcome their problems. His views about other faiths, particularly Catholicism, are also controversial. In 1992 he spent eleven days in jail on accusations of charlatanism. There were several protests, with his religious followers camping in front of the police precinct he was held in, according to his autobiography "Nothing to Lose". His prosperity theology is used by church Leaders to justify his lifestyle, "If I preach prosperity and my clothes are ragged, who will follow me?"
According to Forbes and Business Week he is continuously involved in scandals, mostly due to allegations that the UCKG illegally channeled donations of billions of US dollars intended for charity overseas, then returned the money to Brazil. The São Paulo Public Ministry said in a statement "it was proved that the money from donations, instead of being used for the maintenance of services, was diverted to serve the private interests of the accused". Macedo is accused of using the donations received from his poor followers to buy jewelry, TV stations, and other businesses for himself. The São Paulo state prosecutor said that Macedo and his associates had misappropriated more than US$2 billion in donations from 2003 to 2008 alone, and that the alleged scheme went back 10 years. There have also been unofficial charges of fraud and money laundering. As of January 2013 Macedo was still under prosecution by US and Venezuelan authorities. In 2007 Macedo was also criticized for the acquisitions by his church which include: twenty-three TV stations, forty radio stations, two major daily newspapers, a real estate agency, a health insurance company, and an airline. The church's acquisitions are suspicious due to the church's short history of about thirty years.
Edir Macedo was indicted by the Federal Justice for import of equipment and use of public documents and legal proceedings, but not convicted. Ten years later he was prosecuted again by the prosecutors of the State of São Paulo. On 19 October 2010 the São Paulo Justice Court (TJ-SP) annulled all accusations made by the São Paulo Public Ministry against the UCKG and its principal representatives by a majority vote. The judges deemed that the São Paulo prosecutors did not have jurisdiction to investigate the case, as the accusations were of a type that fell into the federal jurisdiction.