Capillarity makes major denominations in the outskirts; Catholic Church is largest sole proprietor.
Founded by Jesuits in 1554, São Paulo has grown full of churches. In the last quarter of the century, however, temples have multiplied at unprecedented speed: about one hundred a year, from 3,346, in 1995, to 5,779, according to the city council's data. Behind the explosion - a 73% hike, considering only the officially registered church spaces - is a shift in the religious profile of the city and the country, in which the ceremonies presided over by priests gave way to charismatic pastors.
This transition has left permanent marks on the city's landscape, with Pharaonic buildings such as Solomon's Temple, the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, and improvised places of worship in garages and halls all around the city.
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