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O Livro de Urântia Premiered in Brazil

Jay Peregrine, Irmeli Ivalo-Sjölie
Jay Peregrine, Irmeli Ivalo-Sjölie
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O Livro de Urântia Premiered in Brazil

By Jay Peregrine, Executive Director for Urantia Foundation and Irmeli Ivalo-Sjölie, Associate Trustee, Helsinki, Finland

Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world by land area and population. It is larger than the continent of Australia, and covers over 1/2 of South America. São Paulo is its largest city, the largest city in South America, and one of the largest in the world. By one method of estimation the population of the region of São Paulo (including its satellite cities) is 29 million, making it the 2nd largest on Earth, after Tokyo. The economy of Brazil is in the world's top ten. Brazil is a net exporter of goods, enjoying vast resources and a huge workforce.

Educated Brazilians are avid readers. The bookstores of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are among the best in the world. We recently visited Livraria Cultura on Paulista Avenue in São Paulo and found a huge, modern bookstore full of shoppers and browsers, rivaling any Borders or Barnes and Noble in the U.S. Given the size of Brazil and its passion for books, the market for The Urantia Book in Brazil is potentially larger than anywhere else in Latin America.

The first printed edition of O Livro de Urântia was premiered to the general public at the Livraria Cultura store in the Villa-Lobos shopping center in São Paulo on Friday, February 22nd. About 120 people attended, some flying in from as far as the capital, Brazilia, to meet other readers and get a chance to buy a hard-copy of the Portugese book (the translation has been available on CD and on-line since 2003). Unfortunately the demand for books was underestimated and Livraria Cultura quickly ran out of their on-hand stock. Urantia Foundation promised to get books to those who were disappointed. But the comradery and joy experienced by all at the event made up for the lack of enough copies to go around–and the bookstore owners got a demonstration of the popularity O Livro de Urântia has in Brazil!

Previously, on February 16th, in a beautiful retreat setting in the hills of Minas Gerais, a gathering of members of the Associação Urântia do Brasil was treated to their first look at the printed book. The 26 attendees held their first ever study group with their new books, and had the opportunity to ask questions of Urantia Foundation Associate Trustee Irmeli Ivalo-Sjölie and Jay Peregrine. The three-day retreat was inspirational for all.

Thank you to all who worked so hard to get the Portuguese edition ready to take to market: Luiz Carlos Dolabella Chagas, for his translation; Susana Palaia for her support of Luiz and the work of checking and rechecking the text; Rogério Reis da Silva, for heading the final revision effort, arranging for the formatting of the text, and arranging for the premier at Livraria Cultura, and to Irmeli Ivalo-Sjölie, whose encouragement and support facilitated its completion. There are many others but space doesn't allow to be mentioned here. And to all the Brazilian readers: um abraço!

Jay Peregrine and Portuguese readers in Brazil
Front Row: (unknown), André Gurgel, Kleverson, (unknown), (unknown), Jay Peregrine, Irmeli Ivalo-Sjölie, Franklin, Egle, Eliana Mol, Nemias Mol
Back Row: (unknown), Graça Marques, Cleci Reis, Rogério Reis, Sabino Hüttner, Petri, Marianne, Susana Hüttner, Mazé Vidal, Viktor, Eduardo, Fernanda