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Armed with only a Bible, preachers confront Rio's most dangerous men
It was just after midnight and outside a tatty corner bar on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro a dozen heavily armed drug traffickers were killing time with a game of cards, a bulging joint and a bottle of 12-year-old Ballantine's whisky.
From the shadows a muscle-bound hulk wearing a garish yellow shirt and with a Bible wedged under his arm strode in and ushered the traffickers' leader into the bar. Ten minutes later the leader, an assault rifle laid across his lap, was in tears.
Sobbing, he told his visitor, known in these parts as Pastor Dione, he wanted to leave the gang but didn't know how. The preacher grabbed his arm and tried to comfort him.
"You might think that nobody cares about you," he said forcefully. "But Jesus loves you. And I am here for you. I am your pastor and I will help you."...