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Brazil's economy needs your prayers: minister

[RIO DE JANEIRO] Brazil's economy has taken such a battering that veteran Economy Minister Henrique Meirelles wants serious help: your prayers.

Mr Meirelles made his appeal for divine intervention in a video circulated widely in the Brazilian media and social media sites Monday. It was reportedly recorded initially for pastors at a church.

Dressed in a dark suit and seated at a table, Mr Meirelles says: "There's never been a recession like this."

"So that's why I'm counting on your cooperation. I feel comfortable speaking to you because we have the same values, the law of God and of men. I need everyone's prayers," he says.

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At the end of the video, a message comes on the screen reading: "October - praying for the economy month."

Brazil has the world's biggest Roman Catholic population, although growing numbers of Brazilians are turning to Evangelical Christianity.

As for the economy, there are signs that the prayers are getting through: after two years of the deepest recession on record, growth is creeping back into positive territory.

Unemployment, although still brutally high at 12.8 per cent, is edging lower monthly.

Monday's Sao Paulo booming stock market closed at its fifth record high in six days, rising 0.31 per cent to 75,990 points.