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Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is a country in South America. It is the fifth largest country by geographical area, and the fifth most populous country. Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of over 7500 kilometers.
Brazil was a colony of Portugal in 1500 until its independence in 1822. Initially independent as the Brazilian Empire, the country has been a Republic since 1889. Its current Constitution defines Brazil as a Federal Republic. The Federation is formed by the union of the Federal District, and its 26 States. Brazil is also home to a diversity of wildlife, natural environments, and extensive natural resources in a variety of protected habitats.
Brazil occupies an immense area along the eastern coast of South America includes much of the continent's interior region. The climate of Brazil comprises a wide range of weather conditions across a large geographic scale and varied topography, but the largest part of the country is tropical and covered by the Amazon Rainforest. Analyzed according to the Koppen System, Brazil hosts five major climatic subtypes: equatorial, tropical, semiarid, highland tropical, and temperate; ranging from equatorial rainforest in the north and semiarid deserts in the northeast, to temperate coniferous forest in the south and tropical savannas in central Brazil.


Brazil's "investment grade" economy is diverse, encompassing agriculture, industry, and a multitude of services. Brazil is finally punching its weight with a booming economy and stronger global leadership. The recent economic strength has been due in part to a global boom in commodities prices with exports from beef to soybeans soaring. Its prospects have been helped by huge oil and gas discoveries. A global power in agriculture and natural resources, Brazil unleash the greatest burst of prosperity has witnessed in three decades.


A wide variety of elements create a society with considerable ethnic complexity. Brazilian culture has historically been influenced by Europeans, Africans, and Indigenous cultures and traditions. Its major early influence derived from Portuguese culture because of strong colonial ties with the Portuguese Empire. Among other inheritances, the Portuguese introduced the Portuguese language, the Catholic religion, and the colonial architectural styles. Other aspects of Brazilian culture are contributions of Italians, Germans, and other European immigrants who came in large numbers, and their influences are felt closer to the South and Southeast of Brazil. Amerindian people influenced Brazil's language and cuisine; and the Africans, brought to Brazil as slaves, influenced language, cuisine, music, dance, and religion.


Religion is very diversified in Brazil; the constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the government generally respects this right in practice. The Roman Catholic Church is dominant, making Brazil the largest Catholic nation in the world. The formal link between the state and the Roman Catholicism was severed in the late 19th century; however, the Catholic Church has continued to exert an influence on national affairs. Adepts of Protestantism are rising in number. Until 1970, the majority of Brazilian Protestants were members of "traditional churches", mostly Lutherans, Presbyterians and Baptists. Since then, numbers of Pentecostal and Neopentecostal members have increased significantly. Traditional African beliefs, brought by slaves, have blended with Catholicism to create Afro-Brazilian religions such as Macumba, Candoblé, and Umbanda. Amerindians practice a wide variety of indigenous religions that vary from group to group. Islam in Brazil was first practiced by African slaves. Today, the Muslim population in Brazil is made up of mostly Arab immigrants. There are approximately fifty-five mosques and Muslim religious centers. A recent trend has been the increase in conversions to Islam among non-Arab citizens.


Football (Portuguese: futebol) is the most popular sport in Brazil. The Brazilian National Football Team (Seleção Brasileira) have been victorious in the FIFA World Cup tournament a record five times, in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994 and 2002. Basketball, Volleyball, auto racing, and martial arts also attract large audiences. Though not as regularly followed or practiced as the previously mentioned sports, tennis, , swimming, and gymnastics have found a growing number of enthusiasts over the last decades. Some sport variations have their origins in Brazil. Beach football, futsal (official version of indoor football) and footvolley emerged in the country as variations of football. In martial arts, Brazilians have developed Capoiera, Vale Tudo, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. In auto racing, Brazilian drivers have won the F 1 world championship eight times: Emerson Fittipaldi in 1972 and 1974; Nelson Piquet in 1981, 1983, and 1987 and Ayrton Senna in 1988, 1990 and 1991.

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