June 19, 2019
Latest News

Brazil's Candomble religion battles rising intolerance

By Maria Angalica Troncoso

Rio de Janeiro, May 21 (efe-epa).- The increasing attacks on temples and followers of religions of African origin have sounded new alarms in Brazil, a country that has seen rising religious intolerance but also the resistance of cults like Candomble.

The "mae do santo" (priestess) Conceicao D'Lissa has seen Brazil's growing intolerance up close over the past few years.

Her Candomble courtyard, the place where people worship the African "orisha" divinities that guide and protect their community, has been attacked eight times, the most that any single church has ever been attacked in Brazil.

The last assault occurred in 2014 when her Candomble courtyard was set on fire in Baixada Fluminense, one of the most depressed districts in Rio de Janeiro.

The priestess believes a process exists to "annihilate" the entire legacy of black culture and does not think that this religious intolerance is really all about faith. She rather sees these attacks as "manifestations of power."

The temple, once entirely open to everyone, now has barrier walls at the entrance to protect the faithful from possible attacks, and keeps well in the background the images of gods like Ogum, the orisha of iron, war and fire, and Lemanja, the female deity of lakes, seas and maternity.

According to the Woman, Family and Human Rights Ministry, 1,506 complaints about religious intolerance were registered in Brazil between January 2016 and June 2018

Among the complaints filed during that period, without counting those in which no particular religion was identified, more than half the victims practiced religions with African roots, such as Candomble and Umbanda.

In this year alone, more than 20 attacks on temples of African-Brazilian religions have been reported in the "marvelous city," EFE was told by the "babalawo" (priest) Ivanir dos Santos, a member of the Commission to Combat Religious Intolerance in Rio de Janeiro.

According to the complaints, most of the attacks are perpetrated by drug-trafficking groups whose members call themselves evangelicals and say these acts of violence are carried out "in the name of God."

Added to that, according to Dos Santos, is the rise to power of leaders accused of defending intolerance, as is the case with President Jair Bolsonaro and Rio Mayor Marcelo Crivella, an evangelical minister who considers African religions "full of sordid spirits," as he wrote in his book "Evangelizing Africa."

"Every time these groups grow within the legislative, judicial, but particularly the executive spheres of power, their bases start feeling the strength to do whatever they want and have greater impunity (for crimes of religious intolerance)," the babalawo said.

Nonetheless, the priest noted that beyond the interest in power of these "fake religions," the attacks are carried out because of the latent racism that remains from centuries past.

The majority of evangelical leaders consulted by EFE on the subject refused to say anything. However, a pastor of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, criticized the attacks in the name of religion.

He does not believe such crimes are compatible with the Gospels.

"Those drug traffickers, who claim to be evangelicals and attack the houses of worship of other cults, act in their own name and cannot accuse an entire community for individual acts," the minister said.

He said that real evangelicals are not intolerant of other beliefs, like those of African origin.

"Those (African-Brazilian) religions may not follow the Gospels, their beliefs have nothing to do the commandments of the Bible, so we don't share their beliefs, but we respect them," he said.

News history
Chilean scientists sound alarm as glaciers retreat

Santiago, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- Scientists in Chile warned Wednesday that the retreat of glaciers in the southern region of Patagonia as a result of climate...

Red Cross gives Venezuelan hospitals mosquito nets to battle malaria

Caracas, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- The Red Cross will distribute mosquito nets to hospitals in Venezuela to counter the spread of malaria, a disaster management...

Panama's San Blas archipelago being swallowed by the sea

Maria M. Mur

Thousands protest in Nepal against controversial bill

Kathmandu, June 19 (efe-epa).- Thousands of protesters gathered in the Nepal capital on Wednesday demanding the government to scrap a controversial bill to...

High levels of trust in vaccines globally, South Asia tops list

By Clea House

10 years after Spanish missionary's death, his legacy in India lives on

By Noemí Jabois

HRW: Dominican women being denied sexual, reproductive rights

Santo Domingo, Jun 18 (efe-epa).- Teenage girls in the Dominican Republic are being denied their sexual and reproductive rights, including access to safe...

Trump threatens to quickly deport millions of undocumented immigrants

Washington DC, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States on Monday said that immigration enforcement authorities would begin deporting millions...

United Nations, Jun 17 (EFE).- The Earth will be home to some 9.7 billion people in 2050 and 11 billion in 2100, although the population will grow at a...

Indian doctors stage strike demanding security at hospitals

New Delhi, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- Doctors across India on Monday went on strike to protest against the lack of security after a mob attacked healthcare...

G20 agrees to create international framework to reduce marine plastic waste

Tokyo, Jun 16 (efe-epa).- Energy and environment ministers of the G20 countries on Sunday agreed on the creation of an international framework that urges...

A fragile Notre Dame Cathedral holds first Mass since devastating fire

Paris, Jun 15 (efe-epa).- Two months after being devastated by fire, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris held its first Mass this Saturday in conditions still...

Notre Dame of Paris to hold first mass since devastating fire in April

By Catalina Guerrero

Congo Ebola outbreak not a global emergency, World Health Org. says

Geneva, Jun 14 (efe-epa).- The World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday that the Ebola outbreak blamed for more than 1,400 deaths in the Democratic...

Surfing: Panama's therapy for kids with autism

By Rogelio Adonican Osorio

Slum Manila: A portrait of urban poverty in the Philippines

By Sara Gómez Armas

Five Myanmar nationals, Thai boat captain charged with people smuggling

Bangkok, Jun 14 (efe-epa).- Five Myanmar boat crew-members and the Thai captain of the vessel found stranded on a southern Thai island with 65 Rohingya...

Sole suspect in Christchurch mosque shooting pleads not guilty on all charges

Sydney, Australia, Jun 14 (efe-epa).- The man accused of perpetrating a terror attack against two mosques in New Zealand that killed 51 people on Friday...

Venezuelans gather at Ecuador border trying to get to Peru

By Christian A. Sanchez

Hindu devotees convene for prayers at temple in the Himalayas

Kedarnath Temple is a Hindu place of worship dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the religion’s main deities.

Fresh outbreak of Ebola kills two in Uganda after sweeping through DR Congo

Kampala, Jun 13 (efe-epa).- A grandmother in Uganda has died on Thursday, days after her five-year-old grandson and her contracted Ebola.

Community kitchen in London whips up Michelin star meals for the homeless

By Judith Mora

Slum Manila: A portrait of urban poverty in the Philippines

By Sara Gómez Armas

House committee votes to hold AG Barr, Commerce Sect. Ross in contempt

Washington, Jun 12 (efe-epa).- The House Oversight Committee on Wednesday approved a resolution to hold US Attorney General William Barr and Commerce...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.