South America

Religious Violence in Brazil

The vilification of indigenous African traditions has been going on since at least the beginning of the slave trade. These earth-based traditions were portrayed as evil and “primitive,” a belief based on ignorance that holds sway in many places across the world even today. In Brazil, as in other places around the world, practitioners of Umbanda and Candomblé continue to face intolerance and even violence for their beliefs. The last ten to fifteen years has seen a sharp increase in the amount of violent crimes directed at practitioners of African religions in Rio de Janeiro, with gangs particularly targeting practitioners and houses of worship.

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