Afro-Brazilian religions struggle against Evangelical hostility
According to Washington Post, “Candomblé” a Brazilian religion that developed from animist beliefs imported by African slaves, survived centuries of slavery, but the quasi-respectability it has gained in recent decades is now under concentrated attack from radical Evangelical Christians, a growing force in Catholic Brazil, who regard it as the devil’s work and its priests and priestesses as little more than neighborhood witches.
Tactics range from propaganda blitzkriegs launched on blogs and YouTube videos to threats, violence and expulsions from drug gangs. Afro-Brazilian religious leaders and sympathizers are fighting back in court. A low-intensity war is being fought for Brazilian souls.
“Candomblé is as beautiful a religion as you could imagine,” said Luiz José de Sousa, 57, a priest, or “father-of-saint,” who presided over the Santa Cruz ceremony during which four newcomers were initiated, including a small boy. “We worship nature,” he said. “There are all kinds of prejudice.”
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