Afro-Brazilian religions feel threatened

Credit: Campanha 'Liberte Nosso Sagrado'

Credit: Campanha 'Liberte Nosso Sagrado'

By Martin Banks

Historic minority religions in Brazil are increasingly facing a form of religious scrutiny under the country’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, it is claimed.

Some 500,000 people in Brazil participate in religions brought to the Americas hundreds of years ago by African slaves but these religions are under attack from the growing presence of fundamentalist Evangelical Christians.

Among those allegedly being targeted are those who practice Umbanda and Candomblé, the country’s most prominent Afro-Brazilian religions. Though their members are said to represent less than 1% of the population, or about half a million people, they account for most cases of religious intolerance.

Out of 116 reports of discrimination recorded in the first half of 2018, 72 followers of Candomblé and Umbanda were targeted for their beliefs.

Read more:

Note: During the 2018 Afro-Latino Festival NYC -Liberación Film Festival we screened a short addressing this exact issue called Nosso Sagrado. See the trailer below.