Friday, October 11, 2013

Brazil Launches Campaign To Promote Religious Tolerance

Religion News Service reported yesterday on a new diversity campaign launched by the government of Brazil designed to combat religious discrimination by public officials and religious abuse by individuals. Intolerance has been directed particularly at adherents of Candomble and the closely related Umbanda African religious faiths. In the highest profile incident a year ago,  Marcos Antonio Marcelino, a practitioner of Candomble, was shot and killed by his neighbor after police ignored complaints from him and his wife about religious abuse.  The rise in incidents, to 109 last year, coincides with changing religious demographics in Brazil. The number of Catholics is declining while the number of evangelicals is increasing, with some neo-Pentecostal churches preaching hate of African religions.