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Brazilian delegation goes to the Pope to expose violations of rights in the country

On Friday, August 3rd, a Brazilian delegation had a meeting with Pope Francis to deliver documents exposing Human Rights violations in the country. The members of the delegation were: Marinete Silva, the mother of Councilwoman Marielle Franco, who was murdered in March this year and still awaits justice; the law expert Carol Proner, who brought to the Pope the books “The International Resistance to the Coup of 2016” and “Comments on an Announced Legal Sentence – the Lula Process”; Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, former Minister of Human Rights and former coordinator of the National Truth Commission; and the Executive Secretary of the Lutheran Foundation of Deaconry, Pastor Cibele Kuss, representing the National Council of Christian Churches of Brazil (CONIC), who delivered the document “Intolerance and Religious Violence in Brazil” and the release “Faith, Gender Justice and Public Incidence – 500 years of the Reformation and the Transforming Deaconry”.

The document “Intolerance and Religious Violence in Brazil” states that in a context of absolute uncertainty regarding the directions of Brazilian democracy, Brazil has been experiencing increasingly serious situations of Rights violations. “The harassment toward Afro-Brazilian and indigenous spirituality, through the increasing destruction of “Terreiros” and “Casas de Reza” (“prayer houses”), and the murder of Marielle, are just a few examples of the violence that is present all over the country, and it must be exposed internationally”, says Cibele.

Neo-Pentecostal fundamentalism and its ultra-conservatism have resulted in an extreme cultural and symbolic violence, arising from the interest in increasing the number of “conversions” of black women and men. “Temples of the Afro-Brazilian religion have been continually destroyed, religious leaders are forced to abandon their homes and temples, and murders have been happening in ‘God’s name’”.

The same thing has been occurring at indigenous communities, such as the one of Guarani Kaiowá, who, in an attempt to preserve their traditional religion, have suffered various forms of pressure, characterized as religious intolerance. “It is a policy of genocide”, says Cibele. The State’s submissiveness to the Agribusiness keeps thousands of people confined to indigenous conservation areas, where the physical and cultural survivals are unsustainable.

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