According to the “II Report on Religious Intolerance: Brazil, Latin America and the Caribbean,” a publication by the Center for Articulation of Marginalized Populations and the Observatory for Religious Freedoms, with support from the Representation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) in Brazil, an increase in cases of religious intolerance has been detected in the country, Agencia Brasil reported. The survey was conducted as part of the Jan. 21 National Day Against Religious Intolerance.
The Disque 100 website of the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights said 477 cases of religious intolerance were registered in 2019, 353 cases in 2020, and 966 cases in 2021.
It is observed that the year 2020 presented the lowest number of cases of religious intolerance among the years analyzed in the report. As a hypothesis for this decrease in cases, it is emphasized that the year 2020 was marked by the consolidation of the covid-19 pandemic, a fact that imposed a series of restrictive measures of circulation and sociability that may have contributed to a lower number of cases of religious intolerance in this period, the report outlined.
The study also showed that religions of African origin, even though they are a minority, are the most affected by intolerance. In 2020, 86 cases of religious intolerance against religions of an African matrix were reported, and 244 cases in 2021.
The document also found that the most populous southeastern states were the ones with the highest number of cases of religious intolerance, while states in the North and Midwest had the fewest cases.
It is also worth noting the large number of reports of religious intolerance classified as not defined, with 103 cases recorded in the year 2020 and 234 in the year 2021. This category of data does not clarify to which religious belief the victim belongs, limiting the interpretation of the data and pointing to the need to improve the reporting channel Disque 100, says the study.
In an article published in the report, babalawô (saint father) and professor of Comparative History at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Ivanir dos Santos, and law professor at the Cândido Mendes University in Rio, Mariana Gino, pointed out that in Brazil, Latin America or the Caribbean, the cases of these human rights violations have been growing alarmingly.
Religious intolerance and racism are entrenched in everyday social, cultural, political, and economic relations. And it is this intolerance that has presented itself as one of our greatest contemporary challenges in the face of the possibilities for promoting and strengthening religious tolerance and equality. As we can see, through narratives and historical facts, we are educated within colonial constructions that make any constructions towards diversity and tolerance impossible, the researchers wrote.
The National Day Against Religious Intolerance was established on Dec. 27, 2007, by Federal Law 11.635, after the death of a religious leader known as Mãe Gilda, who had her home invaded by a group from another religion. After persecution and verbal aggression, she died of a heart attack.
(Source: Agencia Brasil)