Afro-Brazilian Religious Groups Organize Under Banner of Religious Freedom

by Gregory Scruggs

When Pope Francis visited Brazil for World Youth Day in July 2013, he met with business,  cultural, and religious leaders from across the country (NotiSur, May 3, 2013). Of particular note, he received Ivanir dos Santos, a babalawo, or Afro-Brazilian priest. It was a first-time encounter of major symbolic proportions given the history of animosity between the Catholic Church and syncretic religions like candomblé and umbanda, which blend African and Catholic traditions.

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Afro-Brazilian Religious Groups Organize Under Banner of Religious Freedom

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