Note from BW of Brazil: When will it end? The past few weeks have been very difficult for followers of the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé. It seems that the brutal attacks on the religion, that have a long history in Brazil, won’t be ending any time soon as two headline-making assaults have occurred in less than a month, first in Bahia and now in Rio de Janeiro. In past posts we’ve seen examples of religious fanaticism that has led to the burning of religious centers, brutal murder, offensive videos, derogatory statements and intimidation that has led Candomblé followers to flee their communities. The situation is ongoing and it seems that legislation that mandate religious tolerance is clearly not the response to guarantee the safety of the religion’s followers. And due to the fact that these attacks are directed at religious practices that have African origins, we are also dealing with blatant acts of racism. The ironic thing is that the attacks are usually provoked by fanatic Evangelicals who one would think would be more peace-loving people.
Girl initiated in Candomblé religion is stoned in the head by Evangelicals
Courtesy of Pragmatismo Político
Religious intolerance: a girl of only 11 years is stoned in the head by Evangelicals and says she is afraid to die: ‘I continue in the religion, I will never leave it. It’s my faith. But I won’t do go in white anymore’. The girl and her relatives were also insulted: ‘Get out Satan, burn! You are go to hell’
At just 11 years of age, Kailane, painfully experienced religious intolerance on Sunday. The girl, initiated in Candomblé for four months, followed with relatives and holy brothers to a spiritualist center in Vila da Penha, when she was hit in the head by a stone thrown, according to witnesses, by a group of Evangelicals. Also according to reports, moments before, they insulted the adherents of the religion of African origin.
“They shouted: ‘Sai Satanás, queima! Vocês vão para o inferno’ (Get out Satan, burn! You will go to hell). But we did not give it any importance. Soon after, the boulder hit my granddaughter and, while we helped her, they fled on a bus,” said the girl’s grandmother, Kathia Coelho Maria Eduardo, 53, known in the religion as Vó Kathi (Grandma Kathi).
The case was registered yesterday at the 38th DP (police precinct) (in Bras de Pina) as a bodily injury and in Article 20 of Law 7716 (practicing, inducing or inciting discrimination of religious prejudice). The police tried to identify the attackers through bus cameras in the area.
Kailane fainted and, according to her relatives, had trouble remembering recent events. “She’s fine, because she was taken to the hospital and even went to school, she’s very studious. But at the time she had come to lose her memory. What world is this that we are living in? You don’t even respect a child?” asked a still indignant Yara Jambeiro, 49, also a member of Barracão Inzo Ria Lembáum and one those responsible for Kailane’s religious education.
The case began to have repercussions at the Comissão de Combate à Intolerância Religiosa (Commission to Combat Religious Intolerance) in Rio de Janeiro. Ivanir dos Santos, who chairs the committee, defends the importance of punishing those responsible.
“This is not an isolated incident. It’s scary stoning in a child. We are at a delicate moment in the issue of intolerance. Investigations need to get the perpetrators so that the example is not of impunity and that religious freedom is reaffirmed as it is in the law,” he said.
Responsible for a social network with 50,000 followers and defending Afro-Brazilian culture, Marcelo Dias, aka Yangoo, divulged the case: “It’s astonishing,” he criticized.
Fear of dying
In an interview with the Rio newspaper Extra, the girl said that from now on she wants to hide the faith that embraced from everyone for fear of suffering further reprisals.
“I continue in the religion, I will never leave it. It’s my faith. But I don’t go out in white anymore. Not even at the entrance. I’m very, very scared. I’m afraid of dying. Very, very afraid,” she said.
The girl recalled with indignation of the time she was attacked. “I only remember having put my hand on my head, feeling the blood and soon after see it dripping on the floor. It came out nowhere. I didn’t see exactly where it came from. But I could have suffered been something serious. It hit my head. But what if it were my eye?” she asked.
Ialorixá 90 years has heart attack due to offenses
The complaint that a stone struck the girl Kailane, 11, on Sunday night, came to the Commission on Combating Intolerance in Rio through the meeting in Rio de Janeiro State University (UERJ) to protest the death, on June 1st, of a 90 year old ialorixá, in Camaçari, Bahia.
“The police received complaints against the demonstrations in front of the yard before her death. They had ceremonies in front of the house in a spiteful way, in other cases, some macule terreiros, and other systematic practices,” affirmed Ivanir dos Santos, chairman of the committee.
Ialorixá’s family attributes death to religious intolerance
90 year old was a reference in the Candomblé of Bahia; relatives say heart attack occurred after early morning insults by evangelicals
By Débora Melo
On the first, the ialorixá (priestess of Candomblé) Mildreles Dias Ferreira, 90, died of a heart attack in Camaçari, in the metropolitan region of Salvador. Mãe Dede de Iansã, as she was known, commanded the Candomblé terreiro Oyá Denã for 45 years and was an important leader of traditional communities of African origin in Bahia.
Friends and relatives reported to the police that the heart attack was the result of religious persecution. Witnesses said the problems started a year ago, when a unit of Casa de Oração Ministério de Cristo (House of Prayer Ministry of Christ) (church) was inaugurated near the terreiro.
According to Marcos Rezende, national coordinator of Coletivo de Entidades Negras (CEN or Collective of Black Entities), the night prior to the heart attack Mãe Dede was marked by a vigil of evangelicals in the door of the terreiro.
“They stayed all morning shouting things like ‘afasta o demônio’ (away with the devil), ‘limpa esse território do satanás e das forças malignas (clean this territory of Satan and the evil forces). She fell ill, had a heart attack and died. The next day the family filed a complaint with police, but Mãe Dede herself had registered a complaint against them 15 days before the act of intolerance which led to her death happened. She was 90 years, but was very active,” Rezende said.
The Coletivo de Entidades Negras participates on Wednesday in a meeting at the prosecutor’s office in Camaçari, to deal with the case, which is being investigated by the 26 Territorial Precinct (DT) of the municipality. Coordination of representatives for the Promoção da Igualdade Racial (Promotion of the Racial Equality) of the State of Bahia also participated in the meeting, as well as relatives.