Sign the Petition – Religious Freedom Now!
The last two weeks have seen an unusual surge in violence against terreiros in Rio
de Janeiro. Drug dealers, who are being paid by Evangelical pastors, are breaking into religious temples, threatening baba and iyalorishas, and forcing them (sometimes at gunpoint) to destroy the sacred images of their ile.
The global Orisha community is outraged. While it’s difficult to make a true impact from abroad, there are things we can do to show solidarity with our Brazilian brothers and sisters in the struggle. A petition was started by the The National Council of the Efon Nation to reach the Governor of Rio, the State Secretary of Culture, the State Secretary of Public Security, and the State Secretary of Human Rights. In addition to asking these public officials for support in stopping the violence, the petition invites these authorities to participate in the 10th March in Defense of Religious Liberty on September 17, 2017.
In the US, many people are (understandably) cynical about signing petitions. Please consider signing this petition to at least show solidarity with our Orisha brothers and sisters on the ground in Rio.
The petition itself is written in Portuguese, but is translated below. You can sign the petition here using your Facebook account. Click the button that says, “assinar abaixo-assinado” to add your name:
“We are asking the authorities of the State of Rio de Janeiro for an emergency plan regarding the priests of religions of African origin, and the terreiro communities who have been victims of attacks with Christian ideology. Organized crime and some neo-Pentecostal churches are promoting true barbarism upon terreiro communities, and we are demanding that our officials respond in urgency to stop these attacks.
400 years of struggle for the Black and Afro-descendant community are at risk in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
We also request the presence of the authorities at the 10th March in Defense of Religious Liberty that will take place on September 17th, at Orla de Copacabana, to show the Fluminense community [the neighborhood where the attacks are occurring] that the public power is in support of a lay state [promoting freedom of religion] as shown in the Magna Carta of our country!
The National Council of the Efon Nation and the Afro-descendant community”