Student of Master Degree in Human Rights – Universidade Federal da Paraíba/ Brasil.
In the first semester of 2018 there was, in Brazil more than 200 notifications of religious intolerance, according to national human rights ministry. This number of notifications came of phone calls to official channel for human rights’s violation denounces.
Most notifications are about religious intolerance against afro-brazilian religions such as Candomblé and Umbanda, but there are also intolerance notifications against christian religions and others. Probably the real number of intolerance cases is even higher, because there is a great level of subnotification in reporting theses cases.
Brazil is internationally known by being a country of great cultural diversity, having in it’s conformation, peoples from different origins, with different traditions and religions. So ever, not always the socializing between cultures is pacific and harmonious, as denounces tell. These Cases of religious intolerance include physical agression, temple depradations, verbal agression, destruction of sacred images, homicide and arson attacks.
In addition to that, the laicity of brazilian state has been put into danger as some public politics are benefeting proselitism and denying cultural minorities rights. Brazil has been a laic state for 120 years, being assecured by Federal Constitution the protection to diverse temples and religions and beliefs existent in country. The laicity of Brazilian state shall be a right and a duty to all brazilian citizens.
The laic principle of brazilian state shall not allow religions to dispute state to establish some hegemonical culture in country, but instead , different cultures must be part of national politics life, in order to build up consense actions for promoting pacific socializing between peoples. It’s a due to state educating society for intercultural respect.
Human rights education is of great importance and extremely necessary in the construction of public politicis in this way. Human rights education can work like a tool, capable of educating to diversity and cultural identities respect.
In the case of Brazil, we have a history profoundly marked by racism. This historic racism is reflected on the notifications of religions intolerance data, because most reported cases are against afro-brazilian religions. We observe that this kind of intolerance is product of religious colonialism that historically has tried to destroy the culture of kidnapped african peoples and originary peoples of america. For aiming this objetctive, colonialism has created a negative propaganda that these cultures were “devil” and there was only one way possible to humanity, wich, of course, was their own belief. This kind of speech is still popular in brazil, but it is a kind of hate speech that foments conflict and intolerance, and threats democracy and social peace.
Sacred Tree (Iroco) from Candomblé temple Ilê Obá Ogunté, burned by arson attack. Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, 2018.
In current politics situation of Brazil, the matter of religious intolerance is on the day order. In political representation instances (federal and state’s governments, national congress and others) are being released propositions for abating human rights education oriented to fight racism and cultural intolerance. There is a project that wants to proceed a march of (cultural) “majorities” over “minorities” that arrisks laicity of nation and inumerous human rights of peoples. Taking advantage of brazilian people frailties, this antidemocratic project insists on propagating hate against diverse cultures.
Meanwhile, we that are diverse cultures, we that are traditional comunitires, we that are the young, workers, social movements, we are not willing to grant these regressions to dominant classes, because we have memory e we know that the ones who came before us struggled a lot for that, today, we could have rights.
We rather follow a project of building a supportive multicultural nation. In schools, streets, on the countryside, in the forest, on city, on comunities, on factories, in prisions, in temples, villages, universities, we are there, trying to supply the integrity of peoples’ cultural human rights. We shall establish real dialogue and principles of citizenship to fight cultural intolerance in Brazil.
We believe in human rights education as an important tool capable of contributing with this solidarity nation project, with educating to respect between religions, peoples and cultures. Thus, we have in mind the educating in human rights is first educating to cultural diversity, to solidarity between peoples, for the respect of different cultural identities and for good socializing between peoples.