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Crimes / 24/10/2020

Religious intolerance

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Religious intolerance


Religious intolerance is characterized when a person does not accept another individual's religion or belief.

Such an attitude manifests itself criticism in the private sphere, jokes, verbal and physical assaults, attacks on places of worship and even murder.


The word "intolerance" comes tolerating, that is: accept, support, live together.

"To tolerate" therefore means to accept something that is not agreed and to live with it.

In turn, "intolerance" means just the opposite. Not endure those who have an idea or condition different mine.

In Brazil

Religious intolerance in Brazil began with the arrival of the Portuguese.

Since Catholicism did not admit any religion other than Catholic, the beliefs of the indigenous people came to be seen as evil and, therefore, despised.

With the arrival of blacks who were enslaved, the same attitude was repeated. To escape the persecution of lords and clergy, blacks used the images of Catholic saints in their ceremonies when in fact they were worshiping their orishas. Thus began the relationship between syncretism and Afro-Brazilian religions.

During the Empire, the Catholic religion was declared official by the 1824 Constitution. This meant that no other religion could hold public services. Likewise, meeting places could not have, externally, symbols that they identified as a temple.

With the opening of ports to friendly nations and the arrival of several Englishmen to Brazil, this policy was revised in practice.

After all, the English, Protestants, had to be buried in cemeteries other than Catholics. In several cities in Brazil it is common to have a “Cemitério dos Ingleses” for the Protestants of various denominations and Jews.

In the Second Reign, the increase in German immigration led to the arrival of Lutheran pastors who opened their temples to serve the new communities.

An emblematic case is that of the Lutheran Church of Petrópolis, whose emperor Dom Pedro II himself contributed to its construction.

With the arrival of the republic there was a separation of the Church and the State enshrined in the 1891 Constitution. In 1903, the law that prevented non-Catholic temples having the characteristics of a “church” was revoked and in this way several Christian places of worship were raised.

This does not mean that religious intolerance has ended, as the Catholic Church itself has had several assets confiscated by the government.

There are also cases of persecution by the Catholic clergy against Baptist and Methodist pastors.

However, those who suffered the most religious intolerance were religions of African origin. Persecuted by the police, practitioners were to hide or endure invasions and prison sentences for being gathered in their religious ceremonies.

Recently, neo-Pentecostal churches are committing acts of vandalism against the Catholic Church and Afro-Brazilian religions.

Destruction of images of saints has been recorded in Catholic temples, as well as attacks on Candomblé and Umbanda terreiros.

In the world

Religious intolerance for the world is evident against the Jews, monotheistic people among tribes who practiced paganism.

Likewise, the Roman Empire was intolerant of the growth of Christianity in its territory, persecuting and killing Christians.

However, once it has been legalized and admitted as a religion of the Empire, it is the turn of Christians to become intolerant of pagans, Jews and, later, Muslims.

Currently, religious intolerance in the world is manifested in countries that adopt Islam as an official religion. In these countries, it is common for Christians to be prohibited practicing their faith and to be condemned for it.

Likewise, a group of radical Muslims has decided to exterminate people who do not follow the same line of thought. This is true for people of other religions as well as for moderate Muslims.


In Brazil, religious discrimination is a crime and since December 27, 2007, the "National Day to Combat Religious Intolerance" is celebrated on January 21.

The key to fighting religious intolerance is knowledge and respect.

After all, even if a person doesn't agree with your belief, they have the same rights as you to practice it.

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