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How does religious intolerance affect different beliefs?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

During the 2024 Carnival, evangelicals gathered to preach at street parties and outside clubs. According to a BBC News Brasil report, the number of reports of religious intolerance in Brazil increased by 106% in one year, with São Paulo as the leading state with 270 reports. Most of these reports were made by practitioners of African-derived religions, such as Umbanda and Candomblé.

In Brazil, it is known that there are major religions – particularly the Christian religions – and they enjoy a different freedom than other religions when expressed in public. In January of this year, an elderly man went viral preaching on the streets about the word of God. However, the man’s attitude won over internet users.

According to a report by G1, in Rio de Janeiro, a 17-year-old girl experienced religious intolerance at her school, hearing from staff and students that she had a demon in her body for being a follower of Candomblé. It is important to emphasize that the Brazilian state is secular; therefore, in Brazil, people should be free to express their beliefs without suffering prejudice for what they believe.

In an interview with Amanda Fuzita, a practicing Christian, she talked about what it was like when she possibly experienced religious intolerance. “Well, I can’t say if the episodes I lived through were religious intolerance because it’s not very clear, it’s always something very veiled, something that bothers, but nothing where I was attacked for my faith like what happens with other religions”. Amanda said that in the college where she studies, she has heard from professors that the Bible, the foundational book of Christianity, was just a historical book.

“I understand that people don’t have a problem with Jesus, people have a problem with Jesus’ fan club, because of these bad references we have. Because every time I say I’m a Christian, I have to justify myself, because I know that the references we have are terrible. People have problems with those who call themselves believers, and I don’t think I fit into that circle of religious people because I don’t consider myself a religious person. After all, they expect Christians to be the ones who will love people.”, she finishes.

On the other hand, practitioners of African-derived religions report that they have not been hired for a job because of their beliefs, as in the case of Sandra Gonçalves, a practicing Umbandist. “I have already suffered religious intolerance in a veiled way, I lost a job, I went for an interview at a Catholic school, I was going to be the coordinator of this high school, and when I mentioned that I was an Umbandist, talking about my religion. She (the school’s director at the time) kept leading the conversation so that we could talk about religion, I did not feel embarrassed because I come from a family that prepared me for this, I had a mother who prepared me a lot to deal with these adversities and I also prepared my son to deal with this… but she tried the whole time to embarrass me in the interview and I ended up not getting the job, and I am sure that I did not get the job because of my religion.”

In Sandra’s view, a lack of knowledge makes people intolerant of other religions. “If they understood a little more, listened, and read a little more, they would have a more open mind. We have never lived in a period where information was so easy to obtain… when someone looks at another’s religion with intolerance, you must first understand what the culture of that person is, what growth the person has, and why they believe in that. The person judges when they do not know, I think that the lack of knowledge favors the judgment of others, this in all aspects of life, in all fields, we can only judge because we do not know.”


The article above was edited by Clarissa Palácio.

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Vitória Venturin

Casper Libero '27

Journalism student at Casper Libero university, lover fashion, movies, culture and communication :)