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Brazil’s distinct brand of religious liberty: an example to the world, not without its challenges

Alexander Curtis Alton

Resumo


Brazilian scholars, politicians, legal practitioners, and judges consistently refer to Brazil as a lay state, suggesting a type of secularism similar to French laïcité. However, in practice, the interaction between government, religion, and society in Brazil more closely resembles religious freedom in the United States. Among the twenty-six most populous countries, Brazil has the lowest governmental restrictions on religious freedom. The Brazilian government protects religious liberty through extensive constitutional and statutory provisions, as well as numerous international conventions. Notwithstanding these governmental protections, the country has recently experienced a dramatic increase in social hostilities directed toward people of faith. Thus, while Brazil is an example to the world with regard to minimal governmental restrictions on religious liberty, both the government and Brazilian citizens must find ways to minimize social hostilities and religious intolerance. This paper compares religious liberty in Brazil to French laïcité and U.S. religious freedom, explores governmental protections of religion in Brazil, exposes the growth of social hostilities towards religious groups in Brazil, highlights the work of government and grassroots organizations to turn back this rising tide of religious intolerance, and offers several suggestions on how the Brazilian government might further decrease social hostilities.  

Palavras-chave


Constitutional Law; Religious Liberty; Religious Freedom; French Laïcité; Intolerance

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Referências


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21056/aec.v18i71.935

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Direitos autorais 2018 Alexander Alton

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