Hindus urge Brazil to end reported discrimination against Afro-Brazilian religions

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Nevada (US), June 13 (ANI): Hindus have urged Brazil to look deeply into the reported discrimination against practitioners of Afro-Brazilian religions like Candomble, Umbanda, etc., and come up with a plan to eradicate it.

Acclaimed Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that as Article five of Brazil constitution provided for freedom of religion, and discrimination based on religion was prohibited in Brazil law, Brazil should take care of its minority practitioners of Afro-Brazilian religions.

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out that everybody should be allowed to freely practice their faith and no one should be discriminated because of their religious beliefs. Religious intolerance was not okay.

According to US Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices 2009 on Brazil, "Practitioners of Afro-Brazilian religions like Umbanda and Candomble experienced discrimination in several states, especially Rio de Janeiro, but the NGO Commission to Combat Religious Intolerance in Rio de Janeiro reported that there were no government efforts at prevention during the year.

According to the NGO, Afro-Brazilian religious practitioners were not permitted to visit hospitals or penitentiaries to provide religious assistance to patients or inmates, as were other religious practitioners, and the Rio de Janeiro State government had no office to provide effective assistance to victims of religious intolerance".

Reports indicate that Afro-Brazilian religious groups total about 0.3 percent of the population.

World's fifth largest country Brazil is known for Amazon, Carnaval, novelist Jorge Amado, beaches, football, music, etc. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is the President. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. (ANI)

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