Panorama of Religious Coexistence in Brazil
Edna Vasconcelos Zilli graduated in law from Pontifícia Catholic University of Paraná. She is a specialist in environmental law and third sector law (Positivo University) and constitutional law and religious freedom (Mackenzie University). Zilli is president of ANAJURE (National Association of Evangelical Jurists), founding member of the Commission on Law and Religious Freedom of OAB/PR (Parana Order of Attorneys), and a member of the OAB/PR Commission on Third Sector Law.
The following is a translated summary of her remarks as a panelist addressing “Religious Freedom, Coexistence, and Justice” at the First Brazilian Symposium on Freedom of Religion or Belief (2022).
Sources of Information on Religious Freedom Violations
In discussing religious coexistence in Brazil, data generated by the National Human Rights Ombudsman (Ouvidoria Nacional de Direitos Humanos) offers a starting point for understanding the bigger picture. In the last three years, for example, the agency received complaints about religious intolerance in different parts of the country. In the first half of 2020 they received 342 complaints; from the second half of 2020 to the second half of 2021, there were 823 cases; and in 2022 to date, there have been 111 occurrences. In these periods, five states produced the most complaints: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, Bahia, and Rio Grande do Sul. Rankings follow the sequence listed, except for the second half of 2020 to the end of 2021, when Rio de Janeiro was in first place and the State of São Paulo was in second.