Janet Tappin Coelho is an author at Religion News Service.
Dancer defends her decision to perform nearly naked in Mardi Gras parade
RIO DE JANEIRO (RNS) The dancer said nudity is relevant to the overall theme of the samba display but that should not ‘affect her Christian beliefs.’
Brazil’s ‘people’s bishop’ led the fight for peace and justice
RIO DE JANEIRO (RNS) He fought for freedom, stood by workers, inspired their struggle and ministered to the dispossessed and downtrodden.
Scientists bring saints back to life with imaging technology
RIO DE JANEIRO (RNS) The scientists, both members of the Brazilian Team of Forensic Anthropology and Forensic Odontology, have discovered that the religious images of saints are generally inaccurate.
Brazilian judge trains clergy to mediate domestic disputes
RIO DE JANEIRO (RNS) The “To Mediate is Divine” program offers a simpler and cheaper arbitration route with the goal of developing alternative methods of conflict resolution.
Excommunicated Brazilian obstetrician fights for women’s right to abort Zika babies
RIO DE JANEIRO (RNS) The obstetrician has thrown his weight behind a civil rights campaign to allow pregnant women to abort fetuses with the Zika virus-linked microcephaly.
Brazil’s abortion rights debate fails to convince some mothers of microcephaly babies
RIO DE JANEIRO (RNS) Erika Roque believes God wanted her to have a child with microcephaly. But some reproductive-rights advocates want Brazilian women to have the right to abort.
Ramadan adds an off-field challenge for World Cup’s Muslim athletes
(RNS) Ramadan will be a critical testing time for Muslim World Cup players who need to be in peak condition to meet the demands of the game during the knockout matches.
Ahead of the World Cup, Brazil’s churches work to protect children from sex abuse
RIO DE JANEIRO (RNS) With an estimated 600,000 soccer fans expected to arrive in Brazil within a matter of days, the South American nation is under pressure to combat its international reputation as a destination for child sex tourism.
Kansas City rabbi grows a congregation of Latin American Jews
RIO DE JANEIRO (RNS) Brazilian-born Rabbi Jacques Cukierkorn is catering to a growing number of Latinos who are choosing to convert to Judaism as they abandon the region’s dominant Roman Catholicism.
Brazil’s police take Bible classes to reduce stress
(RNS) Amid concerns about police brutality, Brazilian military police officers are taking Bible study classes during their working hours to help them deal with stress and improve their personal and family lives. But the Christian-based course has hit controversy.
Brazil tries to combat religious intolerance of minority faiths
(RNS) The murder of a Candomble practitioner and other incidents of religious intolerance have prompted the Brazilian government to launch a new diversity campaign with the goal of combating religious discrimination.
Walking 1,850 miles to see Pope Francis, pilgrim feels renewed
RIO DE JANEIRO (RNS) On March 15, Fabio Mateus packed a rucksack with a spare pair of sneakers, a raincoat, a hammock and $20 in his pocket, and started walking. Pilgrimages are a Brazilian tradition, built on a belief that to deepen religious experience a person must make sacrifices and suffer a degree of pain.
Pope delights crowds with his informality, message of reform
Though beset by heavy rain and chilly temperatures that forced last-minute venue changes and compelled many to wear winter clothes, the weather did nothing to dampen participants’ enthusiasm for Pope Francis.
Pope to Brazilians: Don’t ignore the periphery
(RNS) Maria da Penha dos Santos was waiting outside with her husband, daughter and granddaughter when the pope stopped in. She introduced him to 20 of her family members who squeezed inside the tiny shanty for about 10 minutes. “I said, welcome Pope Francisco,” Santos said. “The house is yours.”