Here in Brasil the population is predominantly Catholic. It’s the kind of good, healthy non-state state religion that I like, in that for the most part no-one takes a blind bit of notice of it. And normally, neither do I. However, two things I found odd recently which I feel inclined to pass on. Firstly, the Catholic population is apt to call Protestants – of the evangelising persuasion (you’re right, I’m not quite sure what that means – but then frankly I couldn’t care a fig) – ‘Crentes’. This word comes from the verb Crer, ‘to believe’, which begs the obvious question, does it not..? Secondly, Naice was informed quite matter-of-factly the other day by one of the Protestant (evangelist) community that they don’t attend any of the Catholic festivals (this is the only part of Catholicism that most Brasilians take seriously – the parties) because they would be poisoned. The comment was made when Naice was organising the local ‘Festa Junina’ for our neighbourhood. Festa Junina is a Catholic celebration of some description or other (please don’t enlighten me, anyone) to which the whole local community is invited, and it takes the form of a very pleasant street party, with games for the kids, food and dancing and drinking and a bonfire. Unfortunately she was unable to persuade a considerable number of the ‘Crentes’ that they would be safe to attend, which left her mystified until the above comment explained all. So that’s fine, then.
It’s comforting to know that religious bigotry is alive and kicking in even the remotest corners of the world, isn’t it? What would we do without religion?