Since 1993 Ilê Asé Iyemonjá Omi Olodô acts on behalf of the religious community in RS. It develops a nationally award-winning social program, which directly includes over 500 people, among children, youth, women and those who have a connection with Afro-Brazilian religions. The organization is the promoter of the State March for Life and Religious Liberty.
Within RenafroSaúde, the organization promotes events, meetings and debates on health of Afro-Descendant Population, HIV and AIDS. In addition, it contributes to human rights actions as, for instance, the struggle for legitimacy of the Afro-religious marriage and the fight against religious intolerance and institutional racism in public health bodies.
The group also integrates the CEN – Collective of Afro-Descendant Entities , the Codeners – Afro-Descendant Development Council of RS , the Formars – RS Forum of Religions with African Roots and Food Security , Cedrab – Congregation for the Defense of Afro-Brazilian Religions , amongst other networks.
Ilê Asé Iyemonjá Omi Olodô will conduct training activities for about 100 religious leaders from the municipalities of the interior of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre and the metropolitan area. In the meetings the following themes are scheduled to be addressed: ‘Faces of racism’, ‘Health policies of the Afro-descendant population and their relations to the ‘terreiro’ (1) and ‘Social control and its several possibilities of integration’.
Together with the communities, these leaders will be able to exert the social control over public policies and promote the realization of rights. The plan is to enable these people to take part in councils, committees and forums, according to what is provided in, especially, the Statute of Racial Equality and the National Program Against Religious Intolerance.
According to the group, in Brazil the mapping movement of terreiros is fast-paced. Rio Grande do Sul is the Brazilian state with the largest number of houses of religion with African roots declared – about 65,000 terreiros.
However, the growing movement of violent acts due to religious intolerance and discriminatory actions in public spaces cause religious militants of religions with African roots to have to group in networks and make themselves present in the social control in order to combat these social damages and ensure their rights.
(1) N.T.: The word ‘terreiro’ means the physical space or the ground in which the community cultural and religious rituals are practiced.
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