Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Just in Case there Was Any Doubt, Part 2

As you can see from the above picture of people packed out on the main interstate highway coming into Porto Alegre, the procession for Nossa Senhora dos Navegantes (the version of Mary who is the Catholic patron saint for the city of Porto Alegre) attracted 100 THOUSAND PEOPLE who gathered around the fire truck to watch and worship the statue of Mary. The procession went down to the river, where dozens of boats accompanied the statue on its way to go meet up with the African goddess Iemanjá for the traditional reunion of their ceremonies.

Here is my translation of part of a newspaper article about the procession "Before the end, while the boats passed through the Pool of Pleasures, came the most traditional and emotional moment of the festival of Our Lady of the Navegators in Pelotas, which is in its 77th year. The boats stopped and were recieved by umbandistas (Afro-Brazilian Spiritists) who carried the image (statue) of Iemanjá, providing an ecuminical encounter watched from the shore by hundreds of people, despite the rain."

The procession is the largest religious gathering in the state and is put on by the hierarchy of the Catholic church. That it closes out by meeting up with Iemanjá shows not only the unofficial link between the two supposedly separate religions, but an official one as well. The fact that the hierarchy of both religions sponsor a joint event cements the official mixing of pagan Afro-Brazilian witchcraft with the twisted version of Christianity presented by the Brazilian Roman Catholic church.

On another note, Carnaval is today. For days, the newspapers and TV have been full of pictures of all but nude women dancing in the carnaval presentations with thousands of other dancers and millions of spectators. The damage done to people's lives through alcohol, drugs, violence, prostitution during the few days is incalculable. Please pray for Brazil, and for Rio Grande do Sul, and ask God to open the eyes or our nation and our state and to do away with the moral scourge that is Carnaval.

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