Brazil churches spark controversy with LGBT+ support in Lent campaign


SAO PAOLO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A group of major Brazilian churches came under fire for supporting LGBT+ people for the first time in an annual Lent fundraising campaign that launched on Wednesday, in which they said homophobia leads to murder. Every year the Brazilian Bishops’ Conference (CNBB) kicks off a Fraternity Campaign on Ash Wednesday, with a message from Pope Francis this year urging people “to overcome divisions and unite around life” with Brazil’s COVID-19 death toll at 240,000. A declaration from the Fraternity Campaign added that pushback against LGBT+ rights was also causing deaths, with about 420 LGBT+ people killed in 2018 in Brazil, while rates of violence were also high against Black and indigenous people and women. “These homicides are caused by hate speech, by religious fundamentalism, by (the) voices (of those) against recognising the rights of the LGBTQI+ population,” said the declaration that was posted online.

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