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Pagans Step Out of the Shadows in Sunny Costa Rica

Think paganism, and you probably don’t think of a conservative, Catholic-majority country in Central America. But Costa Rica, with its beautiful beaches and tropical charm, is emerging as an unlikely base for a growing pagan movement battling stereotypes and discrimination to assert its distinct...

Semana Santa In Costa Rica: Politics, Religion and Futbol

Semana Santa (Easter Week) this year brings together the three passions of most Costa Ricans: Politics, Religion and Fútbol. From Sunday (yesterday) to Sunday next, as the saying goes (in Spanish), "se le juntará el ganado" (all the cows come home). Politics This year the presidential...

Moralist Upsurge in Brazil Revives Censorship of the Arts

RIO DE JANEIRO (IPS) - It is not yet an official policy because censorship is not openly accepted by the current authorities, but de facto vetoes on artistic expressions are increasing due to moralistic pressures in Brazil.   The offensive affects the artistic world in general,...

This old Catholic ritual is giving Brazil’s economy a small boost, one Virgin Mary statuette at a time

Brazilians are moving away from Catholicism. Today, fewer than 50 percent of Brazilians identify as Roman Catholic, down from 92 percent in 1970. But after 500 years in South America, the Catholic Church remains deeply enmeshed Brazil’s economy and society. Among its many footholds is...

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