Brazilian Priest Attacked by Landowners

Christian Today is reporting that wealthy Brazilian landowners are being accused of attacking a priest because of his stand in defense of landless people.

In Parana, in the Diocese of Curitiba, the car belonging to the Rev Luiz Carlos Gabas was shot at, and an Anglican church, school and plantations were destroyed by tractors and diggers, according to partners of Anglican mission agency USPG.

Two men were taken in for questioning but were later released without charge. It is alleged that the gunmen were driving in a police vehicle when they fired. Human rights protesters have also alleged that the police are colluding with land owners in their pursuit of profit.

Following the attacks, Brazil’s State Commission on Human Rights put Mr Gabas onto a witness protection programme.

The Rev Francisco Silva, Secretary General of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil (IEAB), explained: “The Anglican Church and fellow Christian churches are firmly defending and supporting the Movement of Landless People in the west of the Parana state.

“The destruction of the chapel becomes even more symbolic because it represents a clear message from landowners against the church. ”

He said that Rev Gabas has been suffering intimidation from powerful landowners as a consequence of his pastoral position in favour of the landless people’s settlers camp, where his support is recognised by the whole community. A group of 150 families are living in the settlement, waiting for legalisation of the area.

“Our prayers and support are required for our brothers and sisters in that region,” he added. “The fear of violence and the apparent impunity of the perpetrators must be faced with solidarity and practical support.”


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