« Bray, Thomas Brazil Bread and Baking »


BRAZIL: A republic of eastern South America; area, 3,218,100 square miles; population, 15,000,000. Brazil became independent of Portugal by the creation of the Empire of Brazil in 1822, which was superseded without war in 1889 by the United States of Brazil, forming a republic with a new constitution framed in 1891. Each of twenty states sends representatives to the senate and house of deputies, but retains a large measure of self-government. It is expressly forbidden to "create, support, or prevent religious denominations," the basal principle being the free exercise of all religions, so far as they are not prejudicial to the public welfare. No religion, therefore, receives aid from the State, and civil marriage before a magistrate is legal, while instruction in the schools is required to be secular, the religious orders being suppressed. Simultaneously with the promulgation of this constitution, and partly in consequence of it, there was a rapid increase in immigration from Europe to Brazil, although for many years previously a considerable number of Italians had been coming to the country. This, however, made little change in religious conditions, although in more recent times the German immigration has somewhat increased, and a small number of North Americans has been added to the Italians, particularly in the cities; this increase, predominantly Protestant, is almost negligible in comparison with the numbers of Italians, Portuguese, and Spaniards. Non-German Protestant denominations are also represented, 256especially in the maritime towns, where there are English churches, which, however, do not always have permanent rectors. The Presbyterians, particularly from North America, have settled in considerable numbers in São Paulo, where they have established a college, and the American Seaman's Friend Society has an agent in the capital, Rio de Janeiro. In 1899 the Protestant Episcopal Church made the Rev. Lucien Lee Kinsolving bishop of southern Brazil, with residence at Rio Grande do Sul (São Pedro). In 1907 his diocese was made an integral part of the American Episcopal Church.

German Protestantism is represented over an extensive territory and has numerous centers, as is shown by the existence of two great ecclesiastical bodies, the "Evangelical German Synod," subject to the jurisdiction of the higher church council of Berlin since 1869, and the "Evangelical Synodical Union" of 1884. The latter receives its clergy not only from Berlin, but also through the missionary societies of Barmen and Basel, especially in view of the number of Swiss immigrants to Brazil. Many German evangelical communities, as well as scattered members of the Evangelical Church are found both in Rio de Janeiro itself and the state of the same name (including Petropolis) and the state of Espirito Santo (including Leopoldina), and especially in the four southern states of São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catharina, and Rio Grande do Sul. In the latter state there are forty congregations, while in Santa Catharina 7,500 Protestants live in the German city of Blumenau alone, and of the 100,000 Germans in the state about two-thirds are evangelical. All the districts with a German population are richly provided with schools, even though all branches of instruction are not as thorough as might be desired. Evangelical schools, however, are not infrequently replaced by interdenominational religious schools. In the Roman Catholic German communities careful provision is made for schools, and in a number of colonies the educational activity of the clergy is such that they receive salaries from the State.

The Roman Catholic Church has two archdioceses in Brazil: (1) Bahia or São Salvador (founded as a bishopric in 1555, made an archbishopric in 1676), with the suffragan bishoprics of Alagoas (founded 1900; residence at Maceió), Amazon (1893; residence Manáos), Belem or Pará (1719), Fortaleza or Ceará (1854), Goyaz (1826; residence Uberava), São Luiz (1677; residence Maranhão) Olinda (1676), Parahyba (1893), and Piauhy (1902; residence Therezina); and (2) São Sebastião or Rio de Janeiro (1676; made an archbishopric 1893), with the suffragan bishoprics of Curitiba (1893), Cuyabá (1745), Diamantina (1854), Marianna (1745), São Paulo (1745), Petropolis (1893), São Pedro (1848; residence Porto Alegre), Pouso Alegre (1900), and Espirito Santo (1896; residence Vitoria). There is also the exempt prelature of Santarem (1903).

While secular priests are chiefly employed in the service of the Church, they are lacking in many districts and their training is defective. Despite the suppression of the orders, therefore, many of the larger ones have numerous representatives. Although they have few stations, they are actively engaged in the conversion of the Indians, among whom the Jesuits worked with great success in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries in the ranges of the Cordilleras and along the Upper Amazon. In 1767 the Portuguese expelled the Jesuits from Brazil. The aborigines in the interior of Brazil still remain uninfluenced by any missionary activity.

Wilhelm Goetz.

Bibliography: On the country and people consult: J. C. and D. P. Kidder, Brazil and the Brazilians, New York, 1896; [Miss M. R. Wright], The New Brazil, its Resources and Attractions, London, 1901; Santa-Anna Néry, The Land of the Amazons, New York, 1901; United States of Brazil: a Geographical Sketch, with special Reference to Economic Conditions and Prospects of Future Development, Bureau of Am. Republics, Washington, 1901; T. C. Dawson, The South American Republics, vol. i, New York, 1903. On religious matters consult: F. Badaro, Les Couvents au Brésil, Florence, 1897; H. P. Beach, Protestant Missions in South America, New York, 1900; J. S. Dennis, Centennial Survey of Foreign Missions, ib. 1902; H. C. Tucker, Bible in Brazil, ib. 1902. An exhaustive work of reference is A. L. Garraux, Bibliographie brésilienne, Paris, 1898.

« Bray, Thomas Brazil Bread and Baking »
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