By Biaggio Talent
Translated by W. Ramos

Salvador- The atabaques (drums) of Bahia’s Candomble terreiros (Orisha temples) will beat for world peace, to prevent a confrontation of great ratios between the United States and the Muslim peoples. Tomorrow, 40 olorishas, followers of the afro-Brazilian religions, representatives of the most important Candomble terreiros of Salvador, will congregate in the Church of Nossa Senhora do Rosario dos Homens Pretos, in the Pelourinho district of Salvador, to ask the African deities for protection and world-wide peace.

One of the organizers of the gathering, Ozeas Santana, of the Terreiro Luan-Deua, situated in the Railroad Suburb of the Bahian capital explained that the leaderships of the Catholic Church, Judaism and Islam had congregated to defend the peace, but at no moment were representatives of the African religions invited. “We decided, then, to take this initiative, condemning the terrorist attacks and in solidarity with the families of victims, so that pacific solutions against terrorism are found,” he said. The Candomble clergy have chosen Oxala, the father of all orixas, as the deity to which the ceremony will be directed. He is the orixa called upon by all who seek peace.

As a temple where celebrations of Bahian syncretism are traditional, the Church Nossa Senhora do Rosario dos Homens Pretos was chosen for the meeting because it is considered a historical symbol of the social insertion of Africans and their descendants into Brazilian society. African slaves built the church, constructed in the 18th century, during their moments of rest from their long workdays. The expression “to rest carrying rocks,” originated during the period in which the church was constructed, accurately describing the endeavor, as in the evenings, slaves carried the rocks that were taken from a nearby quarry to the place where the temple was raised.

The 40 leaders of the Afro-Bahian religions already congregate regularly on Wednesdays, in the headquarters of the Bahian Anti-AIDS Center to discuss ways of preventing sexually transmitted diseases among the people affiliated with Bahian terreiros.

Copyright 2001 State agency. All rights reserved.

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