Tom Ehrich 07-10-2013
Blue vintage globe map photo courtesy Shutterstock.

Blue vintage globe map photo courtesy Shutterstock.

Tumult in Egypt reminds me how complicated the world can be, especially for a culture like our own that is shaped by good guy vs. bad guy dramas.

Who are the “good guys” in Cairo? Is the ousted president a good guy for being democratically elected or a bad guy for pursuing isolationist Islamic policies? Is the military saving Egypt or preserving privileges?

It isn’t just the inherent complexity of any human situation. It’s the complexity of societies that have rules and histories quite unlike our own.

Suzanne Ross 06-27-2013
Brazilian riots, photo by Francisco Neto /

Brazilian riots, photo by Francisco Neto /

Brazil and the World Cup are in the news now, but not in the way that pleases the Brazilian government. Crowds are gathering in the streets around football (soccer) stadiums where Confederation Cup games are being played but not to buy tickets or get autographs of their sports idols. They are congregating to protest against the 2014 World Cup coming to Brazil. Brazilians protesting football? Upset about hosting the World Cup? Something has gone seriously wrong. This is like the French boycotting wine or Italians accusing pasta of undermining family values.

Even Americans, confused as we are about why the rest of world insists on calling soccer “football,” know that the outcome of a football match can launch an entire nation into elation or despair. But no matter the sport, fans around the world follow the same emotional pattern: they are up when their team is up and down when they are down. World Cup championships played out on a global stage provide the winning nation with an outsized cathartic event for the pent up frustrations that accumulate with the stress and strains of daily life. And even without streets clogged with protestors, if you are a football fan living in one of Brazil’s major cities, the typical daily grind is almost unbearable. Here’s an account from an Al Jazeera reporter who lives in Brazil:

It is 8am and a bunch of people line up to get on a bus on Faria Lima Avenue in Sao Paulo. This may be their third transfer in the daily ordeal of travelling to work from the outskirts of Sao Paulo. When the bus slows down, people start to nudge right or left, hoping not to be left behind. Once they get on, it is so full that finding a little space to stand is only for the truly crafty. 

After a one-hour journey through the infamous Sao Paulo traffic and pothole-ridden roads, crammed in with 100-plus people, it feels more like a ride on a rodeo horse than a means of transportation — all at a cost of 3.20 Brazilian Reals ($1.50) and your dignity. 

Andre Tartar 04-02-2013
RNS photo by Andre Tartar

Apostle Valdemiro Santiago, founder of the Worldwide Church of God’s Power. RNS photo by Andre Tartar

NEW YORK — The apostle bellowed in Portuguese to a packed crowd in a rented Astoria, Queens, church.

“Get out, spirit of death. Now you are burnt, now you are plucked out by my God!”

A blood-curdling shriek rose from one of the front pews, but Apostle Valdemiro Santiago, founder of the Worldwide Church of God’s Power, didn’t flinch.

“Don’t be afraid, church, by these screams,” Santiago reassured the crowd. “They are the evil spirits being defeated.”

Fourteen years after he started out in the countryside outside Sao Paulo, Santiago sits at the helm of a booming Pentecostal church in Brazil, the world’s fastest-growing evangelical country. He now leads 4,000 churches, including 10 in the United States, where fiery worship and exorcisms form part of the appeal.

Ed Spivey Jr. 04-01-2012

In fact, my knowledge of Brazil is limited to that tall Jesus statue overlooking a city, and the fact people can be naked on the beaches while speaking Portuguese.

the Web Editors 02-29-2012

A conservative Brazilian bishop who broke away from his church over the consecration of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire was found murdered with his wife in the northeastern town of Olinda, according to the diocese.
Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti and his wife Miriam were found dead on Sunday (Feb. 26). Their adopted son, Eduardo, is a suspect in the stabbing deaths, church officials said.
Conservative Anglican media sites reported that Cavalcanti was returning from a parish visit.
Cavalcanti launched the breakaway Anglican Church -- Diocese of Recife after Bishop V. Gene Robinson was consecrated as the Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

Biblical wisdom teaches: "it has not yet been revealed what we shall be." Such is the case with every child, every grandchild, and great grandchild -- those we know and those we will never meet.
Jeannie Choi 12-16-2010
Felipe Matos, 24, was sent to the United States from the slums of Brazil by his mother who longed for him to find a better life and achieve his dreams.
Rose Marie Berger 07-01-2010

In May, a court in Brazil sentenced a second rancher to 30 years in prison for ordering the murder of Dorothy Stang, a Catholic Sister of Notre Dame de Namur, who worked in Brazil with small farmer

David Cortright 05-18-2010
The nuclear fuel swap deal signed between Iran and Turkey and Brazil is a positive development that deserves U.S. support.
Rose Marie Berger 03-24-2010
Today I was interviewed by a sociology student who wanted to know more about "social justice." I was happy to talk to her.
John Gehring 03-24-2010

While it's generally not worth spilling any ink over Glenn Beck, his recent attacks on churches that preach "social justice" has rightly earned the condemnation of diverse faith leaders

Lisa Haugaard 09-24-2009
On September 21st, President Manuel Zelaya returned clandestinely to Honduras and
Craig Detweiler 03-27-2009
From Joan of Arc to Sir Thomas More, courageous martyrs continue to inspire us. Their powerful witness is memorialized in homilies, books, and even movies.
Joe Nangle 08-01-2007
The continuing vitality of liberation theology

A Brazilian landowner known as the mastermind behind the murder of 73-year-old Catholic nun Dorothy Stang was sentenced in May to 30 years in prison.

Rose Marie Berger 08-01-2007
It's very complicated to have hope.
Steve Thorngate 03-01-2006

A Brazilian court found Rayfran das Neves Sales and Clodoaldo Carlos Batista guilty of the 2005 murder of 73-year-old Catholic sister Dorothy Stang, SND. The men received 27- and 17-year prison sentences, respectively. The ranchers accused of ordering the murder are expected to stand trial this spring. Stang, an Ohio native, had lived since the early 1970s in the Anapu region of Para, Brazil, where she fought large-scale ranching and logging interests to protect poor farmers and the rainforest.

Judy Coode 04-01-2004

A broad grassroots movement seeks land, equity, and dignity in Brazil.