November 12, 2012
Brazilian Churches Scrutinized Over Past Ties to Dictatorship
Truth commission will analyze "whether pro-dictatorship clergy committed human rights abuses."
The reign of Brazil's military government from 1964 to 1985 split Catholic and evangelical churches along pro- and anti-dictatorship lines.
Now, more than 25 years later, Brazil's newly established Truth Commission is investigating churches that supported the dictatorship for potentially having committed "human rights abuses or supported members of the military responsible for such abuses."
The Associated Press reports that commission member Paulo Sergio Pinheiro is heading the investigations against churches. Pinheiro told AP, “The activities of the clergy who opposed the dictatorship as well as the actions of religious groups that backed the regime will be analyzed."
Regardless of the commission's findings, churches will not face legal consequences for predecessors' involvement: A 1979 law grants amnesty for dictatorship-era political crimes.