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Brazil

Decade after assassination of Sr. Dorothy Stang, work remains risky

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In the 10 years since U.S.-born Sr. Dorothy Stang was killed by ranchers in the Amazon, the risks have not decreased, said one of the coordinators of the Brazilian bishops' Pastoral Land Commission.

Antonio Canuto, one of the commission's coordinators, said although the 73-year-old nun's assassination in Anapu brought awareness of the plight of the peasants with whom she worked, this has not been enough to decrease impunity in the region.

"The reality continues the same as it was when Sister Dorothy was alive," Canuto said.

Latin American church leaders call for church with 'Amazonian face'

Latin American church leaders apologized for historical complicity with colonial atrocities in the Amazon and called for a church with an "Amazonian face" in a pastoral letter issued as negotiators from around the world met for a climate summit here.

"The exploitation of the Amazon through mining, the expansion of farming and ranching, road construction, hydroelectric dams and timber companies demand that the church take a more prophetic stance," they wrote.

As Brazilians drift away from Catholicism, Virgin Mary procession as popular as ever

More than 2 million worshippers, pilgrims and onlookers poured around an 11-inch wooden figure of the Virgin Mary as it made its way through the streets. A crush of the faithful heaved and hauled away at a rope that stretched over a thousand feet from the cart that bore the beloved statue, dragging it inch by inch through the sweat-soaked crowd. Bursts of fireworks marked its passage.

Cirio de Nazare is Brazil's largest religious event of the year, and it takes place at the mouth of the Amazon in the northern state of Para.

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