Other Sport

Brazil wants African religions in athletes village

2016-07-12 09:03
Rio Olympic Games logo (Getty Images)

Rio de Janeiro - Religions of African origin should be represented in the ecumenical center of the athletes village for the Rio de Janeiro Games, Brazilian federal public defenders have told city hall and Olympic organisers.

Public defender Edison Santana told The Associated Press on Monday that his recommendation is based on the fact that only Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism are currently included.

Rio Games organisers said other services could be provided, but so far haven't replied officially to the public defenders.

Santana said the recommendation is a way to settle the issue without a lawsuit and that organisers have 10 days to respond.

"None of the faiths chosen to be in the athletes village comes from Africa, and that bothered followers of those religions in Brazil," Santana said. "I am sure we will come to a reasonable solution, it is not a complicated thing to do. But we will take action if necessary."

Organisers said in a statement that there won't be religious exclusion at the games.

"The interreligious center of the village will be open to leaders of different religions as long as it is requested by an athlete," the statement said.

Official figures from 2010 show that out of 200 million inhabitants Brazil has almost 600 000 followers of African religions, such as Candomble, which was developed in the 19th century by Brazil's slave populations. Santana said the recommendation is based on religions of African origin, but it also goes for other smaller faiths as well.

About 10 500 athletes are expected at the Olympics, from August 5 to 21. The vast majority of those will stay at the athletes village.

Read more on:    olympics 2016  |  athletics

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Floyd 'Money' Mayweather v Conor 'The Notorious' McGregor ... who've you got in Saturday's mega fight?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.