Religion and Upps

There are diverse studies that focus on the Pacifying Police Units (UPP) in Rio de Janeiro all of which try to shed more light on this complex scenario. This explorative research takes the religion perspective endeavoring to understand certain aspects of this process, above all the affects of this so-called pacification, in some of the favelas in the city.

The work focuses on the opinions of religious leaders, principally those more present in the favelas studied, either from Christian groups (catholic or evangelical) and, in a smaller proportion, Afro-Brazilian groups (Umbanda), giving emphasis to their perceptions about the UPP presence and consequences for their religious routine and where they live or work. The research also focuses on a more specific aspect that of a mega event which happened in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francisco’s stay in 2013. For example, one of the highlights of the stay being the Pope’s visit to a favela in the Manguinhos region, where there is an UPP.

Distinct views and perceptions of these religious leaders point to limits and challenges of the city of Rio de Janeiro in the context of mega events and UPP.

Clemir Fernandes