During its 46th Plenary Assembly last week, the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Brazil denounced the death threats that have been leveled against three of its members in recent days and called for investigations and increased security.
The prelates who have received death threats are Bishop Erwin Kraulter of Xingu, Bishop Jose Luis Azcona Hermoso of Marajo, and Bishop Flavio Giovenale of Abaetetuba. The three bishops’ dioceses are in the state of Parana in northeastern Brazil.
“We express our solidarity with these bishops who are currently suffering persecution and even death threats for the sake of the Gospel,” the bishops’ conference said in a statement. “Any aggression against them affects all of us, their brothers in the episcopate, and the people who they fearlessly serve with zeal and courageous prophecy,” the statement continued.
The bishops said their support for the prelates also extends “to the people they defend: the indigenous peoples, children and teens who are used by human traffickers, sold for sexual exploitation and killed by drugs.”
They also called on authorities to launch “serious investigations and provide protection for the bishops under threat. Their lives are precious for the people they defend and for us who support them. Enough of the violence,” the bishops said.