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Spiritism in Brazil
By:Lionel Owen

My name is Lionel Owen and I have lived in Rio for the past 7 years and have not so far been able to find a Spiritualist group.

There are a large number of Spiritist groups and many thousands of Spiritists in the country. Their religion is different from Spiritualism in a number of areas.

Firstly it is based solely upon the written works of the 19th Century French intellectual and psychic researcher known as Alan Kardec, whose chief works were "The Spirits Book" and "The Mediums Book". They have recently codified his works which for me makes their religious outlook much narrower than Spiritualism.

They not only believe in re-incarnation, which Spiritualists regard as unproven, but actively promote the idea.

Their mediumship focuses mainly on healing and the various forms of trance and over the years they have produced some outstanding healers and trance mediums like Chico Zavier, Divaldo Franco and now John of God.

They have huge healing and worship centres attended by many thousands every week. I have been to services where there have been 2,000 people attending!

They also claim to produce much physical phenomena, including Psychic Surgery, some of which is invasive (i.e. uses instruments) and some is non-invasive merely involving passes similar to the 'laying on of hands' that Spiritualist healers do.

Most of the physical phenomena takes place in closed circles restricted to Spiritists only. The Spiritists are very Christian also and that distinguishes them from most Spiritualist Groups except people like The Greater World Christian Spiritualist Assn. in Britain

There is an international Spiritist federation I understand which is run from Brasil and Spiritists from other countries, including Britain, the USA, France, Spain and the Fillipines attend their annual conferences. The largest Spiritist Centres in Brasil are in the city of Sao Paulo and they even have their own hospitals in the city and the state of Sao Paulo.

I hope the foregoing helps you to understand a little more about the Spiritist movement in Brasil.

In the light of the spirit,

Lionel