Indigenous leaders in Brazil warn of missionaries turning Amazon villages against vaccines

“Religious fundamentalists and evangelical missionaries are preaching against the vaccine,” said Dinamam Tuxá, a leader of APIB, Brazil’s largest indigenous organization.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Medical teams working to immunize Brazil’s remote indigenous villages against the coronavirus have encountered fierce resistance in some communities where evangelical missionaries are stoking fears of the vaccine, say tribal leaders and advocates.

On the São Francisco reservation in the state of Amazonas, Jamamadi villagers sent health workers packing with bows and arrows when they visited by helicopter this month, said Claudemir da Silva, an Apurinã leader representing indigenous communities on the Purus river, a tributary of the Xingú.

“It’s not happening in all villages, just in those that have missionaries or evangelical . . .

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