Facts About Maranhão
Maranhão is the poorest State in Brazil. There is also the problem of Macumba in Brazil, which is African spirit worship. It came over with the slaves from Africa in the 1500’s and the slave owners let the slaves continue their religious practices. Today in Brazil 15 million Brazilians practice Macumba to some degree. It is a practical example of why God forbade His children, Israel, to practice the religious practices of the lands that they were conquering. Macumba is a mixture of Christian and voodoo elements. It involves spirit possession and animal and human sacrifices.
Some people even resist registering their babies when they are born because they will be used in human sacrifices in Macumba. Every year a child would get a cut across his/her back to purify his/her blood. After 7 cuts he/she is ready to be sacrificed and the father sometimes eats their hearts to protect the rest of his family. They do this in hopes of having a better life and appeasing some gods. One boy had 6 siblings, all of whom were sacrificed. He himself already had 6 cuts across his back. He was rescued from being sacrificed by some Christians living in the area. He is alive and safe today because of these people who cared about him.
Because of the extreme poverty most of the people there are also uneducated and many have never been to school. There are young mothers with as many as 7-8 children simply because they have no logical thinking about birth control or even a means of using any. So when the older children reach a certain age, usually somewhere around 12-13 years old, or in some cases even much younger, they are thrown out on the streets to fend for themselves because the family cannot support them anymore.
These young ones are in danger of getting into drugs; girls in danger of getting into prostitution at a young age or raped, or getting pregnant very young; boys are in danger of violence, crime, and drug addiction at a young age. Some live on the street voluntarily because the home situation is so bad, with many suffering terrible physical and or sexual abuse even from their very own fathers. Some go home at nights but spend the rest of their lives on the streets just to escape the awful situations in their own homes.