A country of two halves

12 June 2014 | by Jan Rocha and Francis McDonagh

This month, all eyes are on Brazil playing host to the beautiful game. In the first of two articles, we consider the extremes and contradictions of the country: its wealth and poverty, beauty and degradation, Catholicism and Pentecostalism Brazil has largely avoided the religious, ethnic and racial conflicts that tear other countries apart. This melting pot of indigenous, African, European and Asian peoples has, most of the time, worked. Except for a few thousand of the more remote indigenous communities, everyone speaks one language, Portuguese. The borders are peaceful; the last time Brazil went to war with a neighbour was in 1865 against Paraguay, and since then it has ­settled all disputes through diplomacy. It is the only nation in the BRIC group, that collection of countries &n

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