Indigenist Missionary Council (CIMI)

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Indigenist Missionary Council (CIMI)

Indigenist Missionary Council (Conselho Indigenista Missionário—CIMI) was founded in 1972 by the Catholic bishops of Brazil to defend the rights of Brazilian Indians. In a reversal of the former view of how missionary effort should be directed, CIMI has seen as its primary duty not the conversion of Indians to Christianity but the conversion of the wider society to a recognition of the Indians' right to self-determination. The council has worked in support of the Indians' cultural distinctiveness, and has aided their efforts to regain and secure traditional lands. CIMI has denounced acts of violence against and economic exploitation of Indians, and has assisted Indian leaders in setting up their own organizations and in defining common problems and strategies.

See alsoCatholic Church: The Modern Period; Indian Policy, Brazil; Missions: Brazil.


Thomas C. Bruneau and W. E. Hewett, "Catholicism and Political Action in Brazil: Limitations and Prospects," in Conflict and Competition: The Latin American Church in a Changing Society, edited by Edward R. Cleary and Hannah Stewart-Gambino (1992), pp. 45-62.

Judith R. Shapiro, "Ideologies and Catholic Missionary Practice in a Post-Colonial Era," in Comparative Studies in Society and History, vol. 23, no. 1 (1981), pp. 130-149, and "From Tupã to the Land Without Evil: The Christianization of Tupi-Guarani Cosmology," in American Ethnologist 14 (1987): 125-133.

Additional Bibliography

Luz, Lídia. Outros 500: Construindo uma nova história. Sâo Paulo: Editoria Salesiana, 2001.

                                    Nancy M. Flowers