flickr- Joao Victor
Brazilian prosecutors have requested the phrase "God be Praised" to be removed from the national currency, the Brazilian reais, for the sake of preserving the country's religious liberties.
Over 100 days since their request, the state of Sao Paulo hopes to print the new bills omitting the phrase.
Sao Paulo's state prosecutor argued that if Brazil is to consider itself a secular state it must be free of religious manifestations. He claimed that for the national currency to privilege one religion above others goes against the principles of equality.
Jefferson Dias, leader of this initiative and regional prosecutor for civil rights, explained that the principal objective is to protect the religious liberty of all citizens. He said that a national majority of Christian believers does not justify violating the fundamental rights of Brazilians who are not believers in God.
The proposal has been met with opposition from Christian, Catholic and Evangelical groups.
The timing of the move is considered especially aggravating by some religious groups, given that Brazil is to host a visit from Pope Benedict XVI later on in the year.