Anitta Defends Santería in ‘Aceita’ Amidst Losing Thousands of Followers for Sharing About Her Religious Beliefs 

Anitta Defends Santería in ‘Aceita’ Amidst Losing Thousands of Followers for Sharing About Her Religious Beliefs 
Credit Gabi De Morais

Brazilian singer Anitta has stirred controversy with her latest music video “Aceita,” which showcases elements of Santería, specifically a Yoruba-style spiritual cleansing and shell reading. This depiction has led to a significant backlash, including the loss of thousands of followers on her social media platforms. However, Anitta has not remained silent in the face of criticism. Instead, she has defended her artistic choice and religious freedom. 

Santería, a religion with deep roots in Afro cultures and particularly influential in Brazil and the Caribbean, predates the arrival of European colonizers. It is a syncretic religion, blending African spiritual traditions, especially those of the Yoruba people, with elements of Roman Catholicism introduced by the colonizers. The beliefs and practices of this religion and other Afro religions have been woven into the fabric of Latino culture for centuries. 

Anitta Is Standing Her Ground

As people continued to misunderstand her, Anitta took to Instagram, sharing videos and photos depicting the traditional styles of Santería, including showcasing beads and shells. She addressed her critics directly, stating, “When I receive messages of repudiation and religious intolerance, I do not feel divine energy emanating towards me, I feel the opposite energy. I have faith, I am not afraid.” 

Anitta’s words highlight her commitment to her faith and her passion for diverse spiritual expressions. “In my new music video, there are images of various types of beliefs. I feel a profound passion for different manifestations of faith, different ways of connecting with the spirit,” she explained. “In none of them do I feel that when we die we will be punished and judged. I feel that we will go wherever is vibrating on the same frequency as my spirit. And here, in this life, my commitment to myself is to vibrate at the highest frequency of light that I can.” 

Santería Has Always Been Around

While European colonizers have significantly shaped many religions practiced by Latinos today, Santería represents a pre-colonial spiritual heritage that continues to thrive. This spiritual tradition has not only survived but has also become an integral part of the cultural and religious landscape in countries like Brazil, where African and Indigenous cultures have deeply influenced the local identity. 

In her call for tolerance and mutual respect, Anitta said, “I do not want to punish or judge any of the people who are attacking me right now for exposing my religion. I want them to follow the path of evolution. Each at their own time. If we keep demanding that others think the same as you, if we continue being intolerant, if we do not learn to give up one thing or another in the name of peace, finding a middle ground, our world will end up in war, killing each other to be right at the end of the argument.” 

Anitta’s stance has sparked a broader debate on social media. Many support her call for freedom of expression and religious acceptance, applauding her courage and commitment to her beliefs. Yet, there are still those who criticize her, reflecting the ongoing tensions and misunderstandings surrounding diverse religious practices. Some are even calling her a “bruja,” which is extremely ignorant.  

Will you be listening to ‘Aceita?’ 

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