Date: December 2008
Creator: Lakpassa, Komlan Daholega
Description: Gods, Have Merced! chronicles the struggle of Jose Merced, a Santeria priest, with the city of Euless, Texas, where he has been residing for 17 years in an effort to overrule an ordinance that bans the most critical element of his faith: animal sacrifice. As the city officials justify the ban on the basis of public health, Merced thinks he is merely a victim of selective code enforcement aimed a restricting his freedom of religion. Local and national media covered the lawsuit he filed against the City of Euless, and Merced seems ready to take the fight over animal sacrifice to the United States Supreme Court. He wants American justice to give his African-originated religion recognized in a city where people seem uneasy about a practice that brings back the historic fears of Voodoo and its popularly assumed malefic practices. The film explores the complex structure of Santeria, its African roots, its renaissance in the Americas and the very controversial issue of animal sacrifice in the US.
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