Religious Practitioners and Traditional Healers

Religious organizations, leaders, local healers, and other representatives of a religious faith may have significant influence related to behaviors and beliefs of members of that faith.  Historically, there are many examples of belief systems, including the world’s major religions, that have created and/or exacerbated leprosy stigma. This best practice, described by representatives of the organization MORHAN, involved reaching out to local Catholic and evangelical churches, terreiros (Candomblé or Umbanda centers), and spiritual centers. It focused on training primarily women of influence in these churches to recognize the early symptoms of leprosy among people in their religious communities.