High tea

When law and religious practice conflict
What are the limits of religious freedom? The Supreme Court will take up that recurrent question on November 1 when it hears arguments in a case involving O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal, a small sect that blends Christianity with South American spiritism. As a central act of their faith, UDV members ingest a tea called hoasca, brewed by mixing two plants unique to the Amazon basin (uniao do vegetal is Portuguese for “union of the plants”). They believe that hoasca connects them to God.


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