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Franco ruled Spain between 1939 and 1975, after he and other officers led a military insurrection against the Spanish democratic government in 1936, a move that started a three-year civil war. A staunch Catholic, he viewed the war and ensuing dictatorship as something of a religious crusade against anarchist, leftist and secular tendencies in Spain. His authoritarian rule, along with a profoundly conservative Catholic Church, ensured that Spain remained virtually isolated from political, industrial and cultural developments in Europe for nearly four decades.
SANTA ROSA, Brazil — At dusk in this small indigenous village, Antelmo Pereira calls Catholics to prayer, changes into a white robe and leads a religious service that is the closest thing the faithful in this remote part of the Amazon can get to a proper Mass.