Inside a Santeria Feast Day
A suburban Dallas Santeria feast ceremony
Santeria is a religion practiced by one to five million people in the United States; still, because of its clandestine nature, estimates of practitioners of the Afro-Cuban religion vary widely. Some Euless residents were shocked to learn that the religion was practiced in their neighborhood -- especially the part about animal sacrifice. A nearly three-year legal battle between Jose Merced and the city of Euless ensued, which helped lead to this week's cover story, "Blood Offering," in the paper version of Unfair Park
The case was ultimately heard by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and decided in Merced's favor. But all is not quiet again in the sleepy neighborhood: The city still has the option to appeal to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Merced has resumed his religion's practices.
As an online extra, we're including photographs in this slide show, shot inside Merced's home on the day after 40 animals were sacrificed to the Santeria gods. The animals have been cooked and prepared, and it's a day of celebration and feast.