|The Church of the Eagle and the Condor and Chacruna Institute are collaborating to carve out a path for churches who have had their sacrament seized by CBP to request a return of their medicine and create a legal process to return the sacrament to its rightful owner – the churches themselves. Our goal is to set a reliable and consistent precedent for churches that use ayahuasca as their sacrament under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Specifically, this project will:
– Petition the government to acknowledge the legitimacy of Indigenous traditional practice of sacred ayahuasca ceremony, focusing specifically on the example of the Church of the Eagle and the Condor.
– Uncover the mechanism and justification for the seizures of ayahuasca at the border by submitting a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to Customs and Border Patrol. The information we uncover will be made public, which will illuminate the legal situation regarding ayahuasca for churches across the United States.
– Petition Customs and Border Patrol to establish a process to return seized sacrament to churches that are trying to import sacrament from outside of the country. If successful, our goal is that this process will be utilized by churches who are also seeking the return of their sacrament after seizure.
By working toward and achieving these outcomes, the Church of the Eagle and the Condor is taking the lead – at considerable risk – to be a beacon for other communities dealing with infringement of their religious freedoms.