Latin America - religion
About 90% of Latin America's population belongs to the Roman Catholic
Church. In practice, there are many places of blending of the original forms of
belief, such as shamanism, and Christianity. According to
Brazil is the largest country in South America.
Catholic mission was in line with the Spanish and Portuguese conquest of the
continent. The Spanish king formally governed the Catholic Church in the
Spanish-occupied territories, but the church quickly developed its independence,
gained its own courts and large tracts of land. Often, there was a conflict over
competencies between the crown and the church.
The people of the church appeared as part of the often harsh colonization, in
which the Indians were forced to work for a landowner and forced
Christian. Early groups or individuals objected to the abuse; "Aren't the
Indians then humans?", A Dominican monk preached as early as 1511. A Franciscan,
Jacobo Daciano ('from Denmark', d. 1567), demanded that the Indians should
receive the sacraments, ie. considered human. He himself handed them the
communion (the sacrament), but did not heed his claim that they might also
become priests. The Spanish Dominican Bartolomé de las Casas had a great
influence on the more humane "new laws" of 1542. The Catholic orders prevailed
in the mission work, first the Franciscans, Dominicans and Augustinian emitters,
from the 1560s, as well as the Jesuits, who in very closed mission colonies,
the reducciones, in Paraguay protected
the Indians from the colonizers; The Jesuits were expelled by Latin America in
When the colonies became independent states in the early 1800s, the church
was temporarily weakened. The owned land, and church leaders could therefore be
perceived as colonial landlords who had to be fought during the independence
struggle. Especially in Mexico, anti-clericalism was rampant.
The importation of slaves from West Africa followed African cult forms, which
helped to form new forms of mixing in America.
The duplicity of the church's role in Latin America is also seen in the
second half of the 1900s, where the church has occasionally been in alliance
with monastic regimes. Most significant, however, is the theology of liberation,
whose practical work for the poor and oppressed has at times been supported by
the pope, in others criticized. Only Fidel Castro's communist Cuba can be called
direct church hostility among Latin American countries in recent times; In the
mid-1990s, however, Castro made an approximation, and the pope visited Cuba in
1998. In 1900-t. Protestant movements, often of a more fundamentalist nature,
have spread through missions from the United States in particular.