[map of Brazil] Independent republic of central South America; area, 3,286,173 square miles. Conversion of the Indians began under the Jesuit missionaries who accompanied Thome de Sousa in 1549; they were followed by many more and later joined by Benedictines, Carmelites, and Franciscans. Catholicism was the official religion until 1890, when Church and State were separated, and equal recognition given to all religions. The country is represented at the Holy See by an ambassador, and a papal nuncio besides at Rio de Janeiro.

Archdioceses, past and present, include Dioceses, past and present, include: Territorial Prelatures include: Other ecclesiastical designators: See also:
New Catholic Dictionary

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