[map of Paraugay] [flag of Paraguay] Republic of South America, in the southern central part, between Bolivia, Brazil, and Argentina. Before the middle of the 16th century Franciscan missionaries accompanied the Spanish explorers and conquerors, and later Saint Francis Solanus was one of those who preached in this region and made many converts among the Indians. The Jesuits were active there in the 17th and 18th centuries until their expulsion in 1767. The country was under Spanish rule until 1811, when independence was declared. By the Constitution of 1870 the Congress is declared powerless to forbid the exercise of any religion; the Catholic Faith is recognized as the chief religion of the nation; and the organization of the Church is partly supported and partly controlled by the. State.

Ecclesiastically the country is governed by the archdiocese of the dioceses of the vicariates apostolic of and the See also
New Catholic Dictionary

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