Republic of South America, on the western coast.
Spanish explorers and conquerors in the 16th century brought with them missionaries; five Dominicans arrived in 1532, and one of them, Father Vicente de Valverde, became Bishop of Cuzco with jurisdiction over all the conquered territory of a large region.
He was assassinated by Indians in 1541.
Other missionaries of various societies, including Franciscans, Augustinians, Brothers of Mercy, and Jesuits, soon established churches, schools; and monasteries for men and for women.
In 1546 Father Pedro de La Gasca was sent to act as arbitrator to end the civil war which had raged for several years; he succeeded in making peace and in establishing reforms to restrict the colonists in their oppression of the natives.
In 1577 the Jesuits in Peru founded a school for the training of missionaries in the native dialects, and they established the first printing press in South America.
The second Bishop of Lima was Saint Toribio de Mogrovejo, a heroic missionary; two other saints of early Peruvian history were Saint Rose of Lima, and Saint Francis Solanus.
The War of Independence, 1820-1826, was followed by several civil wars and by boundary disputes which have not yet been settled.
The Constitution of 1920 grants liberty to all religions.
The Catholic Faith is recognized as the State religion, and churches and convents are owned and partly supported by the State.
Ecclesiastically the country is governed by the archdioceses of
the dioceses of
- Ayacucho o Huamanga
the territorial prelatures of
- Tacna y Moquegua
the vicariates apostolic of
- Jaén en Peru o San Francisco Javier
- Puerto Maldonado
- San José de Amazonas
- San Ramón
- Peruvian Military Ordinariate
New Catholic Dictionary