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Catholicism Prevalent Latin America

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Catholicism has been prevalent in Latin America and it has played an ultimate part in the growth and development in Latin America. Catholicism has lent a hand to impel the colonization of the New World where it focused on religious convictions to the indigenous population, dominated several portions of its imposing economy, and took part in its major roles in different Latin American countries the fight for sovereignty. The role the Catholic Church played in Latin America offered a brief but yet extensive and broad mixture of the churches' position beginning with the initial connection of the Iberians and indigenous inhabitant, before 1492 where the indigenous population of Latin America worshipped the mystic and other deities of character and norms. Many of the inhabitants faith and beliefs were intermingled the Indians and their gods and the Catholicism; then with the Spanish in 1492 and the inhabitants of Latin America. The Spanish begin a different ethical set of laws, baptism, the Mass, original ideals of good and evil, the idea of Heaven and Hell, the Virgin and saints, a new constitution of the family and the ideal of the crucified Christ. The arrival of the Church in the New World got rid of human sacrifice and cannibalism. Christian ideals were forced upon the inhabitants of Latin America (Smith, G.)

The evolvements of the Catholic religion had to change as society change, the views on sex on sex, other methods of birth control, and abortion all had to be looked at. Other religions has been accepted in Latin American countries, thus the native populations are establishing their culture and norms outside the Catholic religion. (Cevallos).

The position of the Catholic Church played a vital part as the guardian of civil society during eras of right-wing authoritarian rule, as well as undertaking a vigorous part to encourage the formation of a democratic system. (Smith, G.)

The chief influence that the Catholic Church had during that period was simplicity, the belief in one God

Christianity and Catholicism was a compelling religion, forcing the ideology of faith and beliefs to the inhabitants of Latin America. With the exploitation of the inhabitants came slavery which was a take-over for the church. With exploitation comes power and richness, they became the privileged and influential. Churches ideal submerged indigenous art, they were forced to dwell as a less important people in the social structure and finally were servants of the Spanish king and members of the Church's group


AIU Online (2010). HUMA215: Unit 4: Development of Latin American Societies. [Multimedia presentation]. Retrieved July 4, 2010, from AIU Online Virtual Campus. Topics in Cultural Studies: HUMA215-1003A-01 website

Cevallos, D. (2005, May 6). IPS: Indigenous Peoples Divided By Faith. Retrieved July 4, 2010,



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