How a required religion took hold in Peru

 

In Lima square
Standing in the main square in Lima, Peru

Lima, Peru, Sunday, September 23, 2018 — Francisco Pizarro probably never worried about whether he had a right to conquest Peru or how the Catholic religion would fit into what he did there. But before he garroted Atahualpa, the Inca leader, in 1533, the debate had been waged for 20 years in Spain.

According to John Hemming’s book, “The Conquest of the Incas,” Pope Alexander had divided the lands new to the Europeans by giving Spain most of South America and Portugal got Africa and Brazil. Some interpreted that as where the Europeans could spread their faith. Others argued that invasion for wealth was just fine. So proselytizing and profits entered these lands together along with something called the Requirement, the result of the decades-old debate.

This document was to be read to those about to die unless they agreed to acknowledge the Catholic church and the Pope, accept the king of Spain as their ruler and allow the Christian faith to be preached there. If not, the Spaniards could “‘do all the harm and damage that we can,’ including the enslavement of wives and children, and robbery of possessions.” And, get this, “And we protest that the deaths and losses which shall result from this are your fault.”

 

Courtyard
Courtyard in the Museo del Convento Santo Domingo

Which brings us to the Museo del Convento Santo Domingo off the main square in Lima, Peru. Our Alexander + Roberts guide, Sheila, told us that 500 monks once lived there. Now, there are 12.

“These numbers are dropping all over the world,” she said.

Probably true given some of the problems facing the church today, but this forced-down religion took hold here with 80 percent of the population identifying themselves as Catholic.

KT covering
Kathy covering up like ladies did in the 16th Century

Sheila says that the Catholic church succeeds in Peru by mixing itself with nature (later evidence of that in a later blog post). Yakelin, who will be our A + R guide in Cusco and Machu Picchu, high in the Andean region, says that about 50 percent of the people there practice both some Inca religion along with their Catholicism. Given that the Inca empire mostly occupied the highland area, it’s probably not surprising that the native religion remains in some part.

The Convent of Santo Domingo has a library I want, mosaics for my walls and a courtyard to match. If not, I will do all the harm and damage that I can. Losses which shall result from this are your fault.

Library
The library at the Museo del Convento Santo Domingo
Mosaics
Mosaics at the convent.
Moorish
Lots of Moorish influence from Spain in this building
Floor
Entry floor

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s