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Assembleias de Deus no Brasil

(1,094 words)

Author(s): Prien, Hans-Jürgen
1. History The history of the Pentecostal movement in Brazil, which is now its worldwide center, goes back to the year 1910, when the foundations were laid for the Congregação cristã do Brasil (CCB) and the Assembleias de Deus no Brasil (ADB), the largest Latin American Pentecostal church today. The CCB arose out of a split from the Presbyterian church in São Paulo, the ADB by a split from the Baptist church in Belém, to which two Swedish immigrants to the United States, Gunnar Vingren and Daniel …


(3,540 words)

Author(s): Prien, Hans-Jürgen | Streiter, Jochen | Trigo, Pedro
1. Country, Society, Economy The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela comprises three different geographic regions: the Andes to the west, forested in the valleys; the wide grassy plains (llanos) in the central part; and the Guiana mountains south of the Orinoco River. 1.1. On the foundation of approximately 12,000 Spanish immigrants, their black slaves (whose number is difficult to estimate; Slavery), and the original, native population, a “new people” of approximately 800,000 individuals was formed by 1810. In 1980 this population consis…

Latin America and the Caribbean

(8,817 words)

Author(s): Prien, Hans-Jürgen | Lampe, Armando
In current U.N. usage the “major area” (i.e., continent) “Latin America and the Caribbean” includes the entire continental landmass south of the United States, plus the collection of islands roughly enclosing the Caribbean Sea. Besides the Caribbean (also called the West Indies), this major area comprises the regions of Central America (here referring to the eight countries from Mexico south to Panama) and South America. 1. Latin America 1.1. Term “Latin America” was from the beginning a cultural-historical rather than a geographic term. Although the origin of t…

Persecution of Christians

(5,506 words)

Author(s): Kantzenbach, Friedrich Wilhelm | von Lilienfeld, Fairy | Prien, Hans-Jürgen | Marshall, Paul
1. Term The word “persecution” evokes a number of ideas, including opposition to the Christian shaping of society, hindrances to the exercise of the Christian religion, and the suppression and extirpation of people of Christian conviction. Similarly, there have ¶ been many events in Christian history in which Christians have suffered pressure of differing intensity and for different purposes. We cannot give a single definition of what may be recalled and recounted as persecution for the faith, for it covers the whole period from the p…


(2,560 words)

Author(s): Prien, Hans-Jürgen
¶ Nicaragua is the second largest of the eight countries considered by the United Nations to be part of “Central America” (after Mexico). Its population, however, is relatively small, giving it the second lowest population density (after Belize). 1. Colonial Age After the Spanish conquest (1523) the original inhabitants of Nicaragua suffered under the tyranny of various governors, including Pedrarías Dávila and Rodrigo de Contreras. By forced labor in the encomienda system (e.g., in agriculture and in gold mines; Latin America and the Caribbean 1.3), illegal enslav…


(2,106 words)

Author(s): Prien, Hans-Jürgen | Hurbon, Laënnec | Walker, Edwin S.
1. General Situation The Republic of Haiti is located in the western third of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. The country is mostly mountainous; the population of almost 8 million has a black majority and a mulatto minority. The great majority of Haitians are descendants of African slaves who, brought as a labor force by the Spaniards or (from 1659) the French (Slavery), replaced the original indigenous Indian inhabitants, who had been largely exterminated by the 16th century because of the cruelty of slavery and epidemics of European diseases. Hispaniola was discovered by Colu…


(3,443 words)

Author(s): Prien, Hans-Jürgen
1. Historical Conext 1.1. Peru is the heartland of one of the most important of the older American cultures, that of the Inca Empire, which stretched from modern Ecuador to Chile. The Inca language, Quechua, is still spoken by more than one-third of the people of Peru. The gruesome conquest, which began in 1532 under Francisco Pizarro (ca. 1475–1541), lasted until 1572, when the last Inca place of residence, Vilcambamba, was seized by the Spaniards and the Inca ruler, Tupac Amarú, was executed. Isabel Flores de Oliva from Lima (1586–1617), who became known by her self-chosen …

Costa Rica

(1,519 words)

Author(s): Meléndez, Guillermo | Prien, Hans-Jürgen
1. The Country and Its History Costa Rica is a Central American republic with neighbors Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. The people are mostly of Catalan, Basque, and Galician descent. The first Europeans arrived in Costa Rica in 1502, and within the century the area had become part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain (Colonialism). In 1821 Costa Rica and other parts of Central America joined Mexico in declaring their independence from Spain. It later joined the Central American Federation (1823), but not long after it left this association to become fully independent (1838). Earl…


(2,678 words)

Author(s): Prien, Hans-Jürgen | Zubillaga, Carlos | Costa, Néstor Da
Uruguay is a relatively small country situated in the southeast section of South America. It is bordered by Brazil (east and north) and Argentina (west) and has a large coastline on the Atlantic Ocean and the Río de la Plata (or River Plate, south and west). Its capital city, Montevideo, founded in 1724, has 47 percent of the total population. Overall, there is a high rate of urbanization (93 percent in 2003). 1. General Situation 1.1. Before European colonization, tribes of hunter-gatherers belonging to different native cultures lived in the southern region of the con…


(1,707 words)

Author(s): Prien, Hans-Jürgen | Aguiluz, Edwin | Mulholland, Kenneth
1. History, Society, Economy, State Honduras, a Central American republic, was first sighted by Columbus in 1502. It shares borders with Guatemala, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. Its coasts touch both the Caribbean Sea, often referred to as its Atlantic coast, and the Pacific Ocean. From the first millennium a.d. the western part of Honduras was inhabited by the Maya, who built Copán as one of their most impressive cult cities. The site of that city, however, had already decayed by the time the territory of the modern republic of Honduras becam…

Sublimis Deus

(808 words)

Author(s): Prien, Hans-Jürgen
In May and June 1537, Pope Paul III (1534–49) issued three important statements on the missionary situation in America (Mission 3.4): the bulls Sublimis Deus ( SD, also called Unigenitus and Veritas ipsa) and Altitudo divini consilii (ADC), along with Pastorale officium (PO), which served as an executing brief for SD. The bull ADC was of a legal and disciplinary nature, settling the strife about baptism between the Franciscans and Dominicans in Mexico. SD related to the debated issue of the humanity of the Indians and to the central economic problem of an emerging co…


(3,482 words)

Author(s): Prien, Hans-Jürgen
1. History, Society, Economy, and State P. A. Cabral (1467/68–1520) discovered Brazil for Portugal in 1500. The name came from its first export, brazilwood (from Sp. brasa, “live coals”), which was in demand on account of its red dye. After hesitant beginnings, the settlers expanded in the colonial period, and in the 19th and 20th centuries pushed far beyond the boundaries set by the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494. In 1822, under Pedro I (1822–31) of the house of Braganza, Brazil achieved total independence from Portugal…


(1,905 words)

Author(s): Prien, Hans-Jürgen | Persaud, Winston D.
1. History, Society, Economy, and State Guyana (officially The Co-operative Republic of Guyana), on the north coast of South America, is the only English-speaking country in the continent. Its capital is Georgetown, which in 1995 had an estimated population of 254,000. European settlement began in 1616–21 with the arrival of the Dutch West India Company. England took possession for the first time in 1796 but then returned the land to Holland in 1802. In 1814 it was partitioned among contending powers, with a commission awarding one par…

Panama Congress

(636 words)

Author(s): Prien, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] (1916). The American missions that had been working in Latin America for barely 50 years were disappointed by the refusal of the Edinburgh Conference (1910) to recognize the nominally Catholic subcontinent as a Protestant missionary field. At the 1913 Foreign Missions Conference in New ¶ York, the theological and political legitimacy of missionary work in Latin America was reinforced by the theological and moral deficiencies of the Roman Catholic Church. In the midst of World War I, the Committee on Cooperation in Latin Amer…

Oaxtepec Congress

(570 words)

Author(s): Prien, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] (1978), an assembly of churches of Latin America. Oaxtepec is an important step in the process of cooperation in Latin American Protestantism that began with the Congresses on Christian Work in Latin America (CCWLA), in 1916 in Panama (Panama Congress), in1925 in Montevideo, and in 1929 in Havana, and the foundation of National Councils of Churches. After World War II, when German immigrant churches had also joined the councils and a call arose for continental representation of th…

Bolivar, Simon

(222 words)

Author(s): Prien, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] (Jul 24, 1783, Caracas – Dec 17, 1830, near Santa Marta, Columbia) was the most important champion of the liberation of Spanish America from Spanish colonial rule. From 1810 to 1824, he effected the liberation of the territories of the modern states of Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia and there…

Trent, Council of

(3,646 words)

Author(s): Wohlmuth, Josef | Prien, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] I. History, Process, Results After a long chain of preceding events (Jedin, Geschichte, vol. I, 135ff.), the Council of Trent was inaugurated on Dec 13, 1545 in the cathedral of Trent – at the time a city of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nations – in the presence of 31 bishops. Pope Paul III, who had convoked the council on Nov 19, 1544, was represented by the three legates Giovanni Maria del Monte (Julius III), Marcellus Cervini, and R. Pole. The preparations proved highly inadequate. On J…

Brazilian Missions

(369 words)

Author(s): Prien, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] A republic was established in Brazil in 1889; the next year saw the separation of church and state. Since the elimination of China as a missionary field in 1949, Brazil has been a focus of North American missionary efforts and is a favorite experimental setting for the Institute for Church Growth in Pasadena. In 1970 more than 90% of Brazilians claimed to be Catholic; in 1998, when the population had grown to approx. 164 million, the figure was still 88%. Since ¶ the 1960s, the Roman Catholic Church has been trying to activate its me…

Consejo de Indias,

(250 words)

Author(s): Prien, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] Indian Council ( Consejo Real y Supremo de las Indias). Initially, the Casa de la Contratación (CC) had been founded in 1504 in Seville as the sole executive organ for American affairs. Gaspar de Gricio (died 1507) and Juan Rodríguez de Fonseca (died 1524), the bishops of Palencia, acted simultaneously as royal advisers for Indian affairs. In 1508, Lope de Conchillos was appointed secretary to Fonseca, whereupon a state bureaucratic authority responsible for all ¶ administrative matters gradually took shape. Functioning as a kind of office for Indian …

Mackay, John Alexander

(317 words)

Author(s): Prien, Hans-Jürgen
[German Version] (May 7, 1889, Inverness, Scotland – Jun 9, 1983, Hightstown, NJ), missionary to Latin America. Mackay studied philosophy and theology at Aberdeen and Princeton (1913–1915). His interest in missionary work brought him into contact with the Student Volunteer Movement and its leaders R. Speer, J. Mott, and S. Zwemer. Seeking ongoing dialogue between theology and culture, Mackay became acquainted with such figures as Miguel de Unamuno, who became his intellectual mentor and on whom he wrote his doctoral thesis. In 1916 the Free Church of Scotland sent him to Per…
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