Guyana - (América del Sur)

Información sobre Guyana

214970 kilómetros cuadrados
Christian 50%, Hindu 33%, Muslim 9%, other 8%
Cristianos (%)
Protestantes (%)
Reformados (%)

The first Europeans settled in present-day Guyana after the arrival of the Dutch West India Company in 1616. It became a Dutch colony in 1621, but was taken by the English in 1796. The area soon became an object of disputes between several countries. In 1815 the Congress of Vienna confirmed the division of Guyana between England (later British Guyana), Holland (Surinam), and France (Cayenne). The partition was ratified by the Paris Agreement of 1899; but there is still a claim from Venezuela over 140,000 km² of territory taken by Great Britain in 1841. Until the 1830s sugar cane and 110,000 black slaves made up the wealth of Guyana. The abolition of slavery in 1834, the dropping of sugar cane prices, and the subsequent need to compensate with the cultivation of rice and coffee prompted planters to bring hired laborers into the country. Between 1846 and 1917 over 240,000 workers where hired from India alone. The first serious autonomy movement came in 1949 with the PPP (People’s Progress Party). In 1961 Great Britain granted internal autonomy to the country; riots and bloodshed followed in 1963/64. Guyana became independent in 1966 but remained a member of the British Commonwealth. Since 1980 Guyana is a ”cooperative Republic in transition from capitalism to socialism.” About 90% of the population of Guyana live solely on the 20-30-km-wide coastal area. Guyana is also the last country in the Caribbean region where one can still find a few small communities of true descendants of the indigenous people whom Christopher Columbus met in the 15th century.
Christian mission work was started in 1657 by the Capuchins. It took a century and a half before a RCath diocese could be established. In the 17th century Dutch Ref churches and missions, especially the Netherlandse Hervormde Kerk (NHK), spread to Brazil, Curaçao, and what would become Surinam. They arrived in Guyana in the 1620s, soon to be followed by the Brethren (the latter were almost exterminated in 1763 by rebelling black slaves). The first Dutch Ref church building in Guyana was erected in 1720. The Dutch Reformed Church, together with the Angl Church, became a state church supported financially through colonial taxes. When Great Britain took over the country from the Dutch, it withdrew its financial support from the Dutch Reformed Church and confined subsidies to Presb and Angl. The Dutch Reformed Church was therefore bound to disappear; the NHK had furthermore not permitted blacks and Indians to become members, so its membership was slowly absorbed by Presb and Angl churches. By 1860 there were no Ref congr left in Guyana.
A Presb presence dates back to the arrival in 1766 of planters from Scotland. It became vocal through the Scottish Presb Lachal Cuming, also called the “Patriarch of Scotland in Guyana.” A Presb Missionary Society was formed in 1860 to evangelize the East Indians. Canadian Presb cooperated in this venture. They concentrated their work among East Indians, teaching them in English.



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