Peru - (South America)

Information about Peru

1285216 square kilometres
Roman Catholic majority 89.6% in 1981), rapidly growing Prot minorities (5% in 1984)
Christian (%)
Protestant (%)
Reformed (%)

Prot witness in Peru began in the early 19th century with the struggle for liberation from Spain. In 1822 James Thomson, a representative of the British and Foreign Bible Society, started a number of schools with the help of the political authorities. Angl worked among the English-speaking residents and among seamen (1849). Meth evangelism led to the foundation of a Meth church in 1890. Other groups followed (Advent 1906, Salvation Army 1910, Pent 1922, Bapt 1927). The earliest Reformed effort came from independent evangelists who aligned themselves in 1897 with the British missionary society Regions Beyond Missionary Union (RBMU). Its most dynamic representative was John Ritchie, a Scottish Presb who came to Peru in 1906 (+1952). Around the same time efforts by other Reformed groups were undertaken. In 1911 the Evangelical Union of South America (EUSA), based in London, and a few years later the Christian and Missionary Alliance (CMA), based in New York, began to send missionaries to the country.
Out of the RBMU work grew the Iglesia Evangélica Peruana (IEP), established largely through the efforts of John Ritchie. For a long time EUSA and CMA worked closely with the IEP, but in the ’50s increasing tensions between national leaders and missionaries led to conflicts. This resulted in the withdrawal of the CMA from the IEP and the formation of a separate church — the Iglesia Alianza Cristiana y Misionera (ACM).
Through Scottish and American initiative two Presb churches came into existence — the Iglesia Evangélica Presbiteriana del Peru and the Iglesia Nacional Presbiteriana. Since 1940, 75% of all Prot are federated through the National Evangelical Council of Peru (CONEP). The largest and fastest growing group is the Pent.


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