An Overview of Lima

Lima was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535, as la Ciudad de los Reyes, or “the City of Kings.” It became the capital and most important city in the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru. Following the Peruvian War of Independence, it became the capital of the Republic of Peru. Today, around one-third of the Peruvian population lives in the metropolitan area (source).

Lima is home to one of the oldest higher learning institutions in the New World. The National University of San Marcos, founded on May 12, 1551 during Spanish colonial regime, is the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas (source).

Lima has a population of 7,443,000 and is the capital and largest city in Peru. Political and economic instability during the latter half of the twentieth century created unprecedented poverty and violence in the rural highlands, forcing thousands of campesinos (peasant farmers) to migrate to Lima looking for work and a better life. Today, more than one-third of Lima’s population lives in shantytowns, locally known as pueblos jóvenes, many of which lack such basic services as electricity and running water. There continues to be widespread underemployment in Peru and 54% live under the poverty line (source).

Religion in Peru

Most of Peru’s population is Roman Catholic (81.3%), while only a small fraction is considered evangelical Christian (12.5%) (source).

The Catholic religion in Peru is considered an inheritance from the Spanish conquest. Since the 16th century, however, expressions of the native religion, based on the cult of the Sun, the Pachamama (Mother Earth), and elements of nature, have also been present.

Peru has Protestant churches that are the fruit of the work of North American and European missionaries. It also has Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Adventists, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, and Hare Krishnas. Religions have also arisen from the present time, like the group Israelitas del Nuevo Pacto (Israelis of the New Pact), the Movimiento de la Nueva Era (the Movement of the New Era) and other groups that have responded to the needs of people to fill the spaces that the last century left within. Religious activity in Peru is important, and for many people, one of the “centers of energy” in the world is the city of the Cusco (source).

Vision has four missionary families serving in Peru–Chris & Andria Gardner, David & Katie Gardner, Jeremy & Bekah Hall, and Miguel & Liz Muriillo. The harvest, however, still is plenteous, and the laborers are few. Would you pray that God would send more laborers to this city and country to lift His name high?

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