About country profiles

The country profiles are intended to provide some background and context for the descriptions of the churches. These profiles should be read in conjunction with those of the churches in the country.

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Surface area:652200 km2
GNI per capita:2360 US$
Classification:Developing economy






Christian: 97.00%


Catholics: 26355003

Protestants: 2013820

Orthodox: 6300

Anglicans: 1700

Independent: 1301300

(double affiliation)
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Peru was home to various indigenous cultures and later to the Inca empire. The Spanish conquered it in 1532 and exploited the gold and silver mines. Lima became the political and economic centre of the region for several centuries. The Catholic Church established an archbishopric in Lima as early as 1546. Peru declared its independence in 1821. Together with Bolivia, it was involved in the War of the Pacific with Chile, from 1879-83. In the second half of the 20th century Peru experienced successively a progressive military regime, bloody attacks by the "Shining Path" guerilla, its repression with massive killings and human rights abuses, and democratically elected but corrupt governments, which were unable to respond to the expectations of the people. The country is rich in mineral resources and produces oil, but its leaders have not succeeded in building a sound and equitable economy. The Andinos, who make up almost half of the population, are the poorest, living in the urban slums and in the mountain areas. Protestant missions began in Peru in the 19th century. Evangelical, Pentecostal, and Holiness churches have grown rapidly in the 20th century, especially among the Andinos. Many of these are members of the National Evangelical Council of Peru. Some of largest churches are the Seventh-day Adventists, the Evangelical Church of Peru, and the Assemblies of God (Pentecostal). Together, the Evangelicals and Pentecostals/Charismatics represented about 12 percent of the Christians in Peru in 2005. The WCC cooperates with several ecumenical groups.


Ecumenical Organizations and Councils

WCC member churches based in Peru

WCC member churches present in Peru

Note: The list of churches present in countries is still in development.

Last updated: 01/01/06