What I Learned about Peru’s Religious Climate on My Study Abroad Trip

Juicy Ecumenism | 3/13/2018 | Esther Chung
DebraS (Posted by) Level 3
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Two weeks ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to visit Peru, one of the most beautiful countries in South America. The trip was part of Pepperdine University’s international study tour. The landscape was absolutely breathtaking. I could not help but praise God’s amazing work. The hills and rivers glorified His name, and I was in a constant state of awe. I imagined that Peruvians live in a constant state of praise too. Unfortunately, the current religious climate of Peru is not so cheerful.

During the trip, I was privileged to talk with several locals and also native Peruvian Dr. Nina Balmaceda, who is currently the professor of Latin American Politics at Pepperdine. After talking with Dr. Balmaceda and several locals, I realized the Christian faith in Peru was largely attached to culture, rather than conviction. In addition, many Peruvians’ Christian teaching is mixed with indigenous religious practices.

Balmaceda - Churches - Peru - Sentiment - Secularism

Balmaceda explained to me that there are evangelical churches in Peru, but there is a growing sentiment of secularism. Religion is a diminishing facet among social life. A growing number of younger people have strayed away from the Church and rather take it as something of the past and sometimes are even hostile to religion. To them, religion is skeptically viewed as something used to manipulate others.

This caused me to reflect on the similarities between Peru and my own American community in need of the truth in love. Like so many of my American neighbors, Peruvians are in desperate need of the Gospel.

Balmaceda - Women - Victims - Harassment - Assault

Balmaceda informed me that many Peruvian women are victims of sexual harassment, assault, or domestic violence. According to Balmaceda, there...
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