After reading these primary sources regarding the removal and prohibition of idolatry in Peru, I conclude that the measures taken by the Holy Church were against the traditions of these communities. They were antagonizing the long-standing ways of living of indigenous people through direct interventions and prevention of any worship that might have occurred out of habit as much as out of true faith. Indeed, Indian traditions were sins in the eyes of God, yet such strict control over one’s life could not achieve the adoption of True Faith. Indians were prohibited not only from communing with their gods but from holding traditional local celebrations and showing respect to their dead (De Arriaga, 1998). This approach can only lead to a failure of integration of local communities, putting the cohesiveness of local communities at stake.
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These documents provide an in-depth look into the methods that the Church has employed against other religious beliefs in the past. These primary sources can serve as a summary of methods employed by the Church that failed to integrate non-believers by antagonizing them instead. Moreover, these documents reveal many methods of worship for Indian gods and spirits called huacas, giving a solid foundation for their discussion (De Arriaga, 1998). These sources also reveal the complexity of lawful regulations for religious crimes of that time alongside attempts to replace one’s religious traditions with those of other civilizations. A research paper may analyze these sources to present religious laws and persecution of pagan believers by the Spanish Church. In conclusion, these documents provide an overview of anti-idolatry methods used by the Church after the conquest by Spain, and they can be used in discussions of inappropriate approaches to religious conversion.
De Arriaga, P. J. (1998). The extirpation of idolatry in Peru (L. C. Keating, Trans.). University Press of Kentucky.