Peru Religion

Peru Religion

Religious freedom prevails and Catholic Christianity is the dominant religion. However, a large proportion of Christians practice a religion that mixes Catholic beliefs with rituals from traditional Native American natural religions.

Eight out of ten Peruvians claim to be Roman Catholic professors, but for the past twenty years the Catholic Church has lost followers to missionary evangelical and Protestant communities. Above all, the Protestant communities have won souls among the urban poor. In 1993 the proportion of Catholics was 89 percent and the proportion of Protestants was almost 7 percent. At the 2017 census, the ratio was 76 and 14 percent, respectively. Otherwise, 5 percent identified themselves as non-believers while the remainder belonged to other Christian communities or “other religions”.

In practice, about a third of Catholics practice a religion that is a mixture of elements from Catholicism and rituals from traditional natural religions. You stay well with both the Virgin Mary, the saints and the priests in the church as well as with the protective gods of nature, to whom you sacrifice spirits, cook leaves and corn. This mixed religion is especially common among the indigenous peoples of the highlands.

A minority of the indigenous people profess to traditional religions. To them are many aymara living around Lake Titicaca.

In 1980, the church was separated from the state, but the Catholic church is favored through tax benefits and in school education. Bishops and priests enjoy great respect in society as well as nuns. Their counterpart in the indigenous peoples is called shamans or brujos / curanderas.

The leadership of the Catholic Church in Peru has at times belonged to the more radical. Pastor Gustavo Gutiérrez was one of the originators of the so-called liberation theology formulated in the 1950s. According to Marxist-inspired theology, it is the duty of every Christian to act politically and socially for the benefit of the poor and oppressed.

Peru Population Pyramid 2020

  • Countryaah: Population statistics for 2020 and next 30 years in Peru, covering demographics, population graphs, and official data for growth rates, population density, and death rates.



“The most serious crisis”

17th of June

The economy shrank by more than 40 percent in April due to the corona pandemic, new figures show. Not least, the important mining industry was hit hard. Mining resumed in May. President Martín Vizcarra talks about “the most serious crisis in our history”.

Many cops kill in covid-19

June 11

At least 170 police officers are now estimated to have died in covid-19, the Interior Ministry said. In total, nearly 10,000 police officers are estimated to have been infected, mainly during work to get people to comply with quarantine regulations (see also April 24, 2020). Peru is second only to Brazil, the hardest hit country in Latin America during the pandemic, with over 200,000 coronary cases and 6,000 dead.


Third police chief in ten days

May 5th

A corruption investigation linked to medical material during the corona crisis leads to the appointment of the third police chief in ten days. Héctor Loayza is quickly promoted to general in order to become a police chief. Large parts of the police force in the country are suspected of interference in this case, which according to media relates to more than $ 2 million in purchases. The State Prosecutor initiated the investigation at the end of April after 15 notifications concerning the purchase of mouthguards, hand spirit, gloves and other protective material, at what are stated to be overprices.

Keiko Fujimori is released again

May 4th

Opposition leader Keiko Fujimori is allowed to leave the detention again (see January 2020), after a court has given a clearance to release her against the $ 20,000 bail. Fujimori requested to be released from custody because of concerns about being infected by the coronavirus in the Lima women’s prison where she was being held, but the court cited for other reasons.


The Interior Minister resigns following corona criticism

April 24

Interior Minister Carlos Morán resigns after being criticized for not providing police with protective gear during the corona pandemic. Around 1,300 police officers have been confirmed to be infected by the coronavirus and at least 17 have died. The police officers who have been employed to ensure that the strict quarantine rules are complied with work without oral protection or extra access to healthcare. Morán is the second minister to resign since the country was placed in the Corona Quarantine. The first was Health Minister Elizabeth Hinostroza.

Prisoners are released for corona

April 23

The government announces that around 3,000 prisoners will be released prematurely from Peru’s prisons because of the ongoing corona pandemic. Among those covered by the amnesty are people who have been sentenced to shorter sentences or only have a short time to serve as well as pregnant women, people with children under the age of three and people over 70. Several interns have died in covid-19 and two have also died in connection with riots in a prison, triggered by concern for the pandemic.

Gender difference in quarantine rules

April 3

The rules for the current quarantine are tightened so that women and men can only leave home on separate days. Men may go out Monday, Wednesday and Friday, while Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday will be women’s days. On Sundays no one is allowed to go out. The purpose of the division is to halve the number of people who are out at a time, thus reducing the spread of the corona virus. After a week, gender segregation is withdrawn, but only one person per household is allowed to go out per day and the ban on Sundays remains.


Private vehicles are banned in the streets

March 26

A ban is imposed on passenger cars to roll on the streets, in a new tightening of rules due to the corona virus. Full curfew prevails at night and the streets are patrolled by police and military.

Mass arrests in the footsteps of restrictions

24th of March

The President’s Office states that around 16,000 people have been arrested for violating the week-old, strict rules that restrict mobility. Lima has to some extent been transformed into a ghost town, but pictures in social media reveal that many gather to party or play football together.

Exception because of coronavirus

March 16

Peru issues a 15-day state of emergency and closes its borders to foreigners to try to stop the spread of the new corona virus. Restrictions on freedom of movement are introduced and police are deployed to uphold the “social isolation” order issued. To date, 86 people with covid-19 have been identified in Peru. So far, relatively few cases of corona infection have been detected in Latin America, but there is a risk that the spread will increase sharply.


Keiko Fujimori is in custody again

January 28

A judge decides that opposition leader Keiko Fujimori should be remanded for 15 months before a subsequent corruption trial (see November 2019). According to the judge, there is new information that increases the risk of Fujimori trying to flee the country and hinder the investigation against her. The 44-year-old Fujimori who is present in the court is immediately arrested. The message comes days after the difficult election defeat for her party FP.

Parliamentary elections result in split Congress

January 26

The recent election to Parliament that President Martín Vizcarra has forced gives a split picture, with no party receiving more than about 10 percent of the vote according to preliminary data. Vizcarra, which lacks party affiliation, is believed to benefit from the fact that parties in the middle are doing well. The result could make it easier for him to push through the anti-corruption reforms halted by the previous Congress, dominated by the People’s Force (FP). The election represents a staggering defeat for FP, who backs from 73 to only 15 of the 130 seats. Largest will be Public Action (FA) with 25 seats, followed by Progress Alliance (22), Frepap (15), FP (15), Union for Peru (13), We know Peru (11), We are Peru (11), Purple The lot (9) and the wide front (9). The newly elected members of Congress may only sit for 16 months, until the next ordinary election in April 2021.

Peru Religion