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Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [1]

an empire of South America. (See America).

I. Church History. In 1500 Brazil was taken possession of by a Portuguese admiral, who was soon followed by some Franciscan monks, most of whom were, however, killed by the Indian tribes. In 1549 the first Jesuits came to Brazil, who succeeded in establishing a large number of missions. The most celebrated among them were Anchieta (q.v.) and Vieyra (q.v.). The Inquisition never gained a firm footing in Brazil. In the eighteenth century French philosophy found many adherents, and even among the clergy a party was formed, led by Father Peiso, which demanded the abolition of celibacy and other radical reforms. The government nominated a member of this party, Dr. Moura, for the bishopric of Rio de Janeiro, but the pope refused to confirm the appointment, and, as in this question Rome was sustained by the Brazilian Chambers, the government had to yield. Of late years the Roman party has gained in strength, and several Roman Catholic (ultramontane) newspapers have been printed. Still a majority of the Brazilian papers are liberal, and oppose all extreme ultramontane views. The first Protestants settled in Brazil in the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century, while a part of the country was under the rule of the French and the Dutch, but after the re-establishment of the Portuguese dominion (1654) Protestantism was entirely exterminated. From that time until 1808 Protestants were forbidden to settle in Brazil. They then received the liberty to build churches, but only on condition of making no proselytes. Greater rights were conceded to the German and: Swiss emigrants, who were invited and encouraged by the government to settle in the agricultural districts. The government promised to pay to the Protestant clergymen and teachers a salary, and to establish a Supreme Protestant Consistory at Rio. The number of the Protestant immigrants is already considerable-the whole immigration amounted in 1858 to about 30,000 souls in 44 colonies-and forms, next to the British and Dutch possessions in Guiana, the largest nucleus of a native Protestant population in South America.

II. Ecclesiastical Statistics. The area of Brazil is 3,219,134 square miles; its population in 1888 amounted to 12,165,000, of which only 23 per cent. are of European descent. The entire native population, except the free Indians (about 4 per cent. of the total population), belong to the Roman Catholic Church, which has one archbishop, viz. of Bahia, and 11 bishops, viz. Sao Luiz, Cuyaba, Diamantina, Goyaz, Maranhao, Fortaleza, Para, Oliuda, S. Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Porto Alegre. The Church has no property of her own, but bishops and priests are paid by the state. The number of priests is very small, and all the bishops complain of the difficulty of finding a sufficient number of candidates for the priesthood. The number of convents is limited. There are eleven theological seminaries, and the erection of two theological faculties has been resolved upon. The ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the bishops, which was formerly very extensive, is now (since 1834) very limited.

The English congregation of Rio dates with the century, and numbers 4000 to 5000. There are English congregations at Bahia and Pernambuco. The German Protestants in Rio in 1863 had a school, and numbered about 2500 members. The largest Protestant congregation is in San Leopoldo, which has 12,000 (German) inhabitants, and three Protestant ministers. The O. S. Presb. Church occupied Rio as a station in 1860, and had, in 1865, stations at San Paulo and Rio Clara. In Dec., 1865, the members of the mission formed the " Presbytery of Rio de Janeiro," which in Sept., 1866, was connected with the Synod of Baltimore. . Altogether, in 1863, Brazil had 24 Protestant clergymen (3 English, 5 American, and 12 German) in 25 congregations (3 English, 5 American, and 17 German). See Kidder and Fletcher, Brazil and the Brazilians (Phil. l157, 8vo); Schem, Eccl. Year- book; 29th Ann. Rep. of Board of For. Miss. of (0. S.) Presb. Church (N. Y.' 1866); Amer. Annual Cyclopaedia.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia [2]

The largest South American State, almost equal to Europe, occupies the eastern angle of the continent, and comprises the Amazon basin, the tablelands of Matto Grosso, the upper basin of the Paraguay, and the maritime highlands, with the valleys of the Paraná and San Francisco. Great stretches of the interior are uninhabitable swamp and forest lands; forests tenanted by an endless variety of brilliant-plumed birds and insects; the coasts are often humid and unhealthy, but the upper levels have a fine climate. Almost all the country is within the tropics. The population at the seaports is mostly white; inland it is negro, mulatto, and Indian. Vegetable products are indescribably rich and varied; timber of all kinds, rubber, cotton, and fruit are exported; coffee and sugar are the chief crops. The vast mineral wealth includes diamonds, gold, mercury, and copper. Most of the trade is with Britain and America. The language is Portuguese; the religion, Roman Catholic; education is very backward, and government unsettled. Discovered in 1500, and annexed by Portugal; the Portuguese king, expelled by the French in 1808, fled to his colony, which was made a kingdom 1815, and an empire in 1822. The emperor, Pedro II., was driven out in 1889, and a republic established on the federal system, which has been harassed ever since by desultory civil war. The capital is Rio Janeiro; Bahia and Pernambuco, the other seaports.