In the third largest country in South America, the majority of the 32 million Peruvians belong to indigenous tribes – Catholics form what is by far the largest religious denomination with 76% of the population. The people are suffering from the ongoing economic crisis and social tensions. The pandemic has made the situation even worse. Bitter poverty, rural exodus and drug problems are omnipresent. ACN supported the local Church in the reporting year, mainly with training and material assistance, as well as Mass stipends.
Peru is marked by economic crises and political instability. Although modest prosperity has developed in the cities, abject poverty prevails in the countryside and in the mountains. In November, President Vizcarra was removed from office by Congress on corruption charges, which led to tumultuous protests. It remains to be seen whether the situation will change after the new elections.
Peru also had to struggle with the corona-virus pandemic last year. Although the government reacted with restrictions as early as March, the authorities counted more than one million infections and 37,000 deaths by the end of the year. Poverty has been exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis.
In the midst of poverty and restrictions, we carry out the task entrusted to us.Bishop Jesús María Aristín Seco of Yurimaguas
The rural exodus of mostly young Peruvians has increased even more. In the years before, many had already migrated to the cities and urban centres. There, problems such as drug addiction and broken homes are increasing.
For many, the Church is often the last refuge of hope. During the coronavirus crisis, the Church is trying to provide more pastoral care and promote solidarity among the people. In doing so, religious sisters and priests often work under the most difficult conditions. Especially in the mountains, many places are extremely difficult to reach.
ACN supports religious sisters with material aid and priests with Mass stipends, while also promoting the formation of young candidates to the priesthood. We also provide financial support for the training of catechists, who play an important role in pastoral care and teaching the faith, especially in remote villages that can rarely be visited by a priest.