Colonialism and religion are always closely connected because Protestantism and Catholicism were faiths of the colonial supremacies for Europe and operated in various ways as the “religious division” of those supremacies. Missionaries who were Christians were first seen as “noticeable saints, exemplars of perfect piousness in the sea of relentless brutality.” Nevertheless, during 20th century’s last half when the colonial period ended, evangelists were seen as “philosophical shock soldiery for colonial conquest whose fanaticism unsighted them, [and] colonization’s “scribe, moral alibi and agent” (Lehning 216). Therefore, evangelism was synonymous with colonialism.
Both in Spain and in Portugal, belief was a nation’s essential segment and evangelism viewed as partaking spiritual and secular advantages. Each time the supremacies tried to enlarge influence/territories soon, evangelists would follow. The Roman Catholic realm order was confronted by England and Netherlands (Andrews 20). On the other hand, Spain and Portugal’s colonial strategies were confronted by the Catholic realm. Vatican established Congregatio de Propaganda Fide the year 1622 and tried removing ministers from Iberian kingdoms’ inspiration. Unlike Dutch and England, Iberian contended on transforming the citizens of their territories to its state religion and Catholicism continued to be the Spain’s colonial heritage in America. English and Dutch colonies were highly non-Catholics. Even though in some colonies tolerance was experienced, the Puritans in Massachusetts founded a restrictive and autocratic religious leadership while Spanish and Portugal colonies settlers were limited to Catholics; persecution of Protestants was also widely practiced at that time. Although the persecution was later stopped, the differences between Protestants and Catholics grew to the extent that some of the leading world powers were forced to side with either of the two main religions.
Andrews, Edward. Christian Missions and Colonial Empires Reconsideration. A Black Evangelist in West Africa, 1766-1816. 2010. Print.
Lehning, James R. European Colonialism since 1700, 2013. Print.