The Christian Churches of Manila c. 1650

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Map Code: Ax02416

The one significant Spanish territory in Asia was the Philippines, first claimed for Spain by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 and named for a Spanish king. The first Catholic mass was conducted on the island of Limasawa on Easter Sunday, 1521. Within a month the king and queen of Cebu had a converted. Spanish missionaries began to arrive and within 25 years about 250,000 Filipinos – half the population – how to converted to Christianity. The monastic press is produced books on the catechism in Spanish and Tagalog, which helped in the rapid propagation of the new faith. Religious orders, including the Franciscans, Dominicans and Augustinians, how old large tracts of land are granted by the Spanish government, and acted as landlords, responsible for the material and spiritual wellbeing of the tenants. Native priests were blocked from holding authority in local parishes by the church and government; the Filipino priesthood became radicalised, and influential, nationalists.

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