Westward – Ho! • In this episode of CS, we take a look at the Expansion of Christianity into the New World.
Following Columbus’s voyages of the end of the 15th C to the Caribbean, the expansion of Christianity into the New Word was chiefly dependent on the 2 great colonial powers of Portugal & Spain. From the outset of their adventures in the New World, a religious intention was central to the efforts of the explorers, however secondary it may have become to conquest and treasure-seeking for themselves and their royal patrons back in Europe.
By means of a papal bull in 1493, Pope Alexander VI, divided the world between the 2 kingdoms. Although the line was later moved to allow Portugal to colonize Brazil, the original division was a line drawn from North to South west of the Azores Islands. Spain was given the West Indies & the Americas; while Portugal, because it had already explored the west coast of Africa & moved towards India thru Vasco da Gama’s explorations, was given the right to colonize Africa, India & the East.