Quechua, Apurimac in Peru

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People Name: Quechua, Apurimac
Country: Peru
10/40 Window: No
Population: 255,000
World Population: 255,000
Primary Language: Quechua, Eastern Apurimac
Primary Religion: Christianity
Christian Adherents: 94.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.50 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Quechua
Affinity Bloc: Latin-Caribbean Americans
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Quichua or Quechua are a cluster of indigenous peoples who are direct descendants of the inhabitants of Incan Empire. Before the arrival of the Spanish in the early 16th century, the Incas ruled an empire from Columbia to Chile. They are perhaps the largest indigenous people in the Americas. The common thread among the Quichua is that they still speak Quechua, the language of the Incas. Modern Quechua has many dialects. Some of them are mutually unintelligible.

During the days of the Incan Empire, the ancestors of the Quichua built excellent roads and buildings.

At the time of the Spanish conquest, the Quichua had their land taken from them. The Spanish used the land to form large estates. Indigenous people became virtual slaves. Old World diseases brought by the Spaniards killed hundreds of thousands of Quichua.

In recent years, some of the South American governments have tried to return some the land to the Quichua peoples.

The Apurimac Quechua live in the mountains of southern Peru. The New Testament is available in their dialect of Quechua. Only a tiny fraction of them have become evangelical believers.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The first potato harvests came from the Quichua hundreds of years before the coming of the Spanish. The Apurimac Quichua people are farmers who grow potatoes as a staple food. They also grow peanuts, yuccas, sweet potatoes, maize, coriander, beans, barley and chili peppers. Those who live at high elevation are more likely to be livestock herders. They herd and eat llamas, sheep and goats. Quichua women make colorful clothing, artwork and mats which they sell to get money.

Unfortunately, most Quichua in Peru live poverty today. Some young Quichua people are moving to Spanish speaking cities looking for a better life.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Though the Apurimac Quichua people are officially Roman Catholic, they blend this with their ancient religions. Old gods are given the names of Catholic saints. They have a procession featuring a statue of the Virgin Mary followed by a mass. Mary is joined to the ancient Earth Mother goddess. The parade features sacrificed animals, alcohol and cigarettes for the ancient gods. Drunkenness is sadly a big part of these festivals. Mountain spirits called Apus, are part of the syncretic belief system of the Quichua.

When the Quichua get the Bible in their language, many become open to the gospel.

What Are Their Needs?

The Apurimac Quichua people need to understand the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ. They need to take God at his word and abandon all remnants of false religions. The Quichua need to see Biblical Christianity shown to them in practical ways.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to move among the Quichua Apurimac people of Peru, giving them a desire for the purity and forgiveness of Christ.

Pray for the Lord to thrust out loving workers to the unreached Quichua peoples throughout South America.

Pray for the Quichua to be convicted of sin and drawn to God’s righteousness in Christ.

Ask the Lord to raise up Quichua pastors who can lead and teach their people.

Text Source:   Joshua Project