Essay by S-manHigh School, 12th gradeA+, January 1997

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'Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name

of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all

things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end

of the age.'1 A simple directive spoken by God himself through Jesus Christ in the

Sermon at the Mount, this Great Commission has impacted a countless number of

lives throughout the years. The command given by Jesus at that time was actually

to act as a continuance of His ministry after his death. Apparently this command

continued to be fulfilled even far beyond His ascension into heaven. The

commandment sparked the beginning of Christianity and throughout the years, its

cultures, religions and beliefs poured out upon the continents, including the New

World. The intent of this report is to show the transfer of Christianity from the Old

World to the Americas; it is to outline its beginnings and show its impact on the

Indian people.

The Catholic Church during the Middle Ages played an all encompassing

role over the lives of the people and the government. As the Dark Ages came to a

close the ideas of the Renaissance started to take hold, and the church's power

gradually began to dwindle. The monarchies of Europe also began to grow

replacing the church's power. Monarchies, at the close of the Middle Ages and the

dawn of the Renaissance, did not so much seek the guidance of the church as

much as it sought their approval. However, the Church during the Age of

Discovery was still a major influence. The discovery of the New World and its

previously unknown inhabitants presented new problems in the Catholic Church in

the late 14th and early 15th...