Arrival of Europeans and Change In the era of European colonization and Christianization, Native Country religions underwent significant changes. In certain areas, particularly New Spain and New France, European missionaries achieved remarkable success in converting native peoples to Catholicism. Jesuits operating in Canada and Franciscans throughout the Country Southwest and Southeast set up a number of populous missions. Franciscans were particularly adept at settling in the midst of large, sedentary native communities and integrating themselves to the extent possible into the everyday lives of the native peoples. Of course, how much native parishioners chose to accept of the new faith was up to them. Generally, native communities incorporated the Christian God and saints into their indigenous religious practices, which they maintained as integral parts of their cultural life. Efforts by Europeans to force complete religious conformity was more likely to meet resistance and could lead to violence, as was the case in New Mexico’s Pueblo Revolt of 1680. The English were not as interested in converting North Country’s native populations to Christianity. Notable exceptions were the praying townsâ established by John Eliot in seventeenth-century Massachusetts.
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