Settled mostly by the Spanish and Portuguese, South America is a continent of Roman Catholics. Each community has a church, is part of a diocese and has cathedrals where the bishops are housed to do the administrative work of the church. The Roman Catholic Church has long held a prominent place in the religious affairs of this continent. The faithful here tithe to Rome and obey its religious law. They have built many beautiful churches to attend for Sunday worship.
The city of Brasilia has always had a majority of Catholics. Built in the jungle interior of Brazil, this city was designed by modern architects. Its famous City Cathedral was designed to fit in with the modern look of the city. A round building, its structure has an open feel. It is a series of concrete columns with stained glass windows between them. It took many years for it to be consecrated by the church because the designer was actually an atheist. This beautiful cathedral is not only modern, it is a beautiful work of architectural art where t he faithful can worship.
Spanish culture is famous for its reverence for the Virgin Mary. At the border of Ecuador and Colombia stands the La Lajas Cathedral. This is a cathedral spanning a river gorge. The back wall of the cathedral has an image of the Virgin in one of the rocks. Originally preserved as a shrine, the church building was completed in the late 1940's and actually sits on top of the bridge crossing the river. It is one of the must see neo-Gothic churches in South America.
There is a rich history of religion on the South American continent. When the Inca Empire spanned much of the western half of the continent, they too had their religious buildings. Conquered by the Spanish, their civilization and religion eventually perished. Only ruins of cities built by the Inca remain, but can still be viewed in places such as Machu Picchu.