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Amidst the checkered history of sixteenth-century Spanish colonization of Latin America stands a Dominican priest whose passion for safeguarding the human dignity of abused indigenous populations prompted the Spanish monarch King Ferdinand to bestow upon him the title "Protector of the Indians." His dogged pursuit to challenge the mistreatment of Indians earned him both admiration from some as well as scorn from others, the latter of whom regarded his efforts to improve the plight of their cheap labor force as meddlesome interference with their economic gain.


Originally published in Encyclopedia of Christianity in the United States, 5 Volumes, edited by George Thomas Kurian and Mark A. Lamport, 2016, pg. 694-695, reproduced by permission of Rowman & Littlefield.

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