The largest city in Peru by far is Lima (population, 2005 estimate, 8,153,618), the country’s capital and chief commercial center. More than a quarter of Peru’s inhabitants live in the capital. Other important cities include Arequipa (710,103), an industrial center in the southern coastal plains; Trujillo (276,921), a commercial center in the coastal plains of northwestern Peru; Callao (389,579), a major port located near Lima; and Chiclayo (251,407), in the sugar-growing plains of northwestern Peru. Iquitos (157,529), a port on the Amazon River, is the only city in the tropical montaña region. The largest cities in the Andean sierra are Huancayo (305,039), a commercial center, and Cuzco (103,836), famous for its Inca ruins.
Spanish, spoken by some 70 percent of the people, was the sole official language of Peru until 1975, when Quechua, one of the principal languages of the Native Americans, also was made an official language. Another Native American language, Aymara, was declared official in 1980. English is also spoken in Peru.
More than 90 percent of Peruvians are Roman Catholic. In 1915 a law was passed that made Roman Catholicism the established religion of the country. However, the constitution of 1979 ended Roman Catholicism’s status as the established religion, although it recognized Catholicism “as an important element in the historical, cultural, and moral formation of Peru.” Other religions are permitted and tolerated, and small numbers of Protestants, Jews, and Muslims live in Peru. "Peru" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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