About the Catholic Church in Chile:
As with most of South America, the history of Catholicism dates from the arrival of Spanish explorers in the 16th Century. Although about 60% of the population is Catholic, the Church has lost some credibility in recent years due to the clerical abuse scandals as well as their apparent support for the Pinochet dictatorship ( 1973 to 1990) that saw thousands killed…or just “disappeared”. Some factions within the Church, however, stood up (most notably the Archbishop of Santiago, Cardinal Raul Silva Henriquez) to the regime. In fact, the Cardinal received many death threats over the 17-year reign of Pinochet, yet remained a steadfast defender of the people. He died peacefully in 1999 in La Florida.
Some Catholic Holy Days are national holidays: Good Friday, Christmas, Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the Feast of the Assumption, and All Saints Day.