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The main religion in Spain is currently Catholicism which became

a state religion in 1851. Catholicism became the state religion when


the Spanish Government signed a Concordant with the Vatican, which
made Madrid pay the salaries of the clergy and fund other expenses of
the church. There are a few other religions in the country including
Muslims, Jews and protestants. Many people of the Muslim and Islam
religion are slowly coming back after being forced out of the country
when freedom of religion was not a right. Currently there are over 1
million Muslims who are happily practicing their religion in Spain.
As stated before, Spain is a country of religious freedom though
it has not always been that way. The Spanish Inquisition tried to
remove other religions from the country but in 1966 some of the other
religions found restrictions to be lifted off of them. The Roman Catholic
church remained the strongest of all the churches and to this day still
is. 1978 was the year freedom of religion became official and now out
of the 40 million population 300,00 are Catholic and less than 20,000
are Jewish. Spain today boasts their high numbers of church goes,
which is not really the case. Only about 15% of Spanish Catholics
attend mass on a regular basis. Those who live in urban areas are less
likely to go to church where those in rural areas tend to keep the
tradition of going to mass. All of the countries seminaries, monasteries
and nunneries are closed or at least half empty. Even though the
numbers of people who attend church are dropping, the church still
runs an extensive network of schools from getting involved in politics.
Throughout Spain there are many cathedrals towering over the city,
everywhere from rural to modern urban areas, tourists come from all
over to view these sacred places. It is evident that the Roman Catholic
church was at one point a big deal, just by seeing the amount of
cathedrals they have and pride they took in their beauty.
Places of worship/sacred places in Spain are the cathedrals for
the Catholic people of the country. There are other places of worship
for other religions located throughout Spain but Catholic cathedrals
seem to dominate. Spain is known for their beautiful architecture of
their buildings, especially their churches. On all travel sites for the
country you will be sure to find something that tells you to visit their
top 10 cathedrals, but there are so many that each top 10 is different
on every different site. Having been to Barcelona, Spain I understand
completely what they mean. There were cathedrals on every corner,
some being renovated to withstand the years to come, and some being
made more modern. Even though the amount of people attending
church regularly are declining, the people of Spain still view their
cathedrals as sacred places that will remain sacred for centuries to
come.

Under Francos rule, Roman Catholicism was the only religion to


have legal status, other worship services were not advertised. The
government was so involved in the religion at this point that they were
paying the priests salaries, funding the church and helping with the
reconstruction of the church buildings that were damaged from the
war. Laws were passed that abolished divorce and banned the
production and selling of contraceptives, the government also made
religions instruction mandatory in all schools. Government and
Catholicism were tied together, ruling the entire country at one point in
time. All other religions were banned, some even forced out of the
country, but thankfully the country was restored and religious freedom
was a right once again.
In Spain today, religion does not seem to rule the country as it
had before, it seems as if religion is slowly fading away. Catholicism is
still the number one religion throughout and it has only been since
1978 that people had the freedom of religion. I feel that the country
should hold onto their religion but be more open to new religions.
Though the country is known for opening its arms to all that come in
and experience it, I think that people still may be hesitant to
expressing their religion if it is not Catholic. Spain has gone through a
lot when it comes to religion, probably the most out of all countries,
but thats what makes it so interesting and have so much character. I
look forward to learning more about the countries religion and hope to
go back there one day and experience it first hand.