Protestantism in Spain
||This article possibly contains original research. (February 2009)|
Protestantism in Spain has been present as far back as the 16th century. The Spanish Inquisition resulted in forced conversions, imprisonments, executions, and deportations of most non-Catholics, including Protestants, Jews and Muslims.
Protestantism made a comeback following the Glorious Revolution of 1868, which resulted in the granting of greater religious liberties; this was rescinded again during the Franco dictatorship. In Francisco Franco's authoritarian Spanish State, Protestantism was deliberately marginalized and persecuted. During the Civil War, Franco's regime persecuted the country's 30,000 Protestants, and forced many Protestant pastors to leave the country. Once authoritarian rule was established, non-Catholic Bibles were confiscated by police and Protestant schools were closed. Although the 1945 Spanish Bill of Rights granted freedom of private worship, Protestants suffered legal discrimination and non-Catholic religious services were not permitted publicly, to the extent that they could not be in buildings which had exterior signs indicating it was a house of worship and that public activities were prohibited. While the Catholic Church was declared official and enjoyed a close relation to the state, parts of the Basque clergy harbored nationalist ideas opposed to Spanish centralism and were persecuted and imprisoned in a "Concordate jail" reserved for criminal clergy.
At present, the Spanish government observes the Law of Religious Freedom of 1980 and the Constitution of 1978, which returns many religious liberties to minorities.
There are at least 1.5 million Protestants residing in Spain as of 2009.
- Payne, Stanley Spanish Catholicism: An Historical Overview, p. 186 ,1984 University of Wisconsin Press
- "Religion: Protestant Persecution". Time. 21 April 1941. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- Wood, James Edward Church and State in the Modern World, p. 3, 2005 Greenwood Publishing
- "Protestants call for 'equal treatment'", by "El Pais," December 10, 2007
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