New demographics drive new Religious Law in Spain

Monitoring and compiling European religious statistics is a thankless task but just occasionally we hear of a story that encourages us to continue. A report this week from AC Press News expects the Spanish Government to publish draft proposals for its new Law on Religious Freedom this Spring, following statements from José Manuel Contreras, Director of the Department of Relations with Confessions.

The introduction of the Law is seen as a direct response to changing Christian Demographics in Spain (already reported on by Nova in the latest edition of Christian Research’s Quadrant magazine) and is described as an attempt to rethink legal secularism. According to ACPress Contreras stated publically that ‘the law of 1980 responds to a reality different from today’s’ in which there are a million Muslims, one and a half million Evangelicals, 600,000 Orthodox and some Buddhists and Mormons, in addition to the 77% of the Spanish population who say they are Catholics (including practising and not practising).

The new law is likely to lead to the removal of religious symbols from public buildings, address the legal status of ministers, regulate the collective rights of Christian denominations and associations, widen access to subsidies for charitable work carried out by churches, and deal with land ownership by church communities.

It seems that European mission and Christianity is facing something of a sea-shift across the continent as existing accords and agreements between Church and State are being reviewed and, in some cases, revised.

Explore posts in the same categories: Demographics, europe, mission, Religious Law, Spain

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