Monday, October 22   Sign in or Register
Evangelical Focus
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud

Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.

Do the media in your country usually portray evangelical Christians accurately?



State and religion

Spanish evangelical organisations criticise the participation of public authorities in religious ceremonies

Three top ministers of the Spanish government joined Catholic Easter processions. The participation of public officers in certain religious events “damages the non-confessional status of Spain”, says FEREDE.

SOURCES Protestante Digital AUTHOR Evangelical Focus MADRID 06 APRIL 2018 15:48 h GMT+1
The Spanish ministers of Justice, Interior and Education attending a Catholic Easter procession in Malaga, Spain. / La Sexta

The Spanish Federation of Evangelical Entities  (FEREDE) has published a statement criticising the participation of public authorities and representatives of the army and the state's security forces in some of the Catholic ceremonies celebrated during Easter.

The Federation that legally represents evangelicals in front of the State denounces that the presence in some Catholic processions of the ministers of Justice, Defense, Education and Interior, “not only damages the non-confessional status of Spain, but also violates the norms of democratic coexistence”.

FEREDE appeals to the prudence that should characterise the expression of public devotion of anyone who holds public office.

The Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE) also asks the authorities for caution when they participate in ceremonies related to one specific confession.

“If the ministers attend the central acts of the Catholic liturgical year, they should establish a program of similar assistance to all the central celebrations of the different religious communities”, the General Secretary of the AEE, Jaume Llenas, says.

It would be better that public authorities chose to attende cultural events organised by the faith groups, such as conferences, rather than worship services.



The FEREDE also reference to the participation of the military in Catholic acts, a long tradition in Spain.

“The relation between the Catholic church and the the Armed Forces - uniforms, hymns, symbols and flags, belong to and represent all Spaniards - is offensive because it discriminates millions of citizens who profess other religious beliefs, negatively affecting the coexistence and union of all Spaniards”, a document states.

The fact that such Catholic ceremonies are granted a military status means that attendance is mandatory.



In its statement, FEREDE warns about a “regrettable setback to confessional and identity positions typical of other times", referring to Francisco Franco’s dictatorship.

“With this type of gestures, repeated again and again, far from advancing in the Church-State separation, Spain seems to walk in the opposite direction”, it adds.

The federation insists to establish “a clear, precise protocol, that regulates the participation of public officers and representatives of State institutions in any religious act, and that is not open to particular interpretations”.



Meanwhile, the Evagelical Alliance links the closeness between public authorities and religious institutions to the historical hegemony of the Catholic culture in some European states, including Spain.

“In Spain there is still a lot of work to be done. Starting with our Constitution, which continues to mention the majoritarian religion, to the decisions of many authorities who continue to name virgins as perpetual Mayors.

According to the AEE, these practices “affect the equality among citizens, and some receive priority attention over others. It seems that religious normalisation is still far away. We deal with two extremes, the remains of a confessional state, and an exclusive laicism”, Jaume Llenas points out.

“We ask the state to respect them in the same way, giving them a neutral, equal and non-privileged treatment, which is the greatest form of respect that a democratic state can offer to citizens of any religious denomination”, the Ferede says in this regard.



The AEE says evangelical communities in Spain should work towards a total independence of faith confessions. “When we want the same thing they [Catholic institutions] want, we forget that we have not been sent to parasitise the State, but to free it from the ties it has to various types of powers that restrict its independence”, Llenas says.

“We must work for a model of a non-confessional state, which does not finance the different confessions with public money”, the AEE Secretary General concludes.




    If you want to comment, or


YOUR ARE AT: - - Spanish evangelical organisations criticise the participation of public authorities in religious ceremonies
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow

A team of Steiger mission is starting conversations about the gospel in the middst of the football celebration in Russia.

Biotechnology: “There is a difference between restoration and enhancement” Biotechnology: “There is a difference between restoration and enhancement”

“We have to understand the times in which we live, and have discernment”, says Doctor Peter J. Saunders.

The Manzanas case The Manzanas case

A short documentary about how retired pastors and widows of an evangelical denomination in Spain fight a legal battle for their pensions after the favourable ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.

How does romantic love change over time? How does romantic love change over time?

Psychatrist Pablo Martínez uses a metaphor to explain how romantic love evolves.

‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility

Author Bruce Little: “We have moved from a sense of responsibility to ‘my personal rights’”.

Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube

EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.