Spain: 12 evangelical churches open every month
Evangelical Christians are the biggest faith minority in the country. The steep fall of Roman Catholic believers contrasts with the growth of Atheism.
Protestante Digital · MADRID · 10 JANUARY 2017 · 18:28 CET
In Spain, there are almost 4,000 evangelical places of worship. This is one of the the data included in the latest annual Religious Plurality report of the Spanish government.
According to the figures made available in December 2016, the traditionally Catholic country is becoming more and more diverse.
EVANGELICALS ARE FASTEST GROWING FAITH GROUP
Evangelical Christianity is the confession which experiences the greatest growth in the country. There are 3,910 registered churches of this confession.
This last year, 141 evangelical churches have opened, nearly 12 every month.
Evangelical churches represent 57% of all the worship places of faith minorities.
Muslims have 1,508 registered worship places, followed by Jehovah’s Witnesses (650), Orthodox Christians (197), Buddhists (155), Mormons (119), Baha’is and Jews (36).
MORE CHURCH PLANTS NEEDED
In an interview with Protestante Digital, missiologist Máximo Álvarez analysed this new figures and the social presence of Spanish evangelical Christians. “We see that there has been a great upturn since the beginning of the 21st century. But there have been less church plants in the last decade”.
Álvarez and others have identified the regions in Spain in which there are no evangelical churches yet. Specifically, “587 towns of more than 5,000 inhabitants have no evangelical church”.
ROMAN CATHOLICISM HAS NEW LOW
Meanwhile, Roman Catholicism has reached a historic low. The official statistics of the Sociological Studies Centre show that 69% of Spaniards identify themselves as Catholics (falling from 77% in 2006).
Many of these Catholics do not attend church services regularly, and 60% of students in state schools choose “alternative subjects” to religion class when these are offered.
In 1992, 79% of all marriages were officiated by the Church. In 2015, this number had fallen to 29,1%. In 2016, 3 out every 4 marriages were “non-confessional”.
YOUTH INCREASINGLY IDENTIFIED WITH ATHEISM
Official figures show that 16% of Spaniards define themselves as “non-believers”. The number of atheists has grown from 6% to 9% in the last ten years.
The advance of unbelief is even clearer when the youth is asked. Almost half of those between 18 and 34 years old define themselves as non-believers or atheists.
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