Spain No Longer Catholic Country as 'Non-Believers' Now Make Up Majority
For the first time in history, Catholic religion is no longer Spanish majority
Since the Catholic Church was established in Spain in the 1st century, it has remained the majority religion in the country, with most Spanish people identifying themselves as practicing Catholics, until now.
And while Catholic may still be the largest official religion in Spain, for the first time in history, the country now has more non-believers, atheists, and agnostics than it does practicing Catholics, according to a new report by the Research Center of Spanish Sociology (CIS).
While 33 percent of people living in Spain reported being Catholic, only 22.7 percent of them say they attend mass and go to confession regularly.
In Catalonia, the number plummets to just 10.9 percent of believers reporting they regularly attend mass and go to confession.
While in La Rojia, in the south of the Basque Country, around 40 percent of people are still practicing Catholics, FranceInfo reports.
The secularization of Spanish society has been substantially more pronounced in industrialized areas with higher cultural diversity, such as Madrid, Catalonia, and the Basque Country.
In response to the new figures, Spanish newspaper El Diario wrote:
“These figures, 80 years later, finally give reason to Manuel Azana: Spain has ceased to be Catholic.”
The statement is a reference to a declaration by the president of the Spanish Provisional Government in October 1931.
Up until now, Spain has lagged far behind other Western European countries where the majority of Catholics are non-practicing.
While Western European is becoming increasingly secularized, Central and Eastern Europe remain Christian strongholds.
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Poland, Hungary, and Croatia are all examples of countries with strong Christian majorities.
Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary has repeatedly defended the idea of holding onto to a Christian Europe.
In a speech given earlier this year to the Hungarian people he said, “If we lose our Christian culture, we are going to lose our freedom.”
“Without the protection of our Christian culture we will lose Europe, and Europe will no longer belong to the Europeans,” he declared.