Spain less and less religious

It has been ten years since the foundation Francesc Ferrer i Guardia, a think tank specializing in education and civil liberties, analyzes the evolution of Spanish society in matters of religion, based in particular on data provided by the barometers of the Center for Sociological Studies. And the results are edifying: the Catholic religion has been on the decline in Spain for many years, as explained by Hungría Panadero, project director at the Ferrer i Guardia Foundation: “In 1978, 9% of the Spanish population declared themselves non-religious, she points out. In 2019, we already had 27% of Spaniards who declared themselves non-believers. But the number of agnostics and atheists has increased by 10% in just two years, to 37%: the pandemic has led to an acceleration of the process of secularization.

The pandemic has therefore only increased the gradual loss of the importance of religion in the lives of the people in this country. Moreover, only 18.3% of Spaniards now declare themselves to be practicing Catholics. As for religious marriages, they have also dropped drastically in Spain. In 2008, half of marriages were civil, whereas they now represent nine out of ten marriages. Figures that vary greatly from one region to another. It is in Catalonia, Navarre, the Basque Country and the Balearic Islands that there are more atheists and agnostics.

Yes, but it is mainly young people between 18 and 24 who are concerned. Currently 63.5% of them say they are agnostics or atheists. Among those under 34, they are 56.2%, while only 21% of those over 65 say they are non-believers. But even in this age group, the Catholic religion is losing ground. A feeling described by Francisco. At 79, he is increasingly skeptical: ”In the past, I was very Catholic. I went to church every Sunday. But it’s been some time that I doubt more and more, because of what surrounds me: my children do not go to mass, my friends either, there have been cases of pedophilia in the Church, many problems around us, wars… and what is God doing? It’s been 2,000 years since we last saw it here!”

“With the pandemic, thousands of people continue to die, but what is God doing? It’s not that I have become completely atheist, but I am a bit like Saint Thomas, I wonder about the existence of God. “

In Spain, the Church has to face a society in full mutation. A rapid secularization is at work, as evidenced by the drop in the number of students taking religion classes at school. Despite this, the Catholic Church still enjoys unique privileges in this country, particularly in tax matters.

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