Spain - (Europa)

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504782 Quadratkilometer
Roman Catholic 99%, other 1%
Christen (%)
Protestanten (%)
Reformierte (%)

Before the short-lived First Republic in 1868, any religious expression deviating from the RCath Church was not tolerated. Prot preaching had begun in various places since the 1850s. With the active help of British, especially Scottish evangelists, Luis de Usoz y Rio began to distribute Bibles and evangelical tracts. Other evangelists were Francisco de Paula Ruet and Manuel Matamoros. Several of them found refuge in Gibraltar, where a small Prot community had been established. Manuel Matamoros and others were arrested in 1860; their trial raised protests throughout Europe. In response to these appeals, the government decided to expel the Prot leaders from the country. The political developments after the Napoleonic wars began to create a new situation. In 1868 freedom of worship was constitutionally guaranteed. In 1868 the Iglesia Reformada Española was formed. A year later an assembly was called for the purpose of bringing together the various communities. In 1871 another attempt was made, and, with the addition of new communities, the church became the Iglesia Cristiana Española. It adopted its own confession of faith. In 1880 a split took place; one of the pastors left the church and founded, together with a few communities, the Iglesia Española Reformada Episcopal, which adopted the liturgy of the Angl churches. In 1890, with the addition of communities in Northern Spain, the name of the church changed again to Iglesia Evangélica Española (IEE). The confession of faith remained unchanged until 1955 when the Meth Church of Catalonia and the Baleares was incorporated into the IEE.
The church went through many difficulties and often suffered persecution. There were periods of relative freedom during the six years of revolutionary government (1868-1874) and the time of the Second Republic (1931-1936). The situation began to change with rapprochement with other European countries and following the Second Vatican Council. In 1967 a law on religious liberty was issued which many Prot considered to be far from satisfactory. With the end of the dictatorial regime and the democratization of Spain in the late seventies, negotiations for a new agreement were initiated. In 1980 a new Law of Religious Freedom was adopted. The majority of Prot groups established the Federation of Religious Evangelical Entities (FEREDE) and gave it the mandate to work out the agreement. The agreement was completed and adopted in 1992.


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