• Pray for The Light of the World to fill the dark void left by secularism.
• Pray for spiritual renewal in the Church with genuine Christlikeness among believers.
• Pray for Jesus to be made known among the millions of immigrants, many of whom are Muslim.
On July 6th every year, thousands of people from around the world gather in Pamplona, Spain to watch The Running of The Bulls, one of Spain’s famous cultural traditions. Works by renowned artists Velazquez, Goya, and Picasso, Cervantes’s novel, Don Quixote, and flamenco music and dance are further examples of Spain’s rich cultural gifts to the world. Occupying most of the Iberian Peninsula in southwest Europe, Spain at its southern most tip is less than 16km (10 miles) from Africa. The Canary Islands off the northeast coast of Africa, the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean Sea and two cities on the North African coast are also part of Spain.
From the 16th to 18th centuries, Spain ruled the seas and much of the world economically, but the rise of English sea power steadily weakened Spain’s influence. Civil wars, dictatorships and general instability followed through the 20th century dictatorship of General Franco. Franco’s death in 1975 opened the door for the current constitutional monarchy and a release from earlier closed economic policies. Spain’s entry into the European Union in 1986 helped to transform its slow economy to a vibrant one in the subsequent years. Economic upturn also brought about an improved the standard of living for most of Spain’s citizens. Recent recessions, however, have hurt Spain’s economy, resulting in mid-2010 unemployment rates of over 20%, double the EU average. Austerity plans by the government to reduce the public debt have been met with some dissent.
Roman Catholicism has long been a part of the culture of Spain, but it became the state religion under General Franco. With the new constitution in 1978, religious discrimination ended, opening the door for evangelical immigrants to bring their vibrant faith to Spain. The Catholic presence is still strong in Spain, but the church’s authority and influence is diminishing as secular materialism is rising. The resulting spiritual confusion has many engaging in foreign cults, the occult, gambling, and increased drug use. Spain currently has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, which in the future could result in health, social, and demographic problems.
Capital City: Madrid
Government: Parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Major People Groups: 36% Spaniard; 28% Catalonian; 8% Galician (Galega, Gallego); 5% Basque (Eskualdunak); 5% Aragonese
Religion: Christian 86%, Agnostic 9%, Muslim 3%, Atheist 2%
Language: Spanish, Catalan, Galician, Aragonese
GDP Per Capita: $36,200
Literacy Rate: 98.6%
POPULATION IN UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS: 2.2%
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