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The official religion in Spain is Roman Catholic, although the majority of the population today are only nominally so and are actually very atheistic.  The North Africans who Katrina works with are Muslims as they come from an Islamic nation.

The official language is Spanish, which is the main language Katrina uses to communicate with her Moroccan friends.  She is also learning some Arabic which is the main language spoken by her friends.

Evangelical Christians make up less than .1% of the population in Spain.  Their churches aren’t very large, and many meet in homes.  Spaniards view Evangelical Christians as some sort of cult, think they are weird and view it as a religion for the gypsies.  Through-out Spanish history, Evangelical Christians were persecuted and were often Christians in secret.  Only recently, in 1980, was the Evangelical Christian Church officially recognized by the Spanish government.  Because of its hardships, the Evangelical Church is small and its leaders need Bible training and help in evangelism efforts.

The history of Spain is long and colorful.  It was conquered and influenced by many peoples, including Iberians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Visigoths.  In the 8th century, the Arabs came into Spain, spreading the Islam religion that had swept across North Africa.  They remained for several centuries (711 - 1492).  There are many Moorish ruins and influences still evident throughout Spain, especially in the south.  In 1492, during the reign of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, the last stronghold of the Arabs was conquered.  A few centuries of Monarchy followed, ending in a tragic three year civil war in 1936.  It was then that General Franco took over and ruled in dictatorship.  He died in 1975, and the Monarchy was restored.  Spain is currently a democratic nation with a president, but they also still have and respect their King.  Spain joined the European Union in 1986.

Cultural Fun Facts

Spaniards do not shake hands in greeting.  Instead they kiss each other on both cheeks.  Spaniards still observe the afternoon siesta, when shops are closed for two hours for lunch and a short rest.