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2004 BYU L. Rev. 575 (2004)
Religious Pluralism in Spain: Striking the Balance between Religious Freedom and Constitutional Rights

handle is hein.journals/byulr2004 and id is 591 raw text is: Religious Pluralism         in Spain:
Striking the Balance Between Religious
Freedom and Constitutional Rights
Augustin Motilla *
The words religious pluralism and Spain are not heard
together all too often. An overwhelming majority of Spanish citizens
belong    to  the   Catholic   Church-over       ninety   percent   of the
population is baptized Catholic.' Different options in religious
matters are therefore quite limited. Nevertheless, in recent years
more and more religions have entered Spain and sought official
recognition.' Religions such as the Buddhist Association of Spain,
the Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-
day Saints have all only recently achieved official recognition.3
With this growing number of religious movements in Spain, state
treatment of these bodies becomes increasingly important. With new
denominations that often advocate values or beliefs foreign to those
held by most Spanish citizens entering the country, Spain must
decide when to give such movements legitimacy and support
through official recognition. While tolerance and religious pluralism
are positive values in any government, if left unchecked, these values
could potentially jeopardize the State's underlying institutions. On
the other hand, repression of religious movements could potentially
* Professor, University Carlos III of Madrid, Member of the Advisory Commission of
Religious Liberty.
INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM REPORT 2003: SPAIN (2003), http://www.state.gov/
g/drl/rls/irf/2003/24434.htm (Dec. 18, 2003) [hereinafter Spain (2003)] (According to
1998 statistics collected by the Roman Catholic Church, 93.63 percent of citizens are Roman
Catholic.). Spanish society, has, however, undergone a significant secularization in recent
years. The U.S. State Department notes that a survey published in February 2002 by the
Center of Sociological investigations found that ... of citizens [who] consider themselves
Catholic . . . [only] 19 percent attend Mass regularly. Id.
2. See infra Part VI.A (discussion of the influx of New Religious Movements into Spain).
3. See infra Part V.A.


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