Spain: Catholics and Christians Are the most targeted Religion, According to Latest Report

Country: Spain

Date of incident: November 20, 2023

The Observatory for Religious Freedom and Freedom of Conscience (OLRC) in Spain collects, verifies and publishes attacks on religious freedom in the country. The 2023 report shows that attacks have increased in 2022 compared to 2021 by 6.67%, from a total of 195 to 208 cases. Their Annual Report shows that attacks on places of worship have increased by 40% and that 3 out of every 4 attacks have been against Catholics. The OLRC also documented 4 specific cases of violence against believers, all of them being against Catholics.

The report shows different graphics visualizing the situation in Spain: 

- In 2022, the OLRC documented 155 attacks against Catholics, 27 cases against other confessions, 20 cases against other Christian denominations, 3 cases against Jews and 3 cases against Muslims. 

They also reported:

- 35 attacks on places of worship and religious symbols: 31 against Catholics, 3 against Christians and one attack against Jews. This shows an increase of 40% in comparison to the 25 attacks of 2021.

- 25 cases of harassment or insults towards believers: 20 against Catholics, 3 against Christians, 1 against Muslims and 1 against Jews. 

- 53 cases of mockery of religion: 44 cases against Catholics, 8 against Christians of other confessions and 1 against Jews.

- 91 cases of militant secularism: 56 against Catholics, 6 against other Christians, 2 against Muslims and 27 classified against all denominations.

Considering that many forms of discriminatory speech towards religions have come from political groups, the president of the Observatory for Religious Freedom states: "It is necessary to re-emphasise the responsibility that political representatives have when issuing their speeches and the incidence and effects that these messages and speeches have on the actions of citizens. The degree of radicalisation of the discourse has a negative effect that leads to an intensification of attacks on Religious Freedom and Freedom of Conscience."

OIDAC Europe documented 53 anti-Christian hate crimes in Spain, which would correlate to the attacks against property (34) and cases of harassment (23) documented by OLRC in Spain.

Source: OLRC Spain

Photo: OLRC Spain