Compare & Save on International Removals

Save 70% off the cost of your house move today!

Compare My Move Fact-Checking Standards

The Compare My Move team follows strict guidelines to ensure that every piece of content is accurate, trust-worthy and adheres to the highest standard of quality. Each article is expertly reviewed by members of our author panel before being published to promote accurate and quality content.

All Compare My Move articles adhere to the following standards:

  • Expertly reviewed - Our articles are reviewed by an industry expert with in-depth knowledge and experience of the article topic.
  • Data supported - All statistics, research and data must link or reference to the original source.
  • Accuracy - All research and data are taken from high-quality, trustworthy and authoritative sources.
  • Quality checked - Our content writers ensure every Compare My Move article is written to the highest of standard.

Understanding Religion in Spain

Martha Lott

Written by

28th Apr 2023 (Last updated on 31st Jul 2023) 4 minute read

People considering moving to Spain will want to know all they can about their new home. As well as Spain's government and Spanish culture, religion is another area every expat should research.

In this guide, we will examine the different religions in Spain, the main religious events and landmarks.

  1. What are the Main Religions in Spain?
  2. What Religious Holidays are Celebrated in Spain?
  3. Religion in Architecture
  4. Fall of Catholicism in Spanish Culture
  5. Being Non-Religious Living in Spain
  6. Finding an International Removal Company

What are the Main Religions in Spain?

Being a big part of the country’s identity in the past, Catholicism stands as the main religion in Spain.

In a 2023 census, around 56% of the population identified as Catholic. Though decreased from the 68.5% recorded in 2018, Catholicism remains the main religion in Spain. That’s not to say it is the official state religion but it is far more prevalent than any other religious branch.

Muslims form the second-largest part of Spain’s religious community. Due to centuries of Islamic rule in the past, between roughly 2% and 3% of Spain's population are Muslim today. An estimated 3 in 10 Spaniards identify as atheist, agnostic or non-religious. The other minority religions in Spain include Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons.

What Religious Holidays are Celebrated in Spain?

As a primarily Catholic country, Spain observes more religious holidays than Britain. Many feature street parades and celebrations. If you’re religious yourself, most events still include worship services as part of the day’s routine:

  • 6th January - The day of the Epiphany (Kings’ Day or the Dia de Los Reyes)
  • Late March/early April - Good Friday and Easter Monday (Easter Monday only observed in Catalonia, Navarra and the Basque Country)
  • 11th June - Corpus Christi (Castile-La Mancha)
  • 15th August - The Assumption of Mary
  • 22nd August - Feast of the Sacrifice (or Eid al-Adha, Islamic holiday recognised only in Ceuta and Melilla)
  • November 1st - All Saints Day (Día de Todos los Santos)
  • December 8th - Immaculate Conception (La Immaculada Concepció or La Puríssima)
  • December 25th - Christmas

To top it off, the separate regions of Spain have a national holiday to commemorate their patron saint:

  • Andalusia (El Cid) - February 28th
  • Aragon (Saint George) - April 24th
  • Asturias (Our Lady of Covadonga) - September 8th
  • Balearic Islands (Saint Sebastian/Saint Anthony) - 1st March
  • Canary Islands (The Virgin of Candelaria) - 30th May
  • Cantabria (Lady of Aparecida) - July 28th
  • Castile La Mancha (The Virgin of La Antigua) - May 31st
  • Castile and Leon (Saint Ferdinand and Saint Froilán respectively) - April 24th
  • Catalonia (Saint George again) - September 11th
  • Valencia (Saint Vincent) - October 9th
  • Extremadura (Saint Isidore) - September 8th
  • Galicia (Saint James) - May 17th
  • La Rioja (Saint Dominic de la Calzada) - June 9th
  • Madrid (Saint Isidro) - May 2nd
  • Murcia (The Virgin of Fuensanta) - June 9th

Compare International Removals

Save up to 70% on Removal Costs

Religion in Architecture

Spain boasts some of Europe's most varied religious architecture.

Thanks to the country's extensive history, two churches could feature vastly different styles. Gaudí’s La Sagrada Familia and the Gothic Santa Maria del Mar (both in Barcelona) are prime examples. You can also find beautiful mosques across the peninsula - such as La Mezquita in Córdoba.

Whilst religious in origin, these buildings are as much tourist attractions as they are religious icons.

Fall of Catholicism in Spanish Culture

Though still the major religion of the region, Catholicism in Spain is on the decline. From 2012 to 2023, the percentage identified as Catholic dropped by 15%. Of the current 56%, only 1 in 3 are practising Catholics. An even smaller selection attended mass regularly. The other 2 in 3 either attend mass a few times a year or not at all.

This is partly due to an ongoing separation of religion from culture and politics. Younger citizens are also leaning away from the Catholic roots of their parents. A big historical factor is Spain’s transition to a republic since the demise of Francisco Franco. who closely tied church and state together up until his death in the 1970s. All these factors make it likely that practising Catholics will continue to diminish.

That’s not to say that church doesn’t still play a big part in Spanish culture. Over 4 million Spaniards still attend mass at least 2 times a month. The vast majority of Spanish Catholics still revere the pope.

Compare International Removals

Save up to 70% on Removal Costs

Being Non-Religious Living in Spain

Anyone moving to Spain needn’t worry about their religious beliefs - or lack thereof.

Many festivities and national holidays are now tailored to today's audience. This makes them as much cultural days as they are religious, with parades, food and drink to be enjoyed by all. You don’t need to be religious to enjoy the architecture throughout the country either. These now stand as staples of Spain’s national identity and tourism industry - regardless of their spiritual roots.

There are many Muslim landmarks in Spain to admire, such as mosques or the fortress of Alhambra. If you wish to visit, the rules regarding visitations are pretty lax. Don’t take your clothes or shoes off, keep pets outside and refrain from eating, drinking or smoking.

Finding an International Removal Company

If you’re looking for advice, our guides on where to live in Spain and securing visas can help you narrow down the essentials. Once you’re ready to go, book removals to Spain to get your goods in transit.

All our international removal partners are covered through Goods in Transit, Public Liability and International Insurance.

Martha Lott

Written by Martha Lott

Having guest authored for many property websites, Martha now researches and writes articles for everything moving house related, from remortgages to conveyancing costs.