Spain is a constitutional monarchy with a bicameral parliament.

Systemic Discrimination
Mostly Satisfactory
Free and Equal

Constitution and government

The constitution and other laws and policies protect freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly and association. These rights are generally respected in practice, and there is no state religion, although the Roman Catholic Church continues to receive some privileges that are not available to other religions or groups.

The constitution provides for religious freedom and the freedom of worship by individuals and groups. The constitution also states that “no faith shall have the character of a state religion.”

Federal tax law, however, provides taxpayers the option of allocating up to 0.7 percent of their income tax to the Catholic Church or to a nongovernmental organization (NGO), but not to other religious groups.

As a result of a 1979 agreement with the Vatican, religious institutions are exempt from paying property tax.

Education and children’s rights

The government funds teachers for Catholic, Islamic, Protestant, and Judaic instruction in public schools when at least 10 students request it. The courses are not mandatory. Those students who elect not to take religious education courses are required to take an alternative course covering general social, cultural, and religious themes. Religious groups are responsible for selecting teachers for their particular religion. Either the national Ministry of Education or the regional entity responsible for education certifies teachers’ credentials.

Expression, advocacy of humanist values

The expression of humanist or secular values is generally respected. Secularization is proceeding apace in some regions. Around 30% of Catalonians now profess atheism, compared to 20% Roman Catholicism.