The religion of Spain is Catholicism, and practically everyone there is a Catholic. Spain is a religious country, and churchgoers from all denominations will be able to find a convenient and welcoming church, synagogue or temple in which to worship.
The highlights of the Spanish religious calendar are the dozens of festivals that take place throughout the summer. Each community will host its own festival - often centred on a patron saint and these are celebrated with many colourful local traditions including folk dancing and carnival style processions. Holy Week - the week before Easter - sees much of this activity, with processions in most areas.
During the Franco years, Roman Catholicism was the only religion to have legal status; other worship services could not be advertised, and only the Roman Catholic Church could own property.
Laws were passed abolishing divorce and civil marriages as well as banning abortion and the sale of contraceptives, homosexuality was banned. Catholic religious instruction was mandatory, even in public schools.
It took the 1978 Spanish Constitution to confirm the right of Spaniards to religious freedom and to begin the process of disestablishing Catholicism as the state religion. The drafters of the Constitution delt with the intense controversy surrounding state support of the church.
Government financial aid to the Catholic church was a difficult and contentious issue. The church argued that, in return for the subsidy, the state had received the social, health, and educational services of tens of thousands of priests and nuns who fulfilled vital functions that the state itself could not have performed.