Prayer requests for Spain in a nutshell
Here are the prayer requests for Spain which we currently have running.
The Socialist government's 'Social legislation' push
The Socialist government, elected in March 2004 (and re-elected in 2008), has pushed hard and fast to rid the Spanish law books of any laws which smell of Christianity, replacing them with progressive legislation. A major clash has occurred with the Catholic Church as the government has moved forward homosexual marriage, including adoption, together with other values changes, such as euthanasia, abortion and so on. The government dealt with as many as possible of these legal changes in the first half of the legislature, hoping they would be forgotten by detractors in the run up to the 2008 election. Immediately after the more recent election, the government announced that it now plans to revise the 'ageing' euthanasia and abortion laws.
In 2009 the main issue is the renewal (and liberalisation) of the abortion law.
For the first time since the transition to democracy in the late 1970s, Spanish evangelicals now find themselves pushed to defend some of the same 'values' as the wealthy, right wing, Opus Dei influenced Roman Catholics. Up to now, defending the underdog meant preferring left wing to right wing policies. Pray as evangelicals begin to take politics more seriously. An increasing number of statements now need to be made by representatives of the Evangelical Alliance and the official Federation of Evangelical Entities. More on the comment pages.
Inter party and broader tensions.
For many years parties in Spain were relatively gentle in their criticism of each other. But in recent time, as the main parties have become more extreme in their positions, particularly on topics such as the territorial division of Spain, including broader Basque issues, as well as values, so the tension and criticism have grown louder in tone. Even the army has voiced opinions unacceptable in a democracy. In the Jesuits' 2005 report, they even went as far as to say the tension is comparable with the politics just before the outbreak of the Civil War in 1936 -in which over a million Spaniards lost their life.
Since the elections in March, 2008, the opposition has calmed down and the recession, while not drawing opinions together, has caused all to concentrate on more serious matters than irritating each other!
ETA and the Basque Country
January 2008. In March, 2006, the Basque liberation terror group ETA declared a 'permanent ceasefire'. Hopes were raised and attempts made to ensure it stuck. But the peace only lasted a few months. On 30th December of that year ETA struck again in Madrid. Two immigrants died and the bombings were 'officially' started again by mid-2007. The violence in the name of home rule has rocked not only the Basque Country, but all of Spain over the past 35 years. The truce brought about a new political process in which the government aimed for talks with representatives of the terrorist group to see how a definitive end can be made. Sadly, ETA's hope of linking political gains from the process and the government's refusal to give an inch - together with even harder words from the opposition- made an agreed peace impossible. Since the end of the truce, many more presumed ETA members have been arrested and in the run-up to the 2008 general election, two pro-independence (and presumed pro-violence) parties were closed down.
The principal aim of ETA is independence for the Basque Country, which in their understanding refers to the political region of Spain, plus the region of Navarre and the department of Pyrénées Atlantiques in SW France. In addition, among other things, they want immediate transfer of all ETA convicts to prisons in the region (currently they are distributed across Spain and most in the southern region of Andalusia) and finally the release of all the convicts, whatever their proven crimes.
Background Continue to pray!
Meanwhile, of course, a new terrorist threat has come to disturb the peace in Spain. It would appear that most of the people directly involved in 3/11 later committed suicide, but a number of the people behind the bombing, both linking the bombers with Al Quaida on the one hand and a group of Spaniards who stole the explosive, have been subsequently arrested, tried and imprisoned. Despite the events of March, 2004, or perhaps because of the political upheaval caused, Spain would not appear to be so much in the Islamic eye just now, but appearing to give in to terrorism does not bode well for the medium term. From time to time more presumed terror cells are unearthed and put behind bars. In January, 2008, a number of Pakistanis were arrested in Barcelona. They had an amount of equipment which could have soon enabled them to make bombs.
Don't miss the events listed on the calendar!
Sala de Espera (Waiting Room)
This is a magazine with a pre-evangelistic emphasis, testimonies, articles on all kinds of subjects and an invitation to write in for more about how to know Christ. Published quarterly, it is distributed freely by participating churches in 'waiting rooms', places where people stop for a while, whether at the doctor, waiting for public transport or whatever, as well as distribution to church members' friends and neighbours. After 18 months it has got to number 5, with circulation now up to 70,000 copies through over 200 churches across Spain. Pray for results!
More information: from the Spanish Evangelists' Conference.
Unevangelised Spain: adopt a town
This is a project which Decision has been forwarding for the past 30 years. Go direct to the Adopt a town page
Open Air evangelism
This You Tube video from Jacob Block, will show you some of what is being done to reach people on the streets of Madrid.
TV and radio
The mass media are a great way to present the gospel, together with information about the churches, our views and values. There are regular programmes on local, regional and national stations. Here are some of the most important evangelical programmes:
Buenas Noticias TV (Good News TV) weekly on National TV (TVE 2) Sundays at about 09.00 local time and on TVE Internacional at various times, depending on your region: Programme
Regional TV programmes:
Sundays, weekly "Nueva Vida" in the Basque Country 08,30 h.
Sundays, weekly "NACER DE NOVO" on TV Galicia at 08.30 and late on Tuesday night
Tuesdays, weekly "PAN DEL CIELO" Canal Sur Andalusia 01.30 h (Wednesday morning) Also in Andalusia: (Programa "Diálogos con la verdad" on Canal Sur Radio -FM- Mondays -5:55h- and Fridays -23:55h-.)
National radio programme The national station Radio Nacional de España provides the evangelicals, jews and muslims a shared programme on Sunday mornings. Called Faith and living together, each of the faith groups will have a slot in the Sunday morning schedule, starting after the news at 5.00 a.m. The evangelical slot, of 15 minutes is called Protestant World.
With the agreement to run the programme, the religious monopoly of Roman Catholicism on the public service station has come to an end, although the timetable is hardly desirable. FEREDE continues to press the state for an end to the Catholic monopoly on ownership of radio stations as such.
Local radio Transworld Radio and Evangelism in Action have signed an agreement with 50 secular radio stations to transmit a series of programmes about the Bible over five years. Vernon McGee's Thru the Bible has been adapted and made more evangelistic to suit the Spanish situation. 1300 half hour programmes are now being broadcast.
The programmes go out at midnight every night (currently GMT/UTC+1, which is 11 p.m UK time or 6? p.m. EST), as can be seen on the program page of hit radio (link below). It is possible to listen in on the internet!
It's also on satellite HISPASAT 1C 11771 Mhz - Audio 4203 - Horizontal - Symbol R. 28126,
and Internet, (to listen in click on 'escúchanos')
Other radio stations are cooperating with evangelical churches and organisations, but in a number of cases there continue to be serious cases of discrimination, particularly with regard to the grant for a licence to run a full station. Individual items of up-to-date news can be read on the churches section of the News page.
Requests on other pages and elsewhere:
Don't miss the issues in the news: Click here
The SBC have some good material to help praying, with special emphasis on Prayer Walking at: Tell Europe
The Spanish Gospel Mission update their news every month.
The Christian & Missionary Alliance also have some requests here. (Click for on-going or specific requests.)
Evangelistic events calendar