Catalonia, Spain's business region
Host to the highly successful 1992 Olympics and the less acclaimed 2004 Forum of the Cultures, Catalonia's capital, Barcelona, is one of Europe's major business centres, a busy port and the most densely packed city in Europe.
In 2004 Barcelona held the first "Forum of the cultures", a world cultural event aiming to bring all types and levels of culture together, as well as religions and other such groupings. Over 3 million people visited the five month event. For more on the Forum click here. Now tourism is a part of every day - BBC video.
Catalonia is quite distinct from other parts of Spain due to its language and culture. This makes it all the more colourful, but many at first have the shock of finding it more difficult to communicate.In the last resort Google's translator might help!
Historically, it was merged with Castile through the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon with Isabel of Castile, but remained administratively independent until conquered by Castillian Borbon forces during the war of succession in 1714 (Wikipedia)- very different to the voted merger of English and Scottish parliaments during the same war. The anniversary of the fall of Barcelona, 11th September, is now the Catalan national day.
During 2010 the relationship with 'Spain' came to a head when the recently renewed regional Statue, approved locally by the Parlament and in referendum, as well as in the national Cortes, was in part rejected by the Constitutional Court. The Catalan Parlament took revenge by banning bull fighting! (C.f this article from The Guardian).
Population (1/2008): 7,354,441 of whom 1,097,966 (14.9%) are foreigners
NEW! Catalan Views a blog site giving the varying views of the leaders of Catalan society.
Barcelona City web.
map with new road numbering (including the new national motorway numberings only on the heavier 'demarcació versions) downloadable in sections here.
The Guardian translates an article from El País on the quandary over regionalism or independence. 31 March 2011.
BBC on how foreigners struggle with Catalan identity.
BBC travel suggestions on Barcelona.
Membership: (PTL 1997) 18,228
Towns with over 5,000 inhabitants and no evangelical church: 70 (Decisión 2008)
List of major unevangelised towns in the province of Barcelona. Click on lower left hand map for other provinces.
Official churches' page (Catalan).
Churches -and much more- can also be found from the Barcelona City directory site, then click directories, religion, evangelical.
Barcelona is in many ways the most important city in Spain for the evangelicals. However, there are many outlying parts of the region where there are still no evangelical churches.
Outreach project on the Costa Brava to the needy and by internet to all kinds of folk
Social Outreach at the beach.
Alturas has for about some years had a ministry called 'A Prop Teu' (Close to You) in the Costa Brava resort towns of San Feliu de Guíxols and Palamós. The objective is to help the needy, particularly immigrants, with a wide variety of social and administrative chores which would otherwise be too hard for them. In Palamós the ministry is led by Ramón and Xenia Rendón, who are also involved in youth ministry at a provincial level as well as using the Internet to get seekers to apply for the Alturas Bible Correspondance Courses after reading evangelistic style messages on a variety of themes of general interest. (cf.: www.nissimag.com ) As of 1st July 2009 Alturas has closed down, but the ministry of Cursos Bíblicos continues, with A Prop Teu passing under the responsibility of the now independent church in Sant Feliu.
Palamós currently has a small Baptist church with an ageing population, the only church in the entire district, so the new outreach aims to get evangelism going again in the area. Your prayer support and donations welcome!