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Ethnicity, Language, & Religion of Spain

Ethnicity

Most of the people living in Spain are ethnically Spanish, but that ethnicity is somewhat of a mix of various ethnic groups. Having incorporated many people over time through invasions and other movements of people, the present-day Spanish ethnicity is most closely related to the Anglo-Saxons, Celts, and French from a genetic viewpoint, but also has significant traces left behind by the Visigoths (Germanic people), Jews, and Moors (North African people). The Roma (gypsies) are a significant minority group in Spain today; the Roma are most closely related to the people of India today.

Language

Castilian Spanish is the only official national language in Spain. This language is a part of the Latin-based languages, derived from the Romans and their language, Latin. Castilian Spanish is closely related to other Latin languages, including Portuguese, French, Italian, and Romanian among others.

Catalan, Galician, and Basque are also official regional languages in different parts of Spain. Catalan and Galician are also Latin-based languages with similarities to Spanish and other Latin languages. However, Basque is a more unique language with no close relatives as its origins pre-date the Roman invasion 2,000 years ago.

Religion

Nearly the entire population of Spain is Catholic, although the country has no official religion. Other small Christian groups, a small population of Muslims, and a small population of Jews also live in Spain.

Catholicism is a Christian religion that is one of the first Christian religions (founded after the death of Jesus in about 30-33 AD). Catholicism believes that there is a single God who created everything, a savior, the son of God, Jesus Christ who is the forgiver of sins, and there is the Holy Spirit, which makes up the last part of the Holy Trinity. Catholics follow the teachings of the Bible, consisting of the Old and New Testaments. Much of the faith is based on the life and teachings of Jesus, which is found in the gospels (in the New Testament).

Continue reading on Safari the Globe to Learn the Catholic Church's doctrines, liturgy, symbolism, traditions, & hierarchy

This page was last updated: May, 2014