Introduction / History Did you know that Spanish is the fourth most spoken language in the world? Over a half of billion people speak Spanish. This puts Spanish behind only English, Mandarin and Hindi. The widespread use of the Spanish language came as a result from the huge holdings of the Spanish Empire from the 15th century to 1976. During this five-century period Spain controlled large sections of North America, the Caribbean, South America, Western Europe, Africa, and islands in Asia and Oceania.
Besides those residing in Spain, Spaniards are found in over 50 countries including Australia. The first Spaniards arrived in Australia in 1821. More came throughout the 1800s looking for gold. Others came as rural workers who grew sugar cane and tomatoes.
Today the Spaniards in Australia are scattered. They do not have a centralized Spanish-Australian community.
What are their lives like? Most of the Spaniards in Australia today are either university students or people who arrived with needed work skills. They have to adjust to using the English language and traveling long distance. Australia is a large country with cities hundreds of miles from each other. Spaniards are used to compact cities where much of what they want is in walking distance. Spaniards must also adjust to socializing at home rather than public bars and restaurants.
What are their beliefs? Most Spanish people are nominally Roman Catholics. Only about 10% of Spanish Catholics attend mass on a weekly basis. They get married and buried by the Roman Catholic church. Their children are baptized by Roman Catholic priests into the church. Most Spanish people in Australia are more concerned with their family's economic and social well-being rather than teachings of the Roman church.
Evangelical Christians believe that the Bible is the only source of authority for Christ's church. Roman Catholics see tradition and the official teachings of the popes and bishops as equal to or superior to the Bible. Catholics pray to God, Mary and the saints while evangelicals pray only to God. Still evangelicals and Catholics have many beliefs in common such as the Trinity and the virgin birth, the deity, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
What are their needs? Spaniards need to understand that they can have a personal love relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Christianity is not a set of rules or system of morality. Christians can know for certain that their sins are forgiven, and they have eternal life. According to Roman Catholic teaching, one cannot be assured of one's salvation.
Prayer Points Pray for the Holy Spirit to revive the Roman Catholic church in Australia so that it focuses on Jesus Christ.
Pray for Spanish churches in Australia to be Christ centered rather than tradition centered.
Pray that the Lord sends disciple-makers to the Spanish people in Australia.
Pray for spiritual hunger and a discernment that will keep the Spanish people in Australia away from spiritual counterfeits.