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 a large number in the UK. Some are still citizens of Spain while others have taken on citizenship in the UK.
What are their lives like? Many Spaniards in the UK are low wage earners. About half are in the healthcare, education and financial industries. There is a Spanish school in London, and Spaniards have influenced British culture for hundreds of years. There are a small number of Spaniards in the arts, sports and acting.
Spaniards who live in the UK have learned to deal with cultural differences. Eating habits differ. The British are sticklers on being punctual, which the Spaniards have to adjust to in both social events and the workplace. Personal space is different; the British keep more distance. The Spaniards can offend people by cutting in lines. Spaniards are shocked by Brits who go on drinking binges and their women who wear sexy clothes even in winter.
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 the UK 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 the UK so that it focuses on Jesus Christ.
Pray for Spanish churches to be Christ centered rather than tradition centered.
Pray that the Lord sends disciple-makers to the Spanish people in the UK.
Pray for spiritual hunger and a discernment that will keep the Spanish people in the UK away from spiritual counterfeits.