The Spanish Constitution of 1978 separates church and state, thus protecting the right to freedom of religion. The Magna Carta reflects the religious customs and traditions followed in the country for many years, especially since the beginning of the tourism boom that brought so many visitors who, even when they came for a few days, wanted to attend their own religious services.
As in many European countries, most Spanish citizens are Roman Catholic, but the country has always been respectful of the different religious beliefs, proof of which are the number of non-Catholic religious centres available across Spain, especially in the areas where foreign population –residents or tourists– is higher than in other areas.
On the Costa del Sol, and in the whole province of Málaga, almost all Christian denominations have their own churches. However, with the ever increasing number of countries tourists come from, besides those churches, houses of worship for many religions have been erected, as is the case with Buddhist temples, Muslim mosques or Jewish synagogues.
We could say, thus, that all tourists coming to the Costa del Sol will have a place they can attend their own religious services..
Obviously, given the local religious tradition, Catholic churches outnumber those of other religions. Therefore, all villages in the province, even the smallest village, have at least one Catholic church, and the number of churches increases with the size of the town. You would be amazed by the number of churches in some towns.
Catholic churches are followed in number by Evangelical temples, which can be found at Alhaurín de la Torre, Arroyo de la Miel, Fuengirola, Estepona, Marbella, Rincón de la Victoria, Ronda, Nerja, Cártama, Manilva, Coín, Alhaurín el Grande, Benalauría, Benalmádena, Antequera, Torremolinos, and Torrox.
Jehova's Witnesses have religious centres and halls in Fuengirola, Álora, Cómpeta, Coín, Estepona, Marbella, Arroyo de la Miel, Torremolinos, Málaga, Torrox, Alameda, and Archidona..
Muslim centres can be found in Málaga, Marbella and Fuengirola, which are home to three large mosques, and Estepona, where there is not any mosque but only an Islamic centre. In Marbella, Málaga and Torremolinos there are Jewish synagogues.
Anglicans can attend religious centres in Alhaurín el Grande, Marbella, Benalmádena Costa, and Coín. Buddhist sites have been recently established in Vélez-Málaga, Málaga, and Benalmádena. In Benalmádena a great stupa has been built.
In addition, Fuengirola offers a congregation of the Episcopal Church, a Presbyterian church, a Scandinavian church, and a temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints. Mijas has a temple of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark. Finally, in Málaga there is a temple of the Episcopal Church and one of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints.
In view of this, visitors who spend their holidays on the Costa del Sol can enjoy their time and will have the opportunity to observe their religious practices, whatever they might be. In sum, they are given the chance of caring of both body and soul.
Costa del Sol Tourist Board - Plaza de la Marina, nº4 - 29015 Málaga - Tel: +34952126272 - Fax: +34952225207 - email@example.com