In Spain, it is forbidden to pray the rosary in front of the Socialist Party headquarters in Via Ferraz. This was revealed by María García, president of the Observatory for Religious Freedom, who, in addition to holding this post, is a wife and a journalist. In an interview with Infocatolica she explained why this would be a clear case of a violation of religious freedom. To begin with, García explained, ‘The right to religious freedom is both an individual and a collective right. A believer should have the freedom to pray when and how he wants. Just as it is an abuse of religious freedom that one cannot pray in front of an abortion clinic’.
Even those who pray the Rosary publicly are threatened with arrest as if they were criminals, which is why Christian lawyers have taken it upon themselves to denounce the situation. ‘It is a very pertinent and appropriate denunciation,’ García emphasised, ‘the government is violating religious freedom, and on the part of civil society, we must press for the rights of believers to be respected. This is an attack on religious freedom, so we will include it in the Report on Attacks on Religious Freedom 2023. In addition, some volunteers, including myself, and some members of the Consultative Council will be going to the parish in Via Ferraz these days to support believers who will pray the Rosary and freely exercise their right to religious freedom’.
García also explains how all this sets a serious precedent if one considers that, lately, in the penal code, the act of praying in front of an abortion centre is even considered a form of harassment. “In the last Monitoring Committee of the Plan to Combat Hate Crimes, we asked the Minister of the Interior, Grande-Marlaska, why he forbade praying in front of a centre where abortions are performed. He told us, “I shouldn’t have to answer that, but I will.” And then he said that many of these believers harass I could verify, however, with my own eyes that believers who try to support women never harass’.
So García expects that at this rate the minister will also ban prayers on the doors of Madrid’s churches, and for this, he says, a massive prayer action is needed: ‘Yes. When fundamental rights are violated, we must unite to defend them, and for this to be rebounded by the media, massive action is really needed’.
So it is forbidden to pray for a Catholic in public in Spain, and this is a real offense to so-called “Religion freedom.”