Restrictions of religious freedom as an indicator of militant democracy: instrumental treatment of religion in Spain in 2009-2019*

Kamila Rezmer-Płotka

Resumen


Restricting religious freedom is one of the indicators that can testify to the process of becoming militant democracy. Militant democracy is a theoretical category used for such a political regime, in which parliament and the judiciary are equipped with legal means to restrict individual democratic freedoms in order to defend democracy against those who are considered its enemies. In this article, an analysis was carried out of how religious freedom was restricted in Spain between 2009 and 2019. The main purpose of this article is to answer the research question: What type of restriction of religious freedom occurred in the period considered? What was the dynamics of violations of religious freedom? The research hypothesis is following: violations of religious freedom in Spain in 2009-2019 point out to the instrumental treatment of religion and the process of militant democracy. The study verified whether one of the indicators indicating to the process of militant democracy was implemented into Spain's political system. The method used in the study is qualitative source analysis. Sources used in the study are reports from the United States’ Department of State from 2009-2019. Conclusions: in Spain, most often were restrictions associated with the place of worship; teaching religion in public schools; registering religious associations; cooperation agreements; financial issues and, above all, the possibility for citizens to transfer part of their income to the Catholic Church or NGOs excluding other faiths; religious symbols, main issues related to the prohibition of wearing certain parts of the wardrobe. The frequency with which restrictions on religious freedom are imposed is sufficient to speak of Spain's instrumental treatment of religion, and thus the evident within this indicator process of militant democracy.


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