For much of Spanish history, to be a Spaniard and to be a Catholic were understood as equivalent. Spain had seven different constitutions in a span of 150 years and the question of religion was one of the main issues in each new constitution. From the early 1800s until the Constitution of 1978 Spain oscillated between two extremes: on one side, complete identification of the Church with the state; and on the other, state discouragement and restriction of the Church. Neither extreme provided for religious freedom. The Constitution of 1978 was different. It struck a workable balance in church-state relations by embracing the historical and social importance of the Catholic Church while at the same time protecting the rights of minority religions.
Church-State Cooperation Does Not Violate a Guarantee of Religious Freedom: A Study of the 1978 Spanish Constitution and 1979 Concordat with the Catholic Church,
Emory Int'l L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarlycommons.law.emory.edu/eilr/vol27/iss1/11