SPAIN is a land of diversity in both its landscape and its people. Much of Spain is clothed with wheat fields, grapevines, and olive trees. To the south, only some nine miles (14 km) of water separates mainland Spain from the African continent.
Many peoples—including the Phoenicians, the Greeks, and the Carthaginians—migrated to this southwest corner of Europe. When the Romans arrived in the third century B.C.E., they called their newly conquered territory Hispania. The land was subsequently occupied by Visigoths and Moors, all of whom left their cultural legacy.
In one recent year, more than 68 million people visited Spain. Most come for the sunshine, the golden beaches, and the country’s artistic, historical, and architectural treasures. Spanish food also attracts many visitors. Typical fare includes seafood, cured hams, rich stews, salads, and vegetables cooked or seasoned with olive oil. Spanish omelets, paella, and tapas are renowned the world over.
Spanish people are friendly and outgoing. Most profess to be Roman Catholic, but relatively few actually attend Mass. In recent years people from Africa, Asia, and Latin America have emigrated to Spain. Many of them enjoy discussing their religious beliefs and customs. Jehovah’s Witnesses have had productive conversations with them and have been able to help them learn what the Bible teaches on many subjects.
During 2015, more than 10,500 Witnesses volunteered to build or renovate 70 of their meeting places, called Kingdom Halls. Municipalities provided land for some of those projects. To help immigrants, Jehovah’s Witnesses hold meetings in more than 30 languages in addition to Spanish. In 2016, more than 186,000 people attended a special meeting held by Jehovah’s Witnesses to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ.