Spain /ˈspeɪn/ (Spanish: España, pronounced [esˈpaɲa], or the Kingdom of Spain (Spanish: Reino de España), is a country located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Its mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north by France, Andorra, and the Bay of Biscay; and to the northwest and west by the Atlantic Ocean and Portugal. Spanish territory also includes the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, the Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean off the African coast, and two autonomous cities in North Africa, Ceuta and Melilla, that border Morocco. With an area of 504,030 km², Spain is the second largest country in Western Europe and the European Union after France.
For approximately seven hundred years, until 1492 CE, much of Spain was under Islamic rule as Al-Andalus, the cultural legacy of which continues to this day. A great many Spanish words are derived from Arabic.
Spain is the historical home of the Sephardi Jewish community, many of whom are descended from Jews who were banished from Spain following the Alhambra Decree of 1492 CE. Ladino, the traditional language of Sephardi Jews is mostly derived from 15th century Spanish.
Roman Catholicism has been the largest and most influential religion in Spain for centuries and remains so today, 76% of Spaniards describe themselves as Roman Catholics, although agnosticism and atheism are increasing in popularity. Immigration has begun to change the face of religion in Spain, 2.3% of the population are Muslim, mostly recent immigrants from North Africa. About 0.75% of the population of Spain are Buddhist and 0.1% are Jewish.
- The Complete Book of Buddha's Lists -- Explained. David N. Snyder, Ph.D., 2006.
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