CEC has just released a short documentary, Justice for Spanish Pastors. The video is second in the “Standing UP for Minority Rights” series and sheds light on the fate of Protestant pastors seeking justice and equal treatment in Spain. The video, which has been created in cooperation with the Spanish Evangelical Church, highlights the case of pastor Manzanas Martín and the discrimination faced by him and several other ministers.
The cases concern the difference in treatment for Catholic priests and Evangelical clergy in the public pensions scheme. While Catholic priests could have their years of service previous to their inclusion into the scheme taken into account – by paying the corresponding contributions – Evangelical ministers could not do retroactive payments, leaving them with very small or no financial support in old age. Whilst the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg acknowledged the discrimination in 2012, the Spanish state has not yet changed legislation effectively.
CEC has provided assistance to its Spanish Member Churches and advocated for their rights. CEC initiated several actions in relation to the Council of Europe and EU institutions, in particular EU Fundamental Rights Agency and has now documented the situation in the newly released video.