The Roman Catholic Church in Western Sahara is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope and curia in Rome. History See also History of the Papacy Catholics recognize the Pope as a successor to Saint Peter, who Jesus named as the "shepherd" and A Curia in early Roman times was a subdivision of the people i Rome ( Roma ˈroma Roma is the capital city of Italy and Lazio, and is Italy's largest and most populous city with more than 2
Western Sahara is one of the least-Catholic countries in the world; the church is largely composed of little more than 100 expatriate Spaniards out of a population of over 250,000. Western Sahara ( Arabic: الصحراء الغربية; transliterated: as-Ṣaḥrā' al-Gharbīyah; Sahara Occidental is a territory An expatriate (in abbreviated form expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. There are no dioceses in the country, which forms a single apostolic prefecture, originally administered by the Prefecture Apostolic of Spanish Sahara and Ifni (founded July 5, 1954), later the Prefecture Apostolic of Spanish Sahara (founded May 2, 1970. For subsequent types of praefectura, see Prefect. Prefecture (from the Latin Praefectura) indicates the office Spanish Sahara was the name used for the modern territory of Western Sahara when it was ruled as a territory by Spain between 1884 and 1975 Ifni was a Spanish province on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, south of Agadir and across from the Canary Islands. ) The latter was renamed the Prefecture Apostolic of Western Sahara on May 2, 1976 and this is presently divided among two parishes. A parish is a Local church; it is an administrative unit typically found in episcopal or presbyterian churches Only two bishops have overseen the territory: Father Félix Erviti Barcelona, from July 19, 1954 until his retirement on July 6, 1994, and Father Acacio Valbuena Rodríguez since July 10, 1994. Fr Acacio Valbuena Rodríguez (b 8 May 1922 is the Roman Catholic Prefect for Western Sahara.
Western Sahara is a former Spanish colony, and the Catholic faith was introduced via Spanish colonialism and prior Portuguese exploration. The Spanish Empire (Imperio Español was one of the largest Empires in history and one of the first Global empires In the 15th and 16th centuries See Colony and Colonization for examples of colonialism which do not refer to Western colonialism The Portuguese Empire was the earliest and longest lived of the modern European colonial empires spanning almost six centuries from the capture of Ceuta Prior to Spain's abandoning the country in 1975, there were over 20,000 Spanish Catholics who left the country on General Franco's orders. The history of Western Sahara can be traced back to the times of Carthaginian explorer Hanno the Navigator on the 5th century BCE Francisco Paulino Hermenegildo Teódulo Franco y Bahamonde (born December 4, 1892 in Ferrol, died November 20, 1975 in Madrid