A. THE COUNTRY
The Italian Republic is a long mountainous peninsula in Europe, and also
two large islands: Sardinia (limited autonomy, ~1.67 million people and
its own language and culture) and Sicily. Italy is a parliamentary
democracy and has had 62 governments since WW II, though with an
underlying social stability. Highly industrialized, Italy is the
world’s seventh-largest economy and known for quality manufactured
goods. The north is affluent where the south has widespread
unemployment. Organized crime networks have infiltrated every level of
society, despite the state’s attempt to reduce their power (weak
law-enforcing mechanisms are common). Italy has the world’s
B. THE PEOPLE
The population is ~60,098,000 and the official language is Italian.
~93.4% are Italian, with deep cultural and historical differences
between the north and south, and wide variety of regional cultures and
dialects. ~3.8% are European, and ~2.8% Other (Arab, Filipino, Chinese,
African, and others).
C. RELIGIONS AND CHRISTIANITY/PENTECOSTALISM
Roman Catholicism ceased to be the state religion in 1984. All
religions have equal freedom before the law, but not in practice. The
majority of Italians remain culturally Catholic rather than practising
Catholicism. Italians are inclined to get involved in the occult, New
Age, pagan practice and the cults. ~82.38% claim to be Christian,
~14.13% Non-religious, ~2.6% Muslim, ~0.43% Buddhist, ~0.26% Hindu,
~0.13% Sikh, ~0.06% Jewish, ~0.01% Baha’i.
In the Christian category:
~84.37% are Catholic, ~1.74% Orthodox, ~0.63% Protestant, ~0.44%
Independent, ~0.02% Anglican.
Evangelicals represent ~1.1% of the population.
Charismatics represent ~3.3% and of those ~0.7% are Pentecostals.
Traditional Pentecostalism is strong, particularly in the south, while
the broader Protestant witness is weak.
Groups considered “marginal”, that originated in North American society,
are active with approaching 500,000 affiliates.5
Operation World, Jason Mandryk. Colorado Springs: Biblica Publishing, 2010