• Pray for nominal Christians throughout Italy, that they would gain a true understanding of the gospel.
• Pray for Italians enslaved by tradition or disillusioned with church structures to encounter the living Christ.
• Pray for the power of God to be revealed and to set free those lost in the darkness of occult, pagan, and New Age practices.
Italy is home to some of the world’s most famous historical treasures including the Colosseum, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Roman Forum. Central to the Renaissance, Italy is the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael. This nation has had an immeasurable and global impact on art, music, and literature, and is often known for its architecture, fashion, and cuisine. Classical villas, the Mediterranean coast, and the northern Alps are just glimpses of the breathtaking beauty that draws millions of tourists every year.
Though Italy has the seventh-largest economy in the world, it is struggling to grow. Both restrictive legislation for businesses and organized crime have contributed to the country’s overwhelming debt (the third largest in the world). Once the seat of the Roman Empire, one of history’s greatest superpowers, today Italy faces many social and economic challenges. Roughly 39% of youth are unemployed, causing many to leave the country in search of greater opportunities. Thirty percent live in poverty; massive debt inhibits the government from properly addressing the issue. Despite the RICO operation in the 1990s that aimed to crackdown on corruption, organized crime still reaches into every strata of social and governmental life. The recent immigration crisis has also brought thousands of refugees from war-torn places such as Syria and Libya to their shores, leading Italy to threaten closing its ports.
This nation has a rich history of faith. The Book of Romans was written to the Church in Rome, which was the center of intense persecution for the early Church. Deeply rooted in Catholicism, it is home to the Vatican - the seat of the Catholic Church. Today, about 82% of the population claims Christianity (most are Roman Catholic). Yet only 15% of Italian Catholics faithfully practice their faith, with the majority seeing it as part of their cultural identity more than as a personal belief. Only about 1% of Italians are Evangelical Christian. Secular materialism, Occultism, and Satanism are gaining influence across the nation. Many regions remain without a strong evangelical church; out of 105 people groups, 24 remain unreached with the Gospel. A better understanding of God’s Word is needed in order to overcome the rampant spiritual indifference that now plagues this nation.
Capital City: Rome
Government: Parliamentary republic
Major People Groups: 28% Italian; 15% Lombard; 13% Neapolitan-Calabrian; 8% Sicilian; 7% Venetian (Istrian)
Religion: Christian 76%, Agnostic 13%, Muslim 6%, Atheist 4%
Language: Italian, Lombard, Napoletano-Calabrese, Sicilian, Venetian
GDP Per Capita: $39,000
Literacy Rate: 99.2%
POPULATION IN UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUPS: 3.5%
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