Italy, the "bel paese"
From antiquity until the late 16th century, Italy was considered the hub of Western culture, the starting point of worldwide phenomena such as the Roman Empire, the Roman Catholic Church, Humanism and the Renaissance. Italian painters, sculptors, composers, and architects also dominated the Baroque movement that began near the end of the Renaissance and ended in the 1700s. Both the internal and external facets of Western culture were born on the Italian peninsula, whether one looks at the history of the Christian faith, civil institutions (such as the Senate), education, philosophy, law, art, science, or social customs and culture.
Given the presence of the Catholic Church in Italy one would think that Italy does not need to hear the Gospel message. 80% of Italians consider themselves Christians. However, two-thirds do not go to church or follow the church’s teachings after age 12. Many have turned away from the church completely and chosen to follow other paths such as communism, new age or Islam. Recent statistics show that only 1.1% of Italians are born again and live a life of personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Although missionaries and mission agencies have worked in Italy for more than 40 years, TEAM did not have any ministry in Italy until 1981. In 1979 a team of three staff visited Italy and surveyed the country to determine which area had the greatest need for church planting personnel. As a result, in 1980 TEAM's board of directors gave a green light and the first couple, Murray and Florence Carter, were sent to a city called Forli' in the north-central part of Italy to establish the starting point of TEAM's church planting effort. Other missionaries soon followed.
A radio station called Radio Luce ("Radio Light") was launched in Forli', and as a result a church was begun there and in its next door neighbor, Faenza. TEAM expanded further as more personnel arrived and a church was started in Bologna. Later a church was added in Ravenna, on the Adriatic coast. After a merger in 1994 with Bible Christian Union, churches were started in Mestre, Pordenone, Udine, and Trieste. At present two couples are working with a Brethren assembly in Citta' di Castello to plant a church in a small city called Umbertide.
TEAM is using innovative methods to build bridges of redemptive relationships with Italians, such as English classes, children's park outreaches, music and sports evangelism.
Imola is a small provincial town of 70000 inhabitants. There is a great need to spread the good news of Christ in all facets of this community. From the schools to the factories, we are involved in sharing God’s love towards its people.
To read about other exciting ministry initiatives in Italy click HERE.
We want to connect with you about the purposes God might have for you together with us in Italy! Browse our listing of current needs in Italy.
|Youth Worker (Trieste - Tergeste)||Italy||up to 8 months
9 months - 2 years
|Musician-Worship Leader/Church Planter (Trieste - Tergeste)||Italy||9 months - 2 years
more than 3 years
|Christian Counselor/Church Planter (Trieste - Tergeste)||Italy||more than 3 years|
|ESL Teacher/Church Planter (Trieste - Tergeste)||Italy||up to 8 months
9 months - 2 years
more than 3 years
|Youth & Young Adult Ministry/Church Planter (Trieste - Tergeste)||Italy||more than 3 years|
|Church Planter (Trieste - Tergeste)||Italy||more than 3 years|
|Children's day camp worker - Internship||Italy||up to 8 months|
|Summer camp children's worker||Italy||up to 8 months|
Rising immigration has been accompanied by an increase in non-Christian faiths. In 2009, there were 1 million Muslims in Italy forming 1.6 percent of population, although only 50,000 hold Italian citizenship. There are more than 200,000 followers of faiths originating in the Indian subcontinent with some 70,000 Sikhs with 22 gurdwaras across the country, 70,000 Hindus, and 50,000 Buddhists. There are an estimated 4,900 Bahá'ís in Italy.
The Holy See, also known as the Vatican, is the seat of the Roman Catholic Church and is a separate country within the country of Italy. It is located within the city of Rome and the population is 785 persons.
There are around 600,000 Evangelical Christians (about 1.1% of the total population) in Italy. The majority of these live in the southern regions of Italy, leaving many of the northern regions with less than 0.1% Evangelical Christians.
Many Italians are turning away from the church in search of answers to their hearts' greatest need. Italy has 100,000 full-time consulting "maghi" or seers, almost three times the number of Catholic priests.
Italy, the beautiful, historically and culturally rich "boot" of Europe is home to 60 million people. Roman Catholicism is by far the largest religion in the country, although Catholicism is no longer officially the state religion. Most Italians believe in God, or a form of a spiritual life force.
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