|% Urban:||71.3 %|
|Population Under 15 Yrs:||13.2 %|
|Official Language:||Italian, but vigorous use of nine regional languages akin to Italian|
|Literacy Rate:||99 %|
|Life Expectancy:||82.9 yrs (13/236)|
|HDI Ranking:||29 / 189|
|% Christian:||82.4 %|
|% Evangelical:||1.1 %|
|% Largest Religion:||82.4 %|
|Least Reached People Groups:||23|
|% Unevangelized:||4 %|
This great nation contributed much to the world through its legal systems (Roman law), language (Latin), culture (Renaissance, art, music), and innovation (fashion, cars). But the country struggles with financial troubles and organized crime. Networks such as the Sicilian Mafia, Neapolitan Camorra, and now the powerful Calabrian ‘Ndrangheta influence local and federal governments, and every level of society. Pray for courageous people who will oppose this criminal system which hurts the Italian economy. Pray for Christians to live out Kingdom values when they face difficult decisions.
Christianity once thrived in Italy, but it soon became a formalized state religion. Today the majority of Italians are Roman Catholic by culture, but many distrust the Church. Some studies suggest as few as 3% faithfully practise Catholicism. The north is mostly secular, and the south has a mix of Catholic faith with folk superstitions. Those who do pray will more often pray to a saint than to Jesus. Satanism grows in some areas, and Turin acts as a global centre for its followers. Italians will more likely explore a New Age or pagan practice than explore the Bible. However, the Catholic Church does take action in society. It offers compassion ministries, and takes a stand against secular philosophies. Ask God to remove the many barriers that keep people from understanding the gospel.
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Content taken or adapted from Operation World, 7th Edition (2010) and Pray for the World (2015). Both books are published by InterVarsity Press. All rights reserved.