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ITALY
Religion

Cities in ITALY

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Popular destinations ITALY

Campania

Dom van Milaan, gezien vanaf het Piazza del Duomo
photo: Jiuguang Wang, CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported no changes made

More than 85% of the population officially belongs to the Roman Catholic Church. Until 1984 Roman Catholicism was the state religion, enshrined in the 1929 Lateran treaties. The treaty was concluded between the Italian leader Benito Mussolini and Pope Pius XI. This also meant that the Roman Catholic Church was given privileges over other religions in many areas.

On February 12, 1984, the Italian government and the Vatican signed a concordat abandoning the principles of the Lateran Treaty and ending the privileges of the Roman Catholic Church.

The Roman Catholic Church is divided into about 300 areas, namely special resorts such as free prelatures, abbeys under an abbot or abbas nullius, archdioceses and dioceses, some of which fall directly under the Holy See.

There are also about 500,000 Protestants and Orthodox and about 35,000 Jews. The main Protestant church is the Waldensian Church (Italian: Chiesa Valdese), which was only recognized by law since 1947. Other Protestant churches include Lutherans of the German-speaking communities of the Northeast, Methodists, and Baptists. Together they form the Bond of Protestant Churches.

Waldensian church in Piazza Cavour, in the Borgo district of Rome
photo: Scalleja, CC Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic no changes made

The Union of Italian Jewish Municipalities comprises 22 Jewish municipalities. There is also a small Muslim community in the south of Italy and in the big cities in the north. Most Muslims (about 300,000) are originally from North Africa.

Masjid of Rome is the biggest mosque in the Western world
photo: Tykeoutdoljoklp, CC Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International no changes made

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Sources

Cassidy, P. / Italy
Raintree Steck-Vaughn Publishers

Europa
Lekturama

Europese Unie : vijftien landendocumentaties
Europees Platform voor het Nederlandse Onderwijs

Jepson, T. / Italië
Van Reemst

The Statesman's Yearbook: the politics, cultures and economies of the world
Macmillan Press

CIA - World Factbook
BBC - Country Profiles

Last updated March 2021
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