Does Italy really need our attention?
Consider the following:
- Less than 1% of Italy’s 60 million inhabitants even profess to have embraced the gospel of grace
- Bible-based churches are few and often struggle to be relevant and reach out
- Strategic, intentional church-planting is rare and much of the prevalent theology is weak.
- Evangelicals are less than 1% of the population
- 80% of cities, towns and villages have no evangelical church
- In some areas there are 40,000 unreached people for every 1 evangelical church
- 150,000 practising fortune-tellers, 3 times the number of priests!
- Nominalism and secularisation are rapidly increasing
- More than 20 Italian cities with around 50,000 people have NO known Evangelical church.
- 30 million Italians live in towns of less than 20,000 people of which the vast majority have no church.
- The student population of Rome is around 230,000 and that of Milan about 180,000. Gospel work among the students is still very small or completely absent.
- Islam is Italy’s second religion. In some locations in Italy up to a third of the population are migrants. And almost completely unreached.
- Up to 9 million ‘users’ monthly access prostitution, and human trafficking is a growing scourge.
But consider the following too:
- Growing, healthy unrest is developing among many Christians who long for depth and growth and have missional vision;
- Substantial opportunities and challenges exist for Gospel-proclamation: universities, migrant communities, the disillusioned religious, frustrated and confused young people... just some of the areas of need;
- Impatto (Acts 29 in Italy) and Percorsi (The Porterbrook Network in Italy) are two strategic ongoing, growing church-planting related initiatives.