Christianity: Although 74% of Italians were born as Roman Catholics, only 25% of these regularly attend mass (about 18% of Italians!) and less than 1% of them are active in charismatic groups. Other Christian religious groups, such as Christian Orthodox (3%) and Protestant (1%), are mostly composed of foreign immigrants from Easter Europe, Latina America, Africa and Asia, and out of the 12 Foursquare churches presently in Italy, only 3 of them have Italian born pastors.
Other religions: Amongst foreign immigrants there are also Muslims (3%) and Eastern Religions (1%), but the rest of the Italian population is either non-religious or belong to some sects (18%).
Reality Fact: Since most Italians are secular minded and don’t really know Christ, Italy is largely a Mission Field to be reached with the Gospel, and we need your prayers and support!
Vision and Strategy to reach the Nation of Italy:
Our Vision for Italy can be summarized simply as : Be fruitful and multiply! That was God’s early commandment to those He found righteous:
Gen 1: 28 God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth.
Gen 9:7 Be fruitful and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.
And it still is Christ’s great commission to His disciples of all ages:
Matt. 28: 19Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations …
John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.
Our Strategy to “be fruitful and multiply”and “make disciples of the nation” of Italy, is therefore:
- making disciples who will genuinely take up their cross to follow Jesus (Luk. 9:23);
- teaching them to observe all things He commanded us in His Word (Matt. 28:20);
- training the faithful and obedient ones to lead and teach others also (2Tim 2:2);
- praying that God will raise up new laborers to be sent into His harvest (Matt. 9:38)
- establishing “households of peace” (local churches) in every region of Italy (Luk. 10:5);
- multiplying the number of Italian speaking disciples, leaders and churches (Heb. 13:24)
- partnering with Spirit filled Christians of other denominations to evangelize the nation ( 1Cor. 12:12), according to the original vision of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.
As we make disciples, train leaders, and establish churches in every Italian region, our hope is to: 1) evangelize our nation, 2) revitalize the Italian Body of Christ, and 3) transform our society, according to Christ’s instructions to be “salt of the earth”and “light of the world” (Matt. 5:13-16).
On March 31st, 2018, the gathered pastors of Foursquare Italy elected Renato Amato as the new National Foursquare leader. After 20 years of missionary work in foreign fields around the world, in 1997 Renato and his wife Patrizia returned to Italy, their native country, with a missionary zeal and vision to make disciples of their own nation and to train new laborers for God’s harvest. First they planted and pastored a discipleship youth training ministry in the surrounding area of Rome, then in 2012 they moved to Lake Garda (north east of Italy) to be entrusted with the pastoral care of the Foursquarechurch of Salò by David and Ursula Anania, Swiss missionaries who originally planted the church but then moved back to their home country.