The southern European country of Italy continues to be overwhelmingly Catholic, and the Roman Church—which has its global headquarters located at the Vatican in Rome—plays a major cultural, social, and political role in Italian life. Yet global trends affecting society and culture, such as increased immigration, cultural pluralism, and a growing individualism have altered this century-old relationship in many ways.

Increased Religious Diversification

According to the latest statistics, Catholicism has preserved its monopolistic hold over the population, with 90% of Italians having been baptized in the Roman Church. Yet a major element of diversification has come from the recent wave of immigration. Of the 2.6 million immigrants, 50.3% are Christians (18.5% Orthodox; 25.6% Catholics, 4.5% Protestants, and 1.7% other Christians), 32.4% (824,342) of the recent immigrants are ...

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