Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Only 50 Percent of Italians Call Themselves Cath.; Poll Finds Rel.Weakness Despite Home of Vatican

Italy may be the spiritual home of 1.2 billion members of the Catholic Church around the world, but a new poll shows only 50 percent of Italians consider themselves Catholic, the Religion News website reports today (March 30, 2016).

The poll -- published in the liberal daily "L'Unita" on March 29 -- challenges long-held perceptions that Italy is a "Catholic" country, despite the historic role of the Vatican City State in the heart of Rome.

Of the 1,500 respondents of the poll, 4 percent said they were Greek Orthodox or Protestant, 2 percent were Buddhist, 1 percent were Jewish, and 1 percent were Muslim.

Enzo Risso -- research director of the poll -- said the poll confirms a trend that Italy has witnessed a significant weakening of religious faith over the past 20 years.

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