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Religions of Italy



Roman Catholicism is by far the largest religion in the country, although Catholicism is no longer officially the state religion. The proportion of Italians that identify themselves as Roman Catholic is 87.8%, although only about one-third of these described themselves as active members (36.8%). Most Italians believe in God, or a form of a spiritual life force. According to the most recent Eurobarometer Poll 2005: 74% of Italian citizens responded that 'they believe there is a God', 16% answered that 'they believe there is some sort of spirit or life force' and 6% answered that 'they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life force'.

The Italian Catholic Church is part of the global Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope, curia in Rome, and the Conference of Italian Bishops. In addition to Italy, two other sovereign nations are included in Italian-based dioceses, the enclaves of San Marino and Vatican City. There are 225 dioceses in the Italian Catholic Church, see further in this article and in the article List of the Roman Catholic dioceses in Italy.

Italy has a rich Catholic culture, especially as numerous Catholic saints, martyrs and popes were Italian themselves. Roman Catholicism is the largest religion and denomination in Italy, with around 87.8% of Italians considering themselves Catholic. Italy is also home to the greatest number of cardinals in the world, and is the country with the greatest number of Roman Catholic churches per capita.

Even though the main Christian denomination in Italy is Roman Catholicism, there are relevant minorities of Waldensians, Eastern Orthodox and other Christian churches. In the 20th century, Pentecostalism, non-denominational Evangelicalism, were the fastest-growing Protestant churches, as well as Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormonism. Starting from the 1980s, Immigration from Subsaharan Africa has increased the size of Baptist, Anglican, Pentecostal and Evangelical
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