Rome

Non-Catholic worshippers recognized by Italian State

Mormons, Pentecostal and Orthodox followers approximately 2 mln

Non-Catholic worshippers recognized by Italian State

(ANSA) - Rome, September 18 - Two million non-Catholic worshippers in Italy were officially recognized by the Italian State on Tuesday after 15 years of lobbying. An agreement signed with the Orthodox Church in Italy, the Apostolic Church (Pentecostal) and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, better known as the Mormon Church, now means that followers of the three religions will be fully recognized in Italy. Massimo Introvigne from the Observatory of Religious Freedom said at a press conference on Rome's Capitol Hill that there are about 1.4 million Orthodox followers in Italy and that number is predicted to increase, surpassing the current 1.5 million Muslim community by 2014. Around 500,000 Pentecostal worshippers reside in Italy and about 25,000 Mormons. Legal implications of the agreement range from marriage rights to religion-specific tax contributions.

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