Deadly Mudslide in Italy

Deadly Mudslide in Italy

Recent excessive rainfall and flooding in Italy have led to a tragic landslide. During the first weekend of December, catastrophic mudslides claimed the lives of at least eight people on the Italian island of Ischia, to the west of Naples. At least five people are still missing. The government has allocated funds to aid displaced townspeople, and the hard work of cleaning up has begun. Many homes were completely destroyed by the landslide, as well as infrastructure being badly damaged. Both the local and national governments are working to repair all the damage. In the meantime, a state of emergency has been declared as other areas hit with extreme rainfall prepare for the possibility of mudslides as well.

The possibility of losing a home, or far worse, a life, no doubt has created a sense of fear in Italians living in the affected area. A sense of self-preservation has no doubt left many wondering if they should leave the area until it has been made safer. Christians with a sense of soul preservation are needed to take the Gospel to these people who have had such a harrowing experience. While Italy is predominantly a Roman Catholic country, many who subscribe to that religion are not faithful members. It is estimated that only 1% of the total population is evangelical Christian and 4% are completely unevangelized. The harvest is ripe in Italy, but laborers are so desperately needed. Please pray for this to open the door to many salvations, for missionaries to answer to call to go to Italy, and for God’s name to be glorified through even this difficult situation.

Elections in Italy

Elections in Italy

General elections took place in Italy during the last weekend of September. The turnout for voting was 64% — the lowest in nearly fifty years. In a speech on Sunday night, Giorgia Meloni, head of the elected leadership party, thanked voters who showed confidence in her party and emphasised her goal of uniting citizens. Meloni is set to become Italy’s first female prime minister but is facing criticism for her “far-right” conservatism. The elected party, Brothers of Italy, was formed by supporters of Benito Mussolini after World War II. Supporters of the modern Brothers of Italy party and Giorgia Meloni emphatically claim that they are not fascists. Despite these claims, some are concerned that although the modern party may not be fascist, their conservative leanings may influence them to implement policies that will lead the country into an illiberal democracy.

Beginning more than 2,000 years ago, this region has greatly contributed to world history through law and legal processes, the origin of many modern languages, as well as culture. In more recent history, the Italians suffered under the fascist dictatorship from the 1920s-1940s, and it is no wonder that many are wary of any government party with historical links to such a dictatorship. While Roman Catholicism has a strong foothold in Italy, it is more cultural than an active belief system with only 3% of professing Catholics practising the religion. Evangelical Christianity has even fewer followers with 1% of the 60,000,000 population. Please be in prayer for the following:

  1. the missionaries in Italy to be faithful and effective witnesses in sharing the Gospel
  2. that those who are seeking will find the Truth
  3. more missionaries to reach the millions in Italy
Alpine Hikers Killed in Italy

Alpine Hikers Killed in Italy

On Sunday, June 26, a group of hikers were killed in the Dolomite mountain region of northeastern Italy. The hikers were on an access trail when a large glacier broke off from the pinnacle of the mountain. This rained down ice and rock, killing 6 and wounding 9 others. Several of the 9 have been in critical condition. Based on the number of unclaimed cars in the car park, around 17 people are missing.

Hiking in the Dolomites is a popular way to escape the heat in the warm summer months, but it has been an exceptionally warm summer with temperatures reaching 50˚ F on the mountaintop. Due to the unusually high temperatures within the past month, it is believed that the glacier melted significantly enough to cause it to break off and fall.

The world has reacted to this news with a focus on climate change and a stark warning about future implications. Christians know that other future implications should be emphasized. Looking to the future of every soul, we should be sharing the Gospel faithfully with those who cross our path. In Italy, many people are blinded by the false Roman Catholic religion. While this is the official state religion, according to Operation World, many Italians do not trust the Church and rarely attend. Some studies show that as few as 3% of the Italian population actively practice the Roman Catholic religion. At only 1%, evangelical Christians are by far in the minority. Please pray for people to take the Gospel to Italy and for Italians to be open to the truth of Jesus Christ.

Who Will Go Italy? 60 Million People In Need of the Gospel

Who Will Go Italy? 60 Million People In Need of the Gospel

Pizza. Pasta. Art. Football. Cars. Fashion. Gelato. There is much to love about Italy, a long mountainous peninsula that dominates the central Mediterranean.

With sixty million people, Italy is the fifth-most populous country in Europe. Despite being home to the New Testament “church at Rome” and various Anabaptist and Protestant groups throughout history, Italy is still a country that desperately needs the gospel.

The Roman Catholic Church has its headquarters in Rome and continues to exercise much influence over the Italian people. 74% of Italians identify as Roman Catholics, though some studies have shown that at most 15% faithfully practice Catholicism. Other belief systems such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Satanism, and those with no religion abound.

Operation World estimates that only about 1.1% of the population are evangelical! The North American Mission Handbook records a drastic decline of Baptist missionaries from North America, from 57 in 2003 to only 16 in 2009!

Despite the challenges, Italy remains a strategic place for gospel outreach for the following the reasons:

  • It’s shares land borders with several European countries and sea borders with many Africa and Middle Eastern nations.
  • It is a world leader in culture, economy, military, and diplomacy.
  • It has a growing number of immigrants from various countries (5 million in 2016).

Please pray for laborers to be ready like Paul “to preach the gospel to [the people] that are at Rome also” (Romans 1:16).

Pray for church planters to plant churches in the following urban areas in Italy:

  1. Milan – 5.1 million
  2. Rome – 4.4 million
  3. Naples – 3.4 million
  4. Turin – 2.3 million
  5. Palermo – 1.3 million
  6. Bari – 1.3 million
  7. Catania – 1.1 million
  8. Florence – 1 million
  9. Bolgna – 1 million
  10. Genoa – 841 thousand
  11. Venice – 853 thousand
  12. Messina – 626 thousand
  13. Calabria – 548 thousand
  14. Cagliari – 431 thousand

If you are interested in mission and church planting work in Europe, get in touch with Vision Baptist Missions.

(Much of the information in this article was taken from Wikipedia.)