Area: 301,000 sq km
A long, mountainous peninsula that dominates the central Mediterranean Sea. Also two large islands, Sardinia and Sicily.
Population: 60,097,564 Annual Growth: 0.49%
Official language: Italian, but vigorous use of nine regional languages akin to Italian Languages: 42 All languages
Largest Religion: Christian
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This great and gifted nation has contributed much to the world legal systems (Roman law), language (Latin), culture (Renaissance, art, music) and innovation (fashion, cars). Christianity flourished here, but soon became a formalized state religion. Italy was virtually untouched by the Protestant Reformation and has never seen widespread biblical revival. The majority of Italians remain culturally Catholic but increasingly cynical about the Church. Pray for the removal of the multiple barriers that limit understanding of the gospel.
Literature and Bible distribution have not had a wide impact due to Italians reluctance to read. There are about 15 Christian bookshops, including CLC with nine bookstores and The Bible Society with Italys largest Bible and literature centre. Pray for the growing number of Italian publishing houses ADI Media (AoG), Alfa & Omega (Reformed publishers), GBU and Passaggio, among others. Pray also for the spread of the newly published Bible dictionary (GBU) and theological dictionary (by IFED). Pray for a hunger for Gods Word, for a desire for wholesome Christian literature and that quality material that leads people to Christ would be found in the more than 1,000 Catholic bookshops. The Gideons are active throughout Italy in distributing Scripture. Italy For Christ has spearheaded the distribution of over 600,000 NTs in schools as well as many copies of the evangelistic Book of Hope.
For an additional 9 Challenges for Prayer see Operation World book, CD-ROM, or DVD-ROM.
The Operation World book, CD-ROM, and DVD-ROM provide far more information and fuel for prayer for the people of Italy.